SEER Ratings: What They Mean And Why They’re Important

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What is a SEER?

SEER is an acronym that stands for Seasonal Energy Efficiency Rating. It’s a benchmark of how much electricity a given A/C system uses to deliver each Btu/h of cooling power compared to another one under a standard, fixed set of rating conditions. The rating system is managed by the Department of Energy, and they decide what the testing standards are. The higher the SEER number is, the higher the score the system has received on the D.O.E. mandated efficiency tests.

What many don’t understand is that the emphasis here is on the word ”system”. And the outside unit is only one part of the cooling system. You also have the inside cooling coils (sometimes called the evaporator or A-coil). The blower system in the furnace (or air handler) is also a part of the system as far as the SEER testing goes, because the SEER rating is based on the amount of cooling produced by x outside unit and x cooling coils – using x air volume delivered by x blower system..

The blower motor in the furnace or air handler uses x amount of electricity, as does the outside unit. And the SEER rating tests are basically calculating how much total electricity the system uses to deliver its BTU of cooling. So the SEER tests are conducted with x furnace (or air handler), x outside unit, and x inside cooling coils.

There is technically no such thing as a “13 SEER” outside unit when you come right down to it. The same outside unit could end up with a higher or lower than 13 SEER score, depending on the inside coil and furnace (or air handler) being used to test it with.

To make a long story short, the SEER rating is given to a combination of typically 3 components.

What Is A Good SEER Rating?

The higher a SEER rating, the better. High ratings mean the HVAC system is set to operate at the best possible capacity. It is worth noting that while it is important to receive a high rating, they do vary and change according to the region, the size of the system, and by the type of HVAC in question. Asking a professional or doing a little online research can help to determine the best possible outcome for a particular setting and need.

Why Do SEER Ratings Matter?

The idea of having a heating or cooling system running at the optimal limit might seem like the only real perk when receiving a rating, but it isn’t. A high SEER rating also means lower utility bills and more energy saved for the system in homes and offices. There are even federal tax rebates available for people who purchase an energy star certified system.

Understanding How SEER Ratings Work

When purchasing a new car, a lot of thought, consideration, and research goes into the process, but most people don’t consider as much when buying a heating or air conditioning unit. However, thought and research should also be put in to purchasing a new heating or air conditioning system. Why? Because it affects energy consumption, home comfort, and in some cases even home value.

Buying the most appropriate system for the home means lower costs, higher efficiency, and better air quality. Consider a SEER rating like miles per gallon in a car; what fits the current need the most? Some people drive farther and some drive roads with more stops. Considering this, people can purchase a vehicle that best suits their needs. The same can be said for buying an air conditioning or heating unit. What best fits the needs of the home or office in question?

Benefits Of Knowing Your System And Rating

Knowing the details of owning an air conditioning or heating unit can bring more comfort to the home or office and reduce the cost, but it will also determine the effectiveness of the system. Energy and airflow are important factors in any setting, so understanding the fine print can ensure that a home or office receives the perfect and most efficient airflow possible. Most systems actually run under the recommended airflow, but a basic understanding of your system can help to reduce misjudgments and keep clients up to date on what is best suited to them and their setting.

In Conclusion

Learn about the SEER rating that best fits your needs and make certain to stay up to date on it. This will create a better quality environment, better efficiency, and reduce higher costs. If you would like more information about SEER Ratings, contact the HVAC professionals at AirOne Heating and Air Conditioning Repair, located in San Marcos, TX.