SEER Ratings Explained and What You Need to Know When Getting a New AC Unit

SEER Ratings Explained and What You Need to Know When Getting a New AC Unit


Electrician repairing a home's electrical issues

SEER Rating has been the talk of the town in recent years, as the craze for energy efficiency has increased with fervor. Homeowners today, in all parts of the country, are highly concerned with the energy efficiency of their appliances and HVAC systems. So every year the SEER rating has become a more important metric for people to understand just how much they are doing to save some bucks on utility.

A SEER rating is a kind of measurement that tells you just how much energy your system is consuming in any given year. These are ratios derived by calculating the annual cooling output during the cooling season divided by the total electric energy input. By knowing the SEER rating of a system you can calculate the estimate annual energy using a formula.

How did the SEER rating come about?

It was not until the early 90’s that the government decided to get involved in setting standards for energy efficiency. The Energy Policy Act of 2005 updated the minimum standard to 13 SEER rating. By 2006, the Department of Energy began requiring all newly installed AC units to have a minimum 13 rating. Certain states like Alabama, Arkansas, Arizona, California, Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Hawaii, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maryland, Mississippi, New Mexico, Nevada, North Carolina, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Tennessee, and Texas, raised the rating to 14.

SEER stands for Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio. So while a SEER rating of 13 or 14 might seem low by some standards, it is still considerably higher than previous units. Therefore, when you replace your 20-year old unit, there is a high probability that your energy savings will automatically increase, just by having a newer system.

One thing to note is that SEER ratings—while a good indicator of energy efficiency—they are variable and can be affected by outside factors like the weather, humidity, and so forth. Thus, having a professional help you install your new AC unit will help you determine the best SEER rating for you.

How Has SEER changed the AC game?

The SEER ratings have made people far more conscious about the energy usage of their air conditioning system. For many homeowners purchasing a system with a rating of 13-18 is a good bet because it guarantees solid energy savings without an exorbitant price up front.

Other Factors to Consider when Getting an AC Unit

When getting a new AC Unit, there are a lot of factors to consider. Basing yourself off of the single SEER rating, might not give you the full picture. Here are other factors to consider when thinking about getting a new unit in your home:

  • Your budget for the new system
  • The size of your home
  • Single-story or two-story home
  • The changing of the climate & weather
  • How long you spend at home
  • The temperatures you prefer in your home
  • The manufacturer’s history of reliability

Finding the right AC unit for you can make a big difference in your long term energy efficiency and energy savings. Omega Electrical is El Paso’s trusted HVAC professionals. For those looking for a better energy efficient system, give us a call today.