The Basics to the SEER Rating

SEER ratingShopping for a new HVAC system can seem overwhelming, but one way you can get a good handle on the kind of air conditioner, furnace or heat pump you’re buying is the efficiency rating. So what is the SEER rating?

SEER Explained

When it comes to air conditioning, that rating is known as SEER, or seasonal energy efficiency rating. Simply put, the SEER is a ratio, with cooling output of an A/C over a typical cooling season, divided by the Watt hours consumed. It uses a constant indoor temperature, but several outdoor temperatures that range from the 60s to the 100s, representing a “typical” season.

If you have an old air conditioner, your SEER is likely to be in the range of 8 or 9, which is not considered efficient. Newer, more modern systems can reach SEERs as high as 21-25. As you might expect, the more efficient the system, the more you save on your utility bill.

How High Does Your SEER Need to Be?

You can talk to your HVAC consultant about what savings you can expect on a particular model, based on the local cost of energy. However, bear in mind that you may not be getting the SEER you’ve paid for. Factors that will affect the efficiency of your home include:

  • Insulation levels
  • How tightly sealed it is
  • Proper equipment sizing
  • Adequate ductwork for the HVAC system’s capacity

Further, the cost of the high-SEER equipment also may be much more than you can save on energy over the long term. Do the math and see if projected energy savings justify the added cost of high-SEER equipment. It may be that a lower SEER, from 14-16, is your best option. In our region, SEER 14 is the lowest rating sold by law.

Consult NisAir Air Conditioning and Heating for best advice on the right SEER rating and other HVAC issues.

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