Summer is just about upon us, and temperatures are already warming up. Now is the time to make sure that you and your home are prepared, by either scheduling routine maintenance for your air conditioner or buying a new air conditioner if your aging system is signaling that it’s about to call it quits. But there are a number of factors to consider before purchasing an air conditioner and scheduling its insulation. The type of system it is, the size, and the SEER rating are all factors to pay attention to.
SEER stands for Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio, and it is the rating that applies to all residential air conditioning and heat pump systems in the U.S. Being able to use this rating to its fullest extent is how you ensure that your home is set up with the best AC system possible. Read on to learn more about this rating and what it means!
Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio
Are you unsure you understand what this rating actually is? That’s okay, we’re about to explain! You see, what the seasonal energy efficiency ratio actually measures is the cooling output of your AC system during a typical cooling season, divided by the total electric energy input during that same period. In layman’s terms, it means that it’s the ratio of energy consumed, to the cooling output provided.
If your air conditioner is not performing well and is consuming a lot of energy as a result, while providing barely any cooling to your living space, it likely has a very low SEER rating, while a brand new air conditioner that operates highly efficiently will have a high one.
How Does This Apply to You?
So, now that you understand what the SEER rating is, why is it something you need to know about? This rating has a very practical application for homeowners looking to have a new air conditioner installed, or even replacing an older system. If you’re on the lookout for a highly efficient heat pump or air conditioner, you’ll want to find a system that has a high SEER rating, but you’ll also of course want to keep your budget in mind.
The Department of Energy has specific energy conservation guidelines that apply to all residential HVAC systems, which is important for you to pay attention to when having a new system installed. For instance, new split-system central air conditioners in California have to be a minimum of 14 SEER in order for them to be compliant.
What This Means for You
Let’s say that an amateur “HVAC professional” is trying to sell you a super affordable air conditioner. If they tell you that the particular model runs efficiently but the SEER rating is very low (say, 10 SEER), not only are you being misled but you’ll also have a system installed that’s not compliant with current building codes and DOE guidelines.
This is why you want to work with a trustworthy contractor who knows their way around SEER ratings, and who has access to a great source of well-manufactured HVAC systems. With an investment of this size, you don’t want to gamble on something that could be hurting not only your wallet but the environment too.