What is SEER Rating?

What is SEER Rating?

Search online for tips to purchase a new air conditioning unit, and the amount of information you’ll find can be confusing and overwhelming. If you want to cut through the noise and focus only on factors that matter, the SEER rating deserves your attention.

So, how do you select the correct HVAC system size for your home? Well, there are two different methods- approximate calculation and Manual J calculation. Here’s what they mean-

Here’s everything you should know about SEER rating-

What is SEER Rating?

Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio or Seasonal Energy Efficiency Rating (SEER) measures the cooling efficiency of an AC unit. In other words, it measures the amount of electricity the unit will consume when used over a year across seasons. A higher SEER rating means more efficient cooling performance and more savings.

What is the Ideal SEER Rating?

Here’s what the average SEER ratings mean-

  • 13 and 14: Least efficient
  • 15 and 20: Efficient
  • 21+: Above-average efficiency

Ideal SEER rating depends on several factors, such as the average temperature you prefer at home and where you live. For instance, if you live in a colder area, an AC unit with a SEER rating of 13-15 might deliver the expected cooling performance. Similarly, if your house is in a hot and humid region, you can consider investing in an AC unit with an above-average SEER rating.

Do AC Units Perform at Their SEER Rating All the Time?

Great question! The thing is, you’ll commonly find AC units with a higher SEER rating that don’t stick to the mentioned efficiency all the time. You should understand that the SEER rating is the maximum capability of that unit and not its average efficiency. So, when selecting an AC unit, it’d be wise to check its average performance and not the SEER rating alone.

You can know more about the unit's average performance by contacting the retailer or the manufacturer. Alternatively, you can get your house inspected by an energy inspector to know whether or not the unit you’ve selected is ideal for your home.

How to Check the SEER Rating of Your Current AC Unit?

Any AC unit with a SEER rating higher than your current unit is an improvement. So, it makes sense to know the SEER rating of the existing unit before you start looking for a new unit. Most AC units now feature the EnergyGuide label, demonstrating its SEER rating.

Should You Replace or Stick to the Older AC?

What if you find out that your current AC unit has a decent SEER rating? Does it still make sense to upgrade to a newer model? Take a look-

Even if your current AC unit is efficient, it still makes sense to consider replacing it if it is more than 10 years old. Older units are not only prone to a host of cooling problems but lack the advanced technologies of the latest units that make them more efficient.

While purchasing a new AC might seem like an expense, a unit with a higher SEER rating can offer significant savings in the long run. So, weigh your options by analyzing how efficient and old your current AC is compared to the latest models. If you’re unable to decide, you can always consult an HVAC contractor, like Beeson Mechanical Service at 317-535-9338.