When you’re in the market for a brand new air conditioning system, you may find yourself overwhelmed with the large variety of systems now available. The HVAC industry has expanded greatly over the years. Now, every system is rated for efficiency, comes with limited warranties, and includes a slew of other information that you may find overwhelming. For instance, you may see a SEER rating. What is that? Well, a SEER rating is actually incredibly important when selecting a new air conditioning system.
Now, let us begin with the basics of a SEER rating. An air conditioning system is an investment, right? You want the perfect system for your home and needs. You cannot simply pick up the first unit you see and hope it does the job. There is some research involved.
You’ll need to start with the Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio (SEER) rating. The SEER rating relates to the amount of energy – and therefore money – your air conditioning system will use over the span of an entire year.
Since 2006, the United States Department of Energy (DOE) requires all new air conditioning systems to meet minimum efficiency ratings, as identified by SEER numbers. Most options surpass the minimum efficiency requirements. Many HVAC manufacturers have made impressive advancements in both the technology and efficiency of new units.
Typically, your average air conditioning system will have a SEER rating from 13 to 25. The higher the number, the better. A high SEER rating means the system is more efficient, therefore you’ll spend less money on daily operation each month. Of course, monthly savings are based on more than just the SEER rating. Other factors include the size of the unit, the size of your home, how often you run the system, and insulation levels throughout the house.
Originally, air conditioning systems would have SEER ratings as low as 6. These systems were horribly inefficient and would cost quite a bit to run each month. Today, you are more likely to find systems in the mid-20s than anything else. It makes more sense for air conditioning manufacturers to sell quality products than mass produce worse units.
As of 2015, the minimum SEER rating was raised to 14 in a number of states. These states include Alabama, Arkansas, Arizona, California, Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Hawaii, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maryland, Mississippi, New Mexico, Nevada, North Carolina, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, and Virginia. The reason the Department of Energy increased the SEER rating in these states is mostly due to their climate. These regions experience hotter summers, so the DOE thought it best to increase the SEER and save energy across the country. It was a smart move.
If you’re in the market for a new air conditioning system, consider Northern's One Hour Heating & Air Conditioning® for top-rated HVAC services, air conditioning installation, replacements, and so much more. We’re in the business of helping families enjoy a comfortable, efficient home year-round. Please take a moment to call (763) 284-8639 to schedule service!