What Does SEER Rating Mean?
In South Florida, you’re dealing with a lot of different aspects of the heat. When you’re in your home, you rely on a fully functioning air conditioning system. The SEER rating is something that’s talked about a lot. It’s essential to understand what it is and how it affects your HVAC system.
We’ll tell you everything you need to know about SEER, including how it’s calculated. This way, you can ensure that you’ve got the necessary system to keep you cool during the hottest months of the year.
What is a SEER Rating?
A SEER rating is an energy efficiency rating given to air conditioning units. It stands for Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio.
Essentially, it measures the cooling output in comparison to the energy the system uses.
While the SEER rating can vary dramatically from unit to unit, many of the latest models from top manufacturers focus more heavily on energy-efficiency. The SEER is what tells people what kind of savings they can expect when cooling their home.
Trane, one of the top AC manufacturers, explains what a good SEER rating looks like in terms of annual savings. A 15 SEER unit can offer 13% energy savings, while a 22 SEER can offer 41% savings.
Various conditions will impact the rating, too. The rating is a maximum efficiency – similar to the way vehicles provide you with an estimated MPG (miles per gallon). Conditions that will impact the rating include:
- Size of your home
- Quality of your ductwork
- Cleanliness of your air filter
- Level of preventative maintenance performed
You also need to know about the other conditions. Suppose you feel that your AC unit already has a good SEER rating. In that case, there may be something else standing in the way of getting the energy efficiency you demand.
Why is SEER Important?
Energy efficiency is critical. It ensures that you’re not spending more to operate your AC than what is necessary. Especially during the summer months. You may use AC every single day – and if your AC unit has a low SEER rating, it may be costing you quite a bit on your utility bills.
There are several different types of air conditioners – room units, split-system central air, and packaged central air conditioners. All of them will use a SEER rating to identify the overall efficiency levels.
The SEER is important as it can impact how much electricity is being used to keep your air cool. Particularly in Florida, you don’t want your system constantly running to keep the temperature cool, as it can cost you a fortune on your electric bill.
Based on the amount you pay per kilowatt-hour, investing in an HVAC unit with a higher SEER rating can save you considerable amounts of money. In a single year, you might save hundreds of dollars. Over the span of 20 years, the savings could more than pay for the investment of a more energy-efficient HVAC unit.
How the SEER Rating is Calculated
The SEER rating of a system is calculated as a ratio. It is obtained by dividing the British Thermal Units (BTUs) of heat removed from the air by the air conditioner’s total amount of energy (in watt-hours).
The higher the final number is, the more energy-efficient your air conditioner is. The SEER is generally calculated on your behalf by the manufacturer. This is calculated based on them performing a series of tests with sophisticated equipment.
To find out the SEER of your existing unit, look on the air handler or in the owner’s manual.
Older units may only have a SEER of 8, while newer ones may have a SEER of 16, 18, or 20. In hotter areas, the SEER rating will matter more – so you can’t compare unit ratings with those who are up north.
It’s also important to know that a SEER rating can change over time. While it may have been manufactured to have a rating of 14 or more, it can decrease with age. All appliances become less efficient with age – it’s all the more reason to focus on regular maintenance.
Final Thoughts on SEER
A SEER rating is one of the most boasted pieces of information about an air conditioning unit. Particularly when you’re shopping for a new system, you’ll hear a lot about the SEER values of a unit. It’s a great way to compare units before you make a purchase.
When it comes to residential air conditioners, a good SEER value is between 14 and 16. An HVAC professional can tell you if it’s worth it to spend the money on a higher rating based on your comfort levels and the unique aspects of your home.
Learn More About HVAC Systems Today
Comfort is important. You run your HVAC system to get a comfortable temperature inside of your home. If you find that your system is always running or your electrical bills are getting higher and higher, it might be time to talk with an HVAC professional.
Whether you are concerned about your existing HVAC system’s energy-efficiency or want to explore a new system with a higher SEER rating, contact our professionals at Echo Air Conditioning. With our expertise battling the heat in South Florida, we can ensure that you get the efficient system needed to cool your home comfortably.
Call us today to learn more about your unit’s SEER rating and what can be done to make improvements.