The next time you’re looking for a new air conditioner for your St. Louis area home, you’re sure to come across a SEER rating. In fact, it’s one of the most important factors you should take into account when you’re choosing a unit. So what is a SEER rating and what does it mean for your current and future air conditioners?
SEER stands for “seasonal energy efficiency ratio.” It is a measurement that was defined by the Air Conditioning, Heating and Refrigeration Institute that calculates the amount of energy that is needed to produce a specific cooling output over a typical season.
In other words, SEER is a number given to air conditioning units that describes how energy efficient they are. The higher the number, the more efficient the unit is.
A SEER rating is calculated by taking the cooling output of an air conditioner (measured in Btu) during a typical cooling season and dividing it by the total energy input (measured in watt-hours) over the same time period. This is similar to an AFUE rating of a furnace in that it measures the difference between how much energy is used to power a unit and how much energy that unit actually gives in return.
As of January 20, 2006, any newly manufactured air conditioning unit must have a SEER rating of 13 or more. That’s 30 percent more efficient than the previous standard, which was a SEER of 10.
It’s important to know that many older air conditioners have SEER ratings of as low as 6 or lower. Given the lack of efficiency of these units, it’s often more cost-effective in the long run for homeowners to install a new unit with a higher SEER rating than it is to continue to run a unit with a low SEER rating.
If you have any questions about a SEER rating, or if you’d like your air conditioner serviced by a high quality contractor, contact Jerry Kelly, your St. Louis area heating and cooling company.