It can be overwhelming to choose a new air conditioning system, especially if you’ve never bought one before. Between the brands, prices and each model’s many specs, it feels as if you need to be an HVAC expert to understand it all. While you can rely on your HVAC company in most of the details, one major spec that you need to understand is SEER ratings.
Season Energy Efficiency Ratio (SEER) is the ratio of the output of a typical cooling system to the total energy used. More simply put, SEER ratings measure the efficiency of an AC unit over the course of a cooling season (when it must work the hardest). You can compare an air conditioner’s SEER rating to the miles per gallon in a car.
What is a good SEER rating?
Today, most AC units have a SEER rating between 13 and 25, with 25 being the most efficient. The United States Department of Energy requires all new AC units to meet a minimum efficiency rating of 13 SEER. The minimum rating for AC units sold in Texas and many other warmer states — mostly southern states — is 14 SEER due to the hotter climate. It’s important to note that 13 SEER isn’t inefficient, it’s just not as efficient as a 16 or 18 SEER.
Why SEER Matters
SEER ratings are an important spec because they’re a direct indicator of efficiency, therefore giving you a good idea of the savings you’ll see on your monthly energy bill. The higher the SEER rating, the less your energy bills will be and the more money you’ll save.
The higher efficiency doesn’t come free, though. Making a high-efficiency system requires better technology and materials, which means that an 18 SEER unit will be more expensive than a 14 SEER unit. However, your savings over time increase the more you pay upfront.
What SEER rating should I choose?
The best SEER rating for your home depends on your needs and budget, but a higher SEER rating is generally better. It’s important to note that even a 14 SEER system will be a big jump in efficiency from your old air conditioner, which is likely no higher than a 10 SEER unit. It all depends on what you want and need out of your air conditioner.
Helping homeowners find efficient AC systems to match their needs is our specialty at Barker’s Heating & Cooling. When you call us for AC installation, we will work with you to choose the best AC unit for your home and install it as quickly as possible.
Contact us today for more information from one of our professional service representatives or to begin your service request.