SEER Ratings Explained
An HVAC system SEER rating is a measure of its energy efficiency. We want to help homeowners make informed purchase decisions by explaining a little bit about what the SEER rating actually means, and how it should affect their HVAC purchases.
Buying a new system for your house is a significant expense for most families, and we want to help you get the most out of it.
Let’s dive in.
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What is SEER?
SEER stands for Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio. It is determined by the Air Conditioning, Heating, and Refrigeration Institute. It is a scale between 13 and 25 with higher numbers representing more efficient units. In Georgia and South Carolina, 14 is the minimum.
Contrary to popular belief, this number is more than a “score.” It’s a ratio of British thermal unit (BTU) to energy consumed in watt-hours. But since we aren’t going to bore you with all the math, it’s enough to say the higher the number, the less energy the unit uses to heat or cool your home.
What SEER Rating Should I Buy?
Unfortunately, it’s not a simple question to answer. Of course, the more efficient your equipment, the better. However, the cost of high SEER rated HVAC systems can offset the energy saved. Just like most consumer goods, you start to see diminishing returns the higher up you go. Not to mention, higher rated equipment tends to have more expensive parts, which will lead to more costly repairs years down the road.
One thing that is important to note, however, is that the minimum rating (in the states we serve) of 14 is not by any means a “bad rating.” Considering that most homeowners looking to replace their equipment have systems over ten years old, your system can be as low as a 6!
That means that buying the minimum SEER rated equipment will give you an over 50% increase in your rating. As time goes on, HVAC technology has progressed significantly in efficiency, and you’ll likely see significant savings on your energy bill regardless.
Whether you should buy a SEER 14, 15, or 21 system largely depends on your budget, your heating and cooling needs, and your energy expenses.
There are many other factors like the size of your home, the type of windows and insulation you have, how much natural shade is around your house, and so much more.
So How Do I Know Which SEER Rating is Best for My Home?
As noted above, there are so many factors that we can’t give you an answer without knowing specific information about your home and how you use your system. If you fill out the form below, we’ll have all the information we need to give you a professional opinion. Find out whether you have more to gain by choosing higher SEER equipment.
We’ll have one of our licensed professional team members call you back after reviewing your information. They can schedule an in-home consultation to get the whole picture and make their best recommendation.
It doesn’t cost a thing, and there’s no obligation to purchase any equipment.