SEER Ratings: How All Those Numbers Stack UpYour air conditioner is likely to be the most power-hungry appliance in your home, and SEER ratings can give you an idea of how much energy it consumes compared to other models. SEER (seasonal energy efficiency ratio) ratings have been used for decades to tell consumers the energy efficiency of their central air conditioners or heat pumps. The current government minimum stands at 13 SEER, and systems with higher ratings go into the mid-20s. High-efficiency A/Cs and heat pumps generally start at SEER 16.

SEER is measured by calculating the energy consumption of the cooling equipment by placing it in an 82 degree F environment and having it cool a space to 80 degrees over the course of a season. SEER has a companion rating called EER (energy efficiency ratio) that’s usually used to rate room A/Cs. EER is calculated by turning the temperature up to 95 degrees and seeing how much electricity the unit uses to cool the space to 80 degrees. The minimum EER currently stands at 9.5.

Each single increase in the SEER number means that the system uses 10 percent less energy. For example, a 16 SEER cooling system would use 30 percent less electricity than a 13 SEER. If you have an older air conditioner, chances are its efficiency is even lower than its original SEER number, since SEER ratings actually drop unless you keep your system in top condition.

If you’re in the market for a new cooling system, paying attention to the SEER rating will help you select a system that will reduce your ongoing cooling costs. The U.S. Department of Energy makes it easier for consumers by labeling exceptionally energy-efficient systems with the Energy Star or Most Efficient label. To qualify, the SEER must be 14 or higher.

Learning the EER rating for an A/C model also helps you choose an efficient system, since the EER indicates how well the system performs when temperatures are extremely warm. If the system has both a high SEER and EER, it will reduce your cooling bills.

To learn more about SEER ratings and equipment choices, please contact us at Mowery Heating, Cooling and Plumbing. We’ve provided superior NATE-certified HVAC services for the Indianapolis area for over 40 years.

Our goal is to help educate our customers in Brownsburg, Indiana and surrounding areas about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems). 

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