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What is a SEER Rating?

image of man siting on top of coins reading about what is a SEER rating

In the market for a new air conditioning system? Chances are one of the more important specifications an HVAC specialist might mention is the “SEER rating.” 

But what is a SEER rating anyways? 

SEER stands for Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio. It is a rating system used to measure the efficiency of residential air conditioning systems. Generally, a SEER rating between 13 and 21 is deemed efficient. It will help reduce energy costs in the long run.

Read on to learn more about SEER ratings and how they affect cooling power, efficiency standards, and energy costs.

What is the significance of a higher SEER rating?

The higher the SEER rating, the more efficient the AC unit. The United States Department of Energy recommends a SEER rating of at least 14 for all new air conditioning systems. A higher SEER rating means lower monthly energy bills and fewer repairs due to less wear and tear on the system.

A higher SEER rating is beneficial and can help save homeowners money. Having an energy-efficient cooling system can improve air circulation and control humidity. This can make a significant difference in overall home comfort.

It is important to note a higher seasonal energy efficiency ratio only reflects the unit’s efficiency in ideal conditions. An air conditioner and heat pump must be properly sized and installed in order to benefit from a higher rating.

How does purchasing an air conditioning system with a higher SEER rating save money?

It pays off to invest in a high-efficiency air conditioning system. A SEER system rating of 18 uses 20% less energy than a 14 SEER system. This results in a 20% cost reduction in operating costs over a given period.

Its higher standard of energy efficiency translates to greater savings on energy and operation costs during warmer months.

Homeowners seeking to reduce their electricity usage can take advantage of potential savings. Utility rebate programs, as well as federal and state tax credits, may also be available to those who invest in energy-efficient systems.

If your central air conditioning in Pennsylvania is more than 15 years old, it may be worth considering a replacement. A replacement could help save up to 30% on cooling output costs. Pennsylvania DEP at Home reports that ENERGY STAR central air conditioners boast higher SEER and energy efficiency ratio (EER) ratings. This makes them over 15 percent more efficient than conventional models.

Looking to replace inefficient baseboard electric heating and window air conditioning units in older homes? ENERGY STAR certified ductless heating and cooling systems are cost-effective solutions.

Ductless split-system air conditioners and heat pumps, often called mini-splits, do not use ductwork for air distribution systems. Mini-Splits are usually installed in new construction, home additions, and multi-family (condo or apartment) housing.

What are the current regulations the Department of Energy sets regarding SEER ratings?

The United States Department of Energy (DOE) sets the current regulations regarding SEER ratings. According to DOE, all newly manufactured air conditioners must have a minimum SEER rating of 13. This rating is also applicable to heat pumps.

For areas experiencing extreme temperatures, the agency requires an even higher SEER rating. This can range from 13 to 17.5 depending on the region and type of equipment used for air conditioning.

In addition, different states may have their regulations when it comes to SEER ratings. For instance, California requires all new central air conditioners to have a minimum rating of 15. Texas has set its minimum requirement at 14.

Other states may even require higher ratings for their residential and commercial buildings. To stay updated with your area’s latest regulations, contact the Department of Environmental Protection for your state’s specific requirements.

By implementing these standards, DOE hopes to promote more efficient air conditioning systems. These systems can lower energy bills, help reduce emissions, and improve indoor temperature, and air quality. Additionally, when proper maintenance is conducted on the equipment, it can potentially lead to a longer system lifespan.

Understanding SEER Ratings

Overall, a good SEER rating is an important factor when it comes to choosing a new HVAC system. Understanding a SEER rating is an important step for homeowners looking to purchase new cooling systems. The higher the rating, the more efficient and cost-effective the HVAC system. Make sure to do your research to find an HVAC unit that works best for your home.