If you’re in the market for a new air conditioner, you have probably heard about changing SEER standards. What does this mean, and how does it affect you?
Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio (SEER) is the standard rating given to all air conditioners (and heat pumps used in cooling mode). SEER is a ratio of how much electricity your unit consumes compared to the level of cooling output it produces. Higher SEER ratings indicate greater efficiency and therefore lower energy bills.
Before the new SEER standards took effect on January 1, 2015, the federal minimum SEER rating allowed across the United States was 13. This standard went into effect in 2006, and with advancements in cooling technology, it’s clearly time for a new minimum requirement.
Ohio SEER Standards for Air Conditioners
The new SEER standards aren’t the same for everyone. States in the north, southeast and southwest all have different requirements.
Ohio is in the northern US and therefore relies less on air conditioning than states in hotter climates. For this reason, split system air conditioners retain the minimum 13 SEER requirement into 2015. Packaged units, which are less common in single-family residences, have a new minimum of 14 SEER. Heat pumps also must be a minimum of 14 SEER.
In comparison to warmer regions of the country, southern states have a requirement of 14 SEER for both split and packaged systems and heat pumps. Energy Efficiency Ratio (EER) and Heating Season Performance Factor (HSPF) ratings for heat pump differ between the southeastern and southwestern states.
What the Change Means for Ohio Homeowners
If you’re replacing a unit that’s a decade old or more, it’s probably rated 10 SEER or less. You certainly stand to benefit from replacing it with a 13 SEER unit, which could result in up to 30 percent more savings on your cooling bills this summer.
However, you stand to save even more if you purchase a new air conditioner rated well above the minimum. You can find new units with SEER ratings much higher than 13; some are rated as high as the mid-20s.
Ask with a heating and cooling contractor to calculate your return on investment and decide if purchasing a more expensive unit up front could pay you back in energy savings over its lifetime.
About Our Morrow, OH Heating & Cooling Company
For help selecting a new air conditioner that meets the new 2015 Ohio SEER standards, contact Rick’s Heating & Cooling, serving Ohio residents since 1986.
At Rick’s Heating & Cooling, we treat our customers like family. If you’re looking to upgrade your current air conditioning system and live in the Morrow, OH or surrounding area, give us a call! We’ll complete in in-depth analysis of your current cooling system and tell you how you can improve your system’s efficiency and save money this summer!