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Greenleaf Heating & Cooling Blog

Everything You Should Know About SEER Ratings

If you’re like every other homeowner in California, then you’ve probably seen the phrase “SEER rating” enough to see it in your sleep. While we know that it’s obnoxious, especially when you’re not well-versed in HVAC terms as professionals, but we swear that it’s actually there for you to use!

SEER ratings are a useful tool in measuring efficiency in an air conditioning system. It’s a metric that we use in the United States when trying to categorize a particular comfort system’s energy consumption for homeowners who want to be aware of their environmental footprint. SEER ratings aren’t just about how efficient a system is though, it also measures the cooling output in regards to energy consumption, which means a higher SEER rated product will produce cooler temperatures with less energy!

So, if you’ve been in the market for a new AC installation in Long Beach, CA but you’ve been unsure of what tools were available to measure your options—keep reading!

What Is the SEER Rating?

SEER stands for seasonal energy efficiency ratio, which is a constant standard that we use in the HVAC industry to compare efficiency ratios between units. In order to get a quality SEER rating from a system, you have to compare two things. We compare British thermal units (BTUs) and energy consumption by the machine in watt-hours.

Think of this similarly to measuring a car’s gas mileage. In order to measure the speed, you can’t just take the miles it traveled—you need to measure the energy consumed as it traveled that distance and take the average fuel amount per mile. So, in the case of HVAC equipment, the SEER rating is determined by how much cooling output is provided per watt-hour! The higher the SEER rating, the more cooling power you get for less energy.

What Does This Mean for You?

We apologize for the science lesson, but it’s important if you’re looking to save money on the next air conditioner you purchase. More energy-efficient models like ductless mini splits and heat pumps provide higher SEER ratings than your average central air conditioner. The only problem with those models is that they cost more initially to set up.

Remember though, more fuel-efficient cars cost more money initially to purchase, but people still regularly choose the more efficient cars. Purchasing the right cooling system is a long term investment, and you’ll be paying energy bills when you use it whether you like it or not. So, when purchasing a system that’s got a higher SEER rating, you’ll be happier when your energy bills come every month than you would be otherwise.

Lower Your Environmental Impact

Comfort systems with high SEER ratings are just generally better for the environment as well. By consuming less energy for more cooling power, you’re lowering your carbon footprint and putting less strain on your municipality’s energy grid as well. Sure, a window unit air conditioner might still technically keep you cool, but the SEER rating on those types of systems are dramatically lower than more high-tech solutions like heat pumps or ductless mini splits.

Lower your carbon footprint today by investing in one of our cooling solutions at Greenleaf Heating & Cooling. Call us today!

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