What is SEER?
Air conditioners are given a rating of their energy efficiency called the Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio (SEER). A higher SEER means a more energy efficient air conditioner.
The United States Department of Energy sets a minimum standard SEER rating for air conditioning systems. In 2006 the minimum SEER for commercial air conditioners sold in the U.S. was set at 13. To qualify as an Energy Star appliance, an air conditioning unit must have a SEER of at least 14.
Today, SEER ratings for units manufactured in the U.S. can be as high as 24.
The SEER rating of an air conditioning unit is found by taking the cooling output of the unit and dividing it by the electric energy it consumes during one season of use. The cooling output is measured in British Thermal Units (BTU) and the consumed electricity is measured in watt-hours.
Knowing the SEER of your unit and its BTUs per hour can allow you to calculate the amount of energy you might expect to use in a season. Then, if you know the cost of your electricity you can estimate how much it will cost to run your unit for a season and how much money you could save with a higher efficiency unit.
The best way to find out how a unit with higher a SEER rating can help you is by contacting a qualified air conditioning technician.
For a rough estimate, online SEER calculators like the one at AC Doctor can help by doing the math for you. If you enter your air conditioning unit’s SEER, BTU per hour, and the cost of electricity in your area they will compute the approximate cost of running your air conditioning unit.
If you are considering upgrading to a more efficient unit these can help you decide if the cost of the upgrade is worth the future savings in your electricity bills.
The energy efficiency of a unit can decrease over time. It is always important to have your system maintained and old parts replaced so it can continue to operate efficiently.
Want to learn more about SEER ratings or find out how a new, energy efficient air conditioning system can help you? Give us a call at 800-994-2577. Also, check us out on Facebook!