If you’ve been looking into getting a new air conditioner, chances are that you’ve come across the term “SEER Rating.” SEER ratings give manufacturers an easy way to show the efficiency of air conditioners. A unit with a higher SEER rating is going to use less energy to cool a home than a unit with a lower SEER rating would use. When shopping for an AC, this type of information will be very useful, as it can correlate with higher or lower utility bills.
The Specifics of SEER Ratings
SEER stands for Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio. As a ratio, it shows the relationship between two numbers. One of those numbers is the cooling capacity of a unit, and the other number is how much energy it uses. If a unit consumes more energy, it’s going to have a lower SEER rating than if it did the same work but while using less energy.
The concept of the SEER rating was developed by the Department of Energy and industry professionals several decades ago. There are a series of tests that an air conditioner would have to go through in order to receive an official SEER rating. These tests are conducted in very specific conditions that allow the air conditioners to run at their maximum levels. As a result, an AC’s official SEER rating might not exactly match up with its actual efficiency rating after having been installed in your home. Your home’s humidity levels, layout, and level of insulation could all affect your air conditioner. In addition, how often the windows and doors are opened up can make an impact, too.
Despite this, SEER ratings can be very useful because they allow us to compare different kinds of air conditioners to each other. They level the playing field and provide helpful information to consumers.
What Type of SEER Ratings to Look For
In 2006, the Department of Energy enacted a new policy that required all new central air conditioning systems to have SEER ratings of at least 13. Because efficiency wasn’t strictly regulated prior to this policy, some models made in the early 2000s might only have SEER ratings of 6 or 7.
In 2015, the minimum SEER rating was increased to 14 in several states, including Texas. Those states are found in regions with warmer climates that require greater use of air conditioning systems. In 2023, people in Texas installing new units will have to get ACs with SEER ratings of at least 15.
It’s difficult to say that a particular SEER rating would be better than another. Of course, efficiency can be really important, and getting an AC with a higher SEER rating can lower your utility bills. If you get an AC with a SEER rating of 21, 22, or even higher, the difference in your energy consumption will probably be significant in the summer months. On the other hand, units with higher SEER ratings are typically more expensive than others. You’ll have to weigh a lot of different factors, especially in terms of your short-term and long-term budget, when deciding on a model.
We can tell you that many homeowners have chosen to get ACs with SEER ratings of 15 or 16. Units with higher SEER ratings are also attractive, especially in newer homes that are designed to be more eco-friendly.
The good news is that the industry is continuing to evolve. A unit that may have been considered on the high end of the spectrum several years ago may be much more commonplace now. We can all benefit from these more energy-efficient products.
A Local Resource to Count On
If you need any help with an AC installation or replacement in the Houston area, you can turn to our team at Texas Pride. You’ll be able to trust us to handle the project the right way. We were founded in 1983 and have grown to be a well-respected business with many residential and commercial customers throughout the area. We offer installation, repair, and maintenance services on all types of heating and cooling systems, including ductless mini-splits. If we replace a unit for you, we’ll be sure to remove the old one and clean up after ourselves. There are several levels of Customer Care programs for you to think about if you’d like to take advantage of our annual plans. We also can provide assistance related to indoor air quality. Contact us if you have any questions or would like to schedule an appointment.