AC Rating – SEER Efficiency

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When it’s time to update the AC unit in your home or business, it’s time to look at potential replacements by first understanding the AC rating and SEER efficiency.

What is an AC Rating?

At one point or another, you realize that it’s just not cost efficient to keep running an old AC unit.  When that time comes, consult with a trusted HVAC company to help you select the best replacement unit for your needs.

The biggest deciding factor will be the AC rating – SEER efficiency of this new unit.

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has set AC rating guidelines, making it easy for consumers to understand improved energy efficiency of the newer AC models.

The AC rating is based on how much energy it takes the AC unit to produce cool air.  The more efficiently it can do this while using the least amount of energy, the better the AC rating.

Your HVAC consultant can help walk you through the different models and what will work best for you based on size, area of cooling and the energy efficiency of your new AC unit.

What is SEER Efficiency?

AC units come with EPA-endorsed and outlined ratings known as SEER (Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio) efficiency.  These AC ratings – SEER efficiency measure how energy efficiently the AC units operate.

SEER efficiency is simply a term for measurement as to how AC units are rated, ranked or graded in terms of the time it takes to cool down the air while burning through the least amount of energy.

The higher the SEER rating, the more energy efficient the AC unit.

For example, older, less efficient AC units may come with a SEER rating of 6 or 7.  A more efficient model will boast a minimum SEER rating of 13, as required by a 2006 U.S. law.  To qualify for an Energy Star rating, the SEER rating jumps to a minimum of 14.5.

Other Factors that Affect AC Rating – SEER Efficiency

Because AC rating – SEER efficiency numbers are measured by the energy efficiency of the model, other things can factor in to make the AC unit run even better.

Other factors that improve efficiency include:

  • Keeping the AC unit clean and vacuumed
  • Removal of yard debris to keep coils and fans running properly
  • Adequate ventilation for proper air flow and circulation
  • Clear drain tubes
  • Regular professional maintenance

How to Select the Right AC Unit

For residential use, selecting from an all-in-one, split, mini split or heat pump AC system with a minimum of a 13 SEER rating is a decision to be discussed with a qualified HVAC professional.

An HVAC professional can go over all the features and benefits of various models and selecting one that ticks all the boxes also helps to narrow down your selection.

It may just come down to the necessity of having to replace an older model unit that begins to require expensive replacement parts and service.  With each passing year, these older AC units become harder to service as replacement parts and coolants become obsolete.

Crunch the numbers and determine how much the old AC model is costing vs. the energy efficiency and lower energy bills an upgraded AC unit will give you.

Key Takeaways

  • Understanding how AC units are rated in terms of energy efficiency – SEER efficiency.
  • The higher the SEER efficiency of the AC unit, the more energy efficient it is.  The minimum residential SEER rating is 13.
  • How AC ratings and SEER efficiency impacts your purchasing decision.

Once you understand how the AC rating – SEER efficiency ratings work and what it means for your long-term savings and energy efficiency, it helps you to select the best new AC unit for your needs.

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