What Does SEER Mean?
When it comes to your air conditioner, a common term used in the HVAC business that you’re likely to see everywhere is your air conditioner’s SEER. But what exactly is SEER?
SEER stands for Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio. It’s a rating system of the air conditioner’s cooling capacity to power input, or the ratio of the amount of cooling produced (in BTUs) divided by the amount of electricity (in watts) used. The higher the SEER, the greater the air conditioner’s efficiency.
According to the U.S. Department of Energy, heating and cooling units use more energy than any other system in your New Orleans home. So when you’re in the market for a new air conditioner, you’ll want to pay attention to the SEER level of the different units you’re considering.
Save Money by Upgrading
If your system keeps you cool in the summer but is 10-15 years old, you might want to consider investing in a newer unit. By upgrading to a modern, more efficient model (depending on your current unit’s SEER) you could save quite a bit of money annually on your cooling bill.
How to Decide Which SEER is for You
To carry the Energy Star® label, an air conditioner must be in the top 25 percent of efficient models and have a minimum SEER of 14. Automatically purchasing an air conditioner with a higher SEER isn’t always the go-to answer, however.
The SEER rating represents the potential efficiency of the unit under perfect conditions. Much of the system’s efficiency depends on the right sizing of the unit for your home, along with correct installation and an evaluation of other factors as well. For example, your ductwork and windows may have leaks, thus directly affecting your energy savings.
Keep in mind that your air conditioner doesn’t operate within a vacuum. It’s directly tied to your furnace or heating system. Depending on what equipment you presently have and its age, this factors into your air conditioner’s SEER rating. Even though your proposed new unit has an 18 SEER, once married to your current furnace, the rating may decrease to a 15 or 16.
What you need to aim for is the right-sized equipment operating at its optimal ratings within varying conditions for the best savings and comfort for you.