What is a SEER Rating?

August 5, 2019

If it’s time for you to think about replacing the AC system that cools your home you may be wondering about a SEER rating. The Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio (SEER) is a scale developed by the U.S. Department of Energy to gauge the efficiency of AC systems. In the broadest of terms, the higher a SEER rating, the more efficient an air conditioning unit.

What Affects a SEER Rating?

To determine a SEER rating, energy experts divide an air conditioning system’s capacity over the duration of a typical warm season by the energy that system consumes in watt-hours. Every state imposes its own rating minimums; in California, for example, AC systems with a rating minimums less than 14 can’t be sold.

Higher SEER ratings are associated with certain AC features, including:

  • Larger evaporator and condenser coils for more efficient heat transfer
  • Thermal expansion valves
  • Variable-speed blowers
  • Fan-only and automatic delay fan switches
  • Filter change indicator lights

It’s important to remember that a SEER rating is not a set value but a variable. If you buy an AC system with a maximum SEER value of 20, it will not always perform at 20. How your AC system performs depends on a number of factors, including your thermostat settings, your home’s insulation, the temperature outside your home, and even the amount of sun exposure your AC system gets inside your house.

Are AC Systems With Higher SEER Ratings Cost-Effective?

An AC system with a high SEER rating will typically cost a lot more than an AC system with a midrange value. While it’s true that equipment with a high SEER rating will save you money on your monthly utility bills, the entire amount of money you’ll save over the lifetime of your AC system may not equal the initial cost differential.

Another good reason to invest in equipment with a high SEER rating may be that since these systems use less energy, they contribute to fewer greenhouse emissions.

The technicians who work with Guidry's Air Conditioning & Refrigeration, Inc in Raceland will be happy to answer any questions you may have about SEER ratings, so call our office today to learn more. We can also assist with cooling and heating repair, installation, and maintenance, indoor air quality, electrical services, refrigeration, and water heaters.