Every consumer wants those electronic products that give the best performance with minimum energy consumption. In other words, they desire energy-efficient equipment. Such devices not only keep your power bills low but also reduce your carbon footprint. So it indirectly helps you serve your environmental responsibility. Energy-efficiency is measured in terms of SEER ratings. Today, we shall enlighten you about every aspect of it.
What Is SEER?
The concept of SEER was given by AHRI or Air Conditioning, Heating, and Refrigeration Institute. SEER is an acronym that stands for Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio. It is a metric term that calculates the energy efficiency of the HVAC (Heating, Ventilation, and Air Conditioning) system by dividing the cooling output with energy consumed. In other words, it measures the amount of cool air generated for each unit of power consumed.
For better understanding, in cars, we study the mileage or the miles per gallon that it gives to know how efficient it is. Similarly, in air conditioners or HVAC systems, we study the SEER rating to know how well it performs in relation to power consumption. The modern air conditioning systems usually have a seer rating between 13 to 21.
Are There Air Conditioners With Less than 13 SEER Rating?
If your current air conditioning system is more than 10 years old, the chances are that its SEER value is around 8 or 9 SEER. It is because, at that time, not much stress was given on energy efficiency.
In a nutshell, the modern air conditioners are any day more efficient than their older counterparts as they have a higher SEER rating.
SEER Rating Is A Maximum Rating
The SEER is always a maximum rating. Let us try and understand this with the help of an example. Say your AC has a rating of 16 SEER. It means that the unit’s rating can go as high as 16 SEER, but it is not always so.
For ease of understanding, remember we spoke of the car mileage above? The car does not always give that mileage, but that is the maximum it can give. The next time when you are in the market looking for a new cooling system, keep in mind that the SEER just represents the maximum saving the system can render and will not always function that efficiently.
Minimum SEER Requirement
Starting in 2023, all new residential HVAC systems in the United States of America will have to adhere to the new minimum energy efficiency standards. According to the new standards, in the northern part of the US, the residential systems should not be less than 14 SEER (which was 13 SEER previously). The southern part of the US will have to meet a minimum of 15 SEER standard (which was previously 14 SEER).
Higher The SEER Rating Costlier The Unit
As the SEER rating improves or becomes higher, the cost of the AC also increases. Many people will advise you to buy an AC with the highest SEER rating. According to them, it will pay for itself in terms of savings in energy bills within a couple of years. But this statement is not true. It is because, as we mentioned above, the SEER rating is a maximum rating, and your AC will not always work to deliver the same. So, if the SEER is, in fact, a variable figure with the maximum limit defined, one can never be sure when it will pay for itself through energy savings.
Energy Savings For Different SEER Ratings
Below is the expected savings in energy for different SEER ratings in air conditioners:
1. 13 SEER – 38%
2. 15 SEER – 47%
3. 16 SEER – 50%
4. 18 SEER – 56%
5. 20 SEER – 60%
6. 21 SEER – 62%
Noticeable is the fact that the energy-saving between two consecutive SEER values is not very high. But if you skip even one in between, the difference becomes worth a second thought. Hence, if you are looking to upgrade, try skipping at least one SEER level and buy the next one to generate justifiable saving opportunities.
So What Is A Good SEER Rating?
Now we come to a very important question, and that is – What is a good SEER rating? Yes, 13 is the minimum and 21 the maximum, with so many in between, but those are just the maximum readings. The truth is that the performance of the AC will not always be the same. Therefore, which one should one buy? Well, according to the air experts at Aztil Air Conditioning 16 SEER is a good compromise. It will give you a good boost in terms of energy bill savings without a heft price tag attached to it. It’s a win-win situation where you get the best of both the worlds.
Factors That Determine The Actual Efficiency Of The AC Unit
As we mentioned, the SEER depicts the maximum level, but in actual, the performance of the air conditioner is variable. The factors on which the actual efficiency of the cooling system depends are:
1. Size of the house.
2. Condition of the present ductwork.
3. Quality of insulation.
4. The local climate in the area.
5. The maintenance schedule followed by the homeowner for the AC.
Towards The End
In the United States alone, half the energy bill of any home consists of just heating and cooling costs. With the cost of living increasing in leaps and bounds, one needs to think of creative ways to lower expenses. Buying an AC with a good SEER rating is one way of ensuring a reduction in the power bill without compromising on your comfort at home. Hopefully, with the awareness gained from the above discussion, you will now be able to choose an air conditioner with the appropriate SEER rating easier.
If you still have any queries or concerns, feel free to contact the air experts at Aztil Air Conditioning. You can reach us anytime at +1-888-729-8452. We are open 24/7 and will be glad to be of assistance.