What Is A SEER Rating And How Important Is It?

image of efficiency depicting air conditioner with high seer rating

When you are looking to buy an air conditioning unit, the SEER rating is an important factor, so don’t neglect to consider it. This rating will determine the efficiency of the HVAC system in regard to its energy consumption as and give you an indication of the indoor comfort you can expect. The U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA) shows that a residential HVAC system ought to have a SEER rate of 14 or greater. Keep in mind that different states have varying SEER rating requirements.

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What Does An Air Conditioner SEER Rating Mean?

A Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio (SEER) rate is the measure of the cooling output that an HVAC system has when compared to the energy that it consumes in a year. Typical ranges are from around 13 to 21. The efficiency of your cooling system is going to increase as the SEER rating increases.

How Is Air Conditioner SEER Important?

image of a homeowner saving money due to energy efficient air conditioner

Prior to installing air conditioners, it is wise to look into the SEER rating as ensuring you have the right system will provide benefits like these:

  • Reduced cooling costs: A more efficient HVAC system will understandably cool your home to the selected temperature but consume less energy to do so. This means that selecting the unit with the best SEER rating will help you reduce your overall energy costs.
  • Increased comfort: Professional HVAC contractors can tell you that a well-performing air conditioning unit ought to easily cool a 4-bedroom home by ten degrees (Fahrenheit) in only 3 hours. This does, of course, depend on other factors too, like the size and the age of the system. But the right SEER rating will increase the level of comfort in a home over those hot summer months.
  • Eco-friendlier cooling: An air conditioner consuming less energy is going to emit fewer greenhouse gases, so an HVAC system with a high SEER rating will also be more eco-friendly.
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What SEER Rating Will Work Best For My Cooling Needs?

Usually, a rating above 14 is good. Nevertheless, to figure out the ideal rating for your own needs should consider factors like the area of your home, personal preference for cooling needs, and the energy consumption rate that works for you. Remember, a high SEER rating will translate to greater efficiency. Because the efficiency of your HVAC system mostly depends on the area it’s cooling, make sure that you consult with a professional HVAC contractor as they are the best ones to determine the most appropriate SEER rating for your space. While a 14-SEER air conditioning system might cool a 2-bedroom home with efficiency, a 5-bedroom home is going to require a cooling system that has an even higher SEER rating.

How Is the SEER Rating Calculated?

image of hands and calculator calculating ac seer efficiency ratingTo calculate a SEER rating in a cooling system, you need to divide the total cooling output by the electric energy input for the year. First, you must find the cooling output. You do this by multiplying the British Thermal Unit hourly (BTU/h) by the number of hours it works at cooling in one day. You will then multiply it by the days that the cooling system has worked over one year. For example:

5,000 BTU/h x 12 cooling hrs daily x 180 days yearly = 10,800,000 BTUs in a year.
If the total energy consumption in one year is 700,000Wh, that SEER rating is going to show as follows:
10,800,000/700,000 = 15.4 SEER

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Where Can I Find the SEER Rating On My Air Conditioner?

The US Energy Department requires all HVAC manufacturers to list the SEER rating somewhere on the cooling system and to place the Energy Star label on it for any qualified models. To locate the SEER rating on your own air conditioning unit, look for a yellow & black sticker. It is often on the side of your condenser unit. The sticker should clearly show a SEER rating.

If it isn’t there, check the air handler for the unit’s SEER rating. If neither option helps, find the manufacturer’s name, model, and serial numbers and then search for that particular HVAC system on the Internet, or call the manufacturer for the information.

Another excellent alternative is to just call in an expert HVAC contractor. A qualified technician can come to your home and help you. It shouldn’t be too difficult to locate the SEER rating, but there are times when a manufacturer maybe failed to label it clearly.

What Is A Mismatched Cooling System?

feeling hot and sticky due to high humidity levels

For optimal performance of any air conditioning system, an air conditioner condenser unit and its air handler should match. To make this happen, manufacturers usually create air handlers that are compatible with specific condensers only. Because of this, HVAC contractors should be sure to install air handlers as well as condensers in a matched pair. Unfortunately, this does not always take place, particularly if you hire a contractor that doesn’t have experience.

If the size of the air conditioner system is not a good match for your home, it is also considered a mismatched system. This simply means that the air conditioning unit is either too large or too small to adequately cool your home. When the air conditioner is too big, it is apt to short cycle. This means there will be shorter cycles to cool your house.

A short cycle will not run long enough for your AC unit to remove the humidity or fully filter the air. The result will be poor air quality and greater discomfort. Those short cycles also lead to greater energy consumption because more energy must be used when a system is repeatedly turning off and on. Undersized systems run for long cycles but that means your system has to overwork, which will lead to greater wear and tear, more frequent HVAC repair work, and premature replacement of the unit. Meanwhile, the homeowner will end up paying ridiculously high energy costs.

Because your HVAC system efficiency is going to be reduced with any mismatched system no matter the SEER rating, you will need to ensure that the tech who installs it understands the system and installs it correctly. To avoid a mismatched cooling system problem, talk with a qualified HVAC contracting business.

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More Factors To Think About For Choosing A Cooling System

Along with choosing the right SEER rating, you should also consider the following factors to help you choose the ideal HVAC system for your needs:

  • Air Conditioner Size: Oversized or undersized cooling systems are likely to consume more energy
  • Cooling System Price: Be sure to make a choice that will fit within your budget
  • Air Conditioner Noise: A less efficient air conditioning system is going to produce more noise since they will be overworked
  • HVAC Warranty: Choose a system that guarantees replacement or repair if it does not work as advertised or expected
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In Conclusion

A higher SEER rating shows the system will have greater energy efficiency. This, in turn, means a lower energy cost. Along with a good SEER rating, you want to purchase an ENERGY STAR Certified unit to help cut energy costs even further while protecting the environment, too. For your questions on heating and cooling, be sure to contact a professional HVAC contractor. They will help you choose the best HVAC system and can set up a regular schedule to maintain it.

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Call Miller Oil Company For Your HVAC Needs

Miller Oil Company LogoIf you’re looking for great heating and cooling services, call Miller Oil Company. We offer exceptional HVAC services in Hartford County, Connecticut. Only certified technicians work here as they can ensure excellent service, including an HVAC tune-up service, any necessary repairs, new installations, and even complete replacements of the system. Our techs bring the skill and experience with them so they can service your HVAC system right.

Miller Oil Company offers the assurance of competitive heating and cooling service cost to residents of the area. Regular maintenance service will improve your family’s comfort level, enhance the energy efficiency of your home and also reduce a home’s heating and cooling costs. Do you need an HVAC repair service or perhaps a replacement system? Let us come and look at the current system. We will recommend the ideal solution for your home while working within your budget. Our company backs up our work with a guarantee of satisfaction. To schedule service for your home, call on Miller Oil Company today. Don’t forget to ask for a free, in-home estimate.

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