Modern AC unit outside of a house

Have you ever wondered how efficient your air conditioning unit really is? Maybe your energy bills have been high lately, or you’re noticing that your unit can’t keep up with the heat. The SEER rating is the number one indicator of how efficient your unit is, and also a great thing to keep in mind when shopping for a new unit.

What is SEER?

SEER, or Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio, is used to measure the efficiency of a central air conditioning unit. The higher the SEER, the more efficient the system.

According to Energy Star, “SEER measures how efficiently a cooling system will operate over an entire season. In technical terms, SEER is a measure of the total cooling of a central air conditioner or heat pump (in Btu) during the normal cooling season as compared to the total electric energy input (in watt-hours) consumed during the same period. This measure of efficiency is specific to the temperate climate in the middle of the U.S.”

Another rating you may come across is EER, or Energy Efficiency Ratio. Unlike SEER that measures efficiency for an entire season, EER measures how efficiently a cooling system will operate when the outdoor temperature is at a specific level (95 degrees F). Both the SEER and EER ratings are important when shopping for a new unit.

What Does Your SEER Rating Mean?

If you still have an air conditioning unit that’s over 20 years old, it probably has a fairly low SEER rating. Most older units have SEER ratings as low as 6 and under, while the new minimum standard is 13. Generally, the newest units will have a SEER rating between 16 and 21, with most rating between 16 and 20 SEER.

So what if your unit has a rating below 13? If you have an older unit with a low SEER rating, it may be time to consider purchasing a new unit. You may think there’s no need because it has been working just fine, but you may be missing an opportunity for significant energy savings.

However, efficiencies and energy savings are commonly only gained if the entire HVAC system is replaced, as both units work together as part of a complete system. Check out this blog post to learn more.

Make Sure Your Unit is Performing at Its Best

If you’re unsure of what the SEER rating of your current unit is, or you know the rating and aren’t sure if it’s time to replace the unit yet, our team can help! We’ll make sure you’re getting the most out of your air conditioner and keeping energy costs low. Contact Jennings Heating and Cooling to request an appointment!

Sources: Energy Star, U.S. Department of Energy

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