SEER Ratings: What They Mean and Why They Matter

SEER Ratings: What They Mean and Why They Matter

If you have shopped for a new air conditioning unit recently or a heat pump, then you have likely encountered the term “SEER.” When you are dealing with all sorts of other technical terminology that is unfamiliar, you may or may not have understood how important this particular acronym actually is. To help simplify what is often a complicated process, it’s important for you to learn what a SEER ratings are and why it is important.

What are SEER Ratings?

SEER is the metric used for determining how efficient an air conditioner and heat pump is. SEER actually stands for “Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio.” It is defined as being the total cooling ability/output (represented in British thermal units – Btu) for the unit provided during its typical usage period that is divided by the total energy input annually.

Put simply, the number represents how many watts of energy are required for cooling your home in a certain amount of time. While the total amount of cooling needed is something that should remain constant, how much energy required is reduced as the SEER rating goes up.

What Does the SEER Rating Matter?

Now that you know what a SEER rating is, you may wonder why it matters to you.

Today, the baseline efficiency rating is 13 SEER. With each +1 in the rating, you can expect to see about a 10 percent increase in overall unit efficiency. However, as the SEER rating goes up, so will the price of the unit, so be sure to keep that in mind.

What Rating is Right for You?

In most cases, the right SEER rating is going to be dependent on where you live. For the Kansas City area, it’s smart to purchase a unit with a SEER rating that is (at a minimum) 14. While there are no “official” requirements in place in this area, by choosing a unit with this rating, you will achieve the highest level of efficiency.

Keep in mind, when selecting the unit that’s right for you, you should never assume that “bigger is better.” You also have to consider the square footage that needs to be cooled or heated. Units that are too big for a small area won’t work efficiently. If a system is too small, then you may discover higher energy costs as the unit tries to keep the large space cooled.

If you are unsure of what SEER rating is right for your needs, then it is a good idea to work with the professionals. They can evaluate your space and help you determine the unit that best meets your needs. In the long run, this will help you save time and money, while ensuring your home is cooled and heated efficiently.

Keep in mind, SEER ratings are somewhat confusing. This is why you should opt to work with the pros. They will ensure you get the desired results and that your home remains comfortable throughout the year.

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