What Does SEER Mean?

June 8, 2012

You’ve probably seen the label “13 SEER” or “energy efficient air conditioner” promoted on every AC for the past several years. In 1992, the government set the minimum standard for all central air conditioner units manufactured in the United States at 10 SEER, and on January 23, 2006 it was raised to 13 SEER. But what does it all mean? SEER is the seasonal energy efficiency rating of your central air conditioning system—the higher the SEER, the more energy efficient that system is because it uses less electricity to do its job.

As defined by the Air Conditioning, Heating, and Refrigeration Institute (AHRI), the SEER is a mathematically determined ratio measuring the total cooling output during normal periods of operation (aka the cooling season) divided by the total electrical energy input during the same period. In English, this means the amount of cooling your air conditioner provides for the energy it uses—which is why a higher SEER means greater energy efficiency.

In fact, upgrading your home from an outdated 9 SEER model to a 13 SEER air conditioner (or higher) can reduce your power consumption by 30 percent, which can mean considerable yearly savings for your home. Many people with older, less efficient systems opt for an air conditioner replacement on these grounds alone—the cost of installation is returned on their lower utility bills!

Benefits of Energy Efficient Air Conditioners

When you upgrade your home to an air conditioner with a higher SEER, there are many advantages:

  • Savings – As the SEER goes up, so does your energy efficiency. The more energy efficient your home, the lower your monthly utility bills are going to be, which can mean substantial savings throughout the year. If you’re interested in an air conditioner replacement of the highest caliber, look for a system that is ENERGY STAR qualified. These systems are a minimum of 14 SEER and are ranked in the top 25 percent of efficient models.
  • Environment – Many high efficiency air conditioners help protect the environment by reducing greenhouse gas emissions—particularly ENERGY STAR rated products.
  • Comfort – Energy efficient air conditioners will have an easier time cooling your home and maintaining the desired temperature—and won’t work as hard to do it as older, outdated models!
  • And more!

Upgrade Your Air Conditioner

If your air conditioner is more than ten years old, the chances are that you have a 10 SEER air conditioner or lower—and in most cases, due to the age of the equipment, the efficiency rating can drop very low—it’s time to start thinking about an air conditioner replacement! The expert HVAC technicians at Rick’s Heating & Cooling have been installing, replacing, and repairing air conditioners and other heating and cooling equipment for over 25 years, so we understand how air conditioner SEER standards have changed and can handle AC service need you have.

Don’t continue to pay high utility bills month after month, upgrade and enjoy the energy efficiency benefits of a new 13 to 26 SEER air conditioner. Call Rick’s Heating & Cooling today for your air conditioner replacement!