What Does SEER Mean for a New Air Conditioner?

If you’re thinking about getting a new air conditioner, you’ll probably notice the SEER rating. If you are not sure what it means, this information will help you determine how it will affect your purchase.

What Is a SEER Rating?

SEER stands for a seasonal energy efficiency ratio. Simply put, the rating takes the cooling output you get from an air conditioner and divides it by the amount of energy you use to run it. When a manufacturer estimates the SEER rating for a particular unit, they will calculate its energy usage based on a variety of usage scenarios, including:

  • Variable temperature days ranging from 60 to 100 degrees Fahrenheit or more
  • A certain number of hours per day with cooling
  • A specific number of cooling days per year when the air conditioner will be used

The higher the number on the SEER rating, the higher the efficiency. In essence, the top models will give you the best cooling for the least amount of energy usage. The minimum SEER rating depends on the region. Here in Florida, the lowest SEER rating you will see on a new unit is 14. In the northern parts of the country, it is a 13. The maximum depends on the manufacturer, but you may find models with a SEER rating of 25 or higher. It’s important to keep in mind that the number you see on the product is a maximum efficiency you can expect in the environment tested by the manufacturer. The cooling needs of the local climate may lower the actual output. Proper air conditioner maintenance is key to getting the most output over time.  

How Does SEER Rating Affect Your New Air Conditioner Purchase?

When you start to research a new air conditioner, you can’t miss the SEER rating near the top of the specifications. As a general rule, higher numbers are better for the long-term efficiency of the machine. High efficiency is important for places like Florida with hot, humid summers that last many months longer than other parts of the country. It’s also wise to remember that SEER rating is not the only consideration you should make for your air conditioner. There are several factors that affect your system’s output and efficiency, including:

If you’re not sure whether or not you should replace your air conditioner, SEER rating can be a practical comparison. Older units might have a SEER rating of 10 or lower. Even an upgrade to the minimum for the region would provide a noticeable difference in output in relation to the energy you use to run it.

SEER rating is an important part of your decision for a new air conditioner. To learn more about how to get the best efficiency and output for your home, contact us at Essential Air Conditioning.

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