Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio (SEER) ratings are brought up a lot in conversation when it comes to purchasing a new AC unit. Knowing a little bit about them can come in handy when comparing various units. Here are some things to keep in mind when shopping for AC units.
What’s a SEER rating?
SEER ratings, linked directly to HVAC efficiency, were established to foster lower energy usage. The exact variables are the cooling output of the system during an average cooling system, divided by the total energy input. The SEER standard was set in 2008 by the the Air Conditioning, Heating and Refrigeration Institute (AHRI), a trade organization.
SEER numbers for standard AC units range from 13 (the federally regulated minimum for most of the country) to as high as 25. Window units, which aren’t upheld to the federal standard, typically are around 10. As of this year, a Department of Energy ruling requires new split systems (ductless ACs) in the Southeastern U.S. to have a minimum SEER rating of 14.
Which SEER rating is right for me?
While you’ll save money in getting a highly efficient AC unit, you will pay more in the front end. Selecting the correct SEER rating involves a number of factors, including your regional climate and home. Energy Star’s AC cost calculator is a trusted resource for helping decide which SEER rating is best for you. To find your SEER rating, look for the yellow label titled “Energy Guide.” You also can check out the manufacturer’s label. The SEER rating is the beginning numbers of the model number.
Other Factors When Buying An AC
Heat produced by your oven and other appliances are definitely a factor to consider, as well as the size of your house and how many windows it has. How well your home is sealed and insulated and the amount of shade that your home rests under also are important factors. Those looking to increase the energy efficiency of their home may benefit from the Energy Upgrade California® program.