What is a SEER Rating?
SEER stands for Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio, with the standards developed by the Air Conditioning, Heating and Refrigeration Institute. It is the cooling output divided by the total electricity used to cool the air. The higher the ratio, the more energy efficient your heating/cooling system is. The units used in the ratio are British thermal unit (BTU), which measures the cooling, and watt-hours, which measure the energy consumed. The difference between the SEER and EER (energy efficiency ratio) is that the SEER focuses on an entire season while the EER focuses on one specific condition for operation. The federal minimum SEER is 13, so you will always be looking for numbers higher than that.
Higher SEER Ratings Save you Money
If you look at the SEER ratings when you compare AC systems, you can save money, especially in the long run, even if it means paying more for a system up front. The higher the SEER, the more energy efficient the system will be. This means your monthly utility costs will be lower, saving you money every month. Depending on how efficient your current system is, you may even pay off the cost of your system in savings over time. Additionally, some utility companies offer compensation or rebates for using high energy efficient systems. You may have to inquire whether your energy supplier offers anything like this.
Assists in Assessing Annual Operating Costs
Another important feature you have to consider when you buying your cooling/heating system is how much it will cost you to operate over the course of a year. With the SEER rating, you can easily see how much watts of energy on average the system will take to run. You can multiply the average watts used by the hours you normally run your system and your electric rate. That total number will be the cost it will take annually to run your system, which will give you another baseline to compare units when you are shopping.
The SEER ratings offer you a quick insight into how efficient a unit runs. Not only will a more efficient system save you money, it will also run better in more extreme conditions. If you find a baseline SEER rating that you want for your system, it will help you further narrow down and compare before buying your final product. Additionally, if you choose a system with a higher SEER, then your system will be more environmentally friendly.
If you have any questions, please give us a call. We’re here to answer all your air conditioning replacement questions.