Understanding the SEER Rating: A Buyer’s Guide for AC Replacement  

AC SEER ratings measure how efficiently an AC or heat pump cools or heats your home. Higher SEER ratings correspond to higher energy efficiency, which can save you money and prevent your HVAC system from wearing out before the end of its useful life. If you want to help reduce harmful gas emissions and lower your monthly utility bill, choosing equipment with a higher SEER rating is the way to go. The team at DTC has prepared this guide to help you better understand how SEER ratings work.

What Is a SEER Rating?

A Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio, or SEER rating, compares the cooling capacity versus the power input required by new air conditioners. In the HVAC industry, cooling power is measured in British Thermal Units (BTUs). The SEER rating equals the BTUs divided by the watts of electricity required to cool your home.

How Can You Calculate SEER Ratings?

It’s useful to know how to calculate SEER ratings when you’re considering an air conditioner replacement. How can you do that? Divide the amount of cooling new air conditioners provide over the warmer seasons by the electricity required to run them. This gives you a great basis for comparison.

Let’s say an AC provides 10,000 BTUs per hour of cooling power. If the unit requires 1,000 watts of electricity to do this, it has a SEER rating of 10, which isn’t very good. What is an efficient SEER rating? In the US, new air conditioners and heat pumps must achieve SEER ratings of at least 14 or 15. Top models have SEER ratings of 23 or higher, but also come with a higher price tag. The Department of Energy sets minimum SEER ratings for each region of the country.

Where Is the SEER Rating for New Air Conditioners?

For your next AC replacement, you’ll need to select a system that meets the current standards in the industry. Look for a sticker (usually on the outdoor unit) with information about the system. It will include the model number, technical specifications, and SEER rating. The team at DTC can help you determine the SEER ratings for different makes and models. These are usually provided on the manufacturer’s website.

What Are the Benefits of High AC SEER Ratings?

Lower utility bills and potential rebates are just two benefits of paying close attention to AC SEER ratings. Here are some advantages of shopping for an air conditioner replacement with the ideal SEER rating:

  • Lower Utility Bills: ACs with higher SEER ratings use less energy. That can save you money on your electricity bills. Switching from an older system with a SEER of 8 to a newer one with a SEER of 16 doubles your energy efficiency.
  • Incentives and Rebates: You should take advantage of incentives and rebates available through the manufacturer or federal government. Our team can help you find the instructions to qualify for these programs.
  • Lower Environmental Impact: An air conditioner replacement with a higher SEER doesn’t release as many harmful greenhouse gasses as older units.
  • Reduced Humidity: High efficiency systems remove excessive moisture more efficiently. This can reduce the risk of mold and other contaminants that reduce your indoor air quality.

Contact DTC today for assistance with your AC replacement project. Our team provides the guidance and expertise needed to help you make a wise investment based on AC SEER ratings and other factors.

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