When it comes to HVAC systems, many of our clients have questions about specialty terms commonly used in the industry. One term that commonly comes up when discussing the efficiency of air conditioning units is the SEER rating. Standing for Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio, this term and rating refers to how efficient the system will be in operation. The higher the number, the more efficient the unit will be. Here are more details on what the SEER rating is, what it tells you about an air conditioner and how it will impact your utility bills.
SEER Rating: What it Really Means
An HVAC unit’s SEER rating measures the unit’s efficiency. It represents how much cooling your system delivers per dollar on your utility bill. The higher numbers represent higher efficiency and less money spent on your utility bills. They can range up to SEER 33, though it’s much more common to find systems that are in the 15-21 SEER range. This also allows your AC unit to run for shorter periods of time, not only lowering your bills but reducing wear and tear on your system.
Though higher SEER ratings can provide lower electric bills, you’ll need to contrast that savings against the higher cost of purchasing a high SEER HVAC unit. Many households find that by estimating their savings they can expect to see on their utility bill, they can determine how much higher a monthly payment they can afford by purchasing a higher SEER HVAC unit.
When you’re shopping for an HVAC unit, the easiest way to determine that unit’s SEER rating is by looking for the yellow Energy Guide, typically a sticker that may also feature the Energy Star logo. You may also find it on the manufacturer’s label on your existing unit. Often times, the first few digits of your unit’s model number will have the SEER rating incorporated into it, so a unit with the model number of SL18X will have a SEER rating of 18. Air conditioners are required to meet a minimum SEER rating of 13 or 14, depending on location,
This information is a great start when you’re investigating a more energy-efficient air conditioning unit, but there are more factors that should be taken into account. If you need help finding the right efficiency level for your home, please feel free to contact Cox Heating & Air Conditioning today for more details.