We all want the maximum efficiency from the various appliances in our home, particularly those that are part of our HVAC system. Heating and air is one of the key areas when it comes to home efficiency, and at All Hours Plumbing, Heating & Air, our local plumbers can help you with every element of it to ensure you’re leaving no stone unturned.
One big factor here that some homeowners are unaware of? The SEER rating for your air conditioner, which measures how much cooling power you receive for every unit of electricity the system uses – effectively, how efficient your unit is. Here are the basics on calculating SEER rating, what it means, and the thresholds you should consider in your home
Calculating SEER Rating
The SEER rating, short for seasonal energy efficiency ratio, is calculated by comparing the cooling output of an AC unit to the watt-hours of energy that same unit uses. This number is then adjusted based on the average range of outside temperatures in your area. There’s a slightly complex calculation process, but in the end, what you need to know is this: The higher your SEER rating, the more efficient a machine for your home.
The general guideline from the federal government is that all new air conditioners must be made with a SEER rating of 13 or higher, while some manufacturers have slightly higher standards. Heat pumps and split-system AC units will have lower thresholds, as they’re naturally less efficient technologies. Many states in the south are required to have higher standards across the board.
Now, be aware that you don’t have to stay right at the minimum threshold. Some models have SEER ratings up to 23 or even higher, and while these are more expensive up front, they often bring you thousands in long-term efficiency savings.
It’s also important to remember that SEER rating isn’t the only measure of AC efficiency. There is another measure called EER, or Energy Efficiency Ratio, which is similar in many ways – but it can actually be more accurate in certain very hot climates. Ask one of our HVAC pros which test is best for you.
For more on SEER ratings and AC efficiency, or to learn about any of our HVAC repair or services, speak to the staff at All Hours Plumbing, Heating & Air today.