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An Introduction to SEER Efficiency Ratings

Posted on August 1, 2013

Air conditioning units may look similar, but they’re not all built to the same quality, and they do not all have the same SEER efficiency ratings. It’s important to understand the difference. SEER means Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio, a measure of how well your A/C or heat pump converts electricity into cooling during a season. The SEER is calculated by dividing the BTUs by the energy used.

Recent changes

Air conditioners built today are between 30 percent and 50 percent more energy efficient than the units built in the 1970s. New standards went into effect in January 2006. HVAC units built after that date must have SEER efficiency ratings of at least 13. That is 30 percent more efficient than the previous SEER minimum of 10. Currently, high-efficiency A/Cs and heat pumps generally start at SEER 16, though the numbers rise into the mid-20s.

Benefits of higher SEER

  • Equipment lasts longer. More efficient operation means less wear and tear on your HVAC and more years of service.
  • More comfortable. Hot spots and excess humidity are reduced when your system operates efficiently and with fewer starts and stops. High-efficiency A/Cs can be outfitted with a variable speed blower motor, which saves energy while providing a more continuous flow of air.
  • Monthly savings. HVAC systems with higher SEER efficiency ratings result in lower utility cost for you.

The right contractor

A knowledgeable and experienced contractor can help your cooling system achieve its rated SEER number. Achieving the highest possible SEER is not just a matter of buying a unit with a high rating. With all the attention given to Energy Star products, tax incentives and living more green, many people look for the SEER rating when choosing equipment. They do not realize that the HVAC contractor has a huge part in making sure the equipment performs at its best.

Contact Comfort Systems for more information on how to increase the efficiency of your HVAC system. Our expert technicians are trained for HVAC service and installation. We also provide plumbing service and installation, and radiant floor heat service and installation. We are Wichita’s only locally based Home Warranty company and have been in business since 1953.

Our goal is to help educate our customers in Wichita, Kansas about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems).  For more information about SEER ratings and other HVAC topics, download our free Home Comfort Resource guide.

 

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