Sometimes, in the heating and cooling industry, you’ll hear terms that you don’t really understand. One of those terms is SEER rating.
What exactly is a SEER rating and what do you need to know about these ratings to be an informed consumer? The pros at Home Comfort Experts break down the basics to help you understand exactly what it is and how it affects you.
What Is SEER?
SEER stands for Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio. The resulting number that is applied to an air conditioner is called it’s SEER rating.
“The Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio is the amount of cooling that an air conditioner (or heat pump) delivers per watt of electricity used to power it.”
Why Were SEER Ratings Created?
These ratings are used by the government to make sure future HVAC equipment becomes more and more energy efficient. In 2009, the United States adopted the International Energy Conservation Code, or IECC.
This legislation was created to set forth a long term system of energy efficiency upgrades within certain geographic areas of the United States. The IECC agreement follows a series of upgrades in equipment that continue until 2030. The goal is to get manufacturers and installers to use progressively more and more efficient units.
When Did This Legislation Take Effect?
From 2006 to 2014, all states have been required to install only 13 SEER units or better. As of 2015, all newly installed heat pumps are required to have a 14 SEER rating and air conditioning units in the southeastern and southwestern parts of the U.S. are also required to be 14 SEER. Here in Indiana and Michigan, our minimum remains 13 SEER.
Should I Worry if My Unit Isn’t 13 SEER?
All current units have been grandfathered in. This change only applies to newly installed units, and is not a mandatory upgrade.
Related Read: The Big AC Question – Repair It or Replace It
SEER Ratings Are Good for Consumers & the Environment
Because our systems are becoming more energy efficient, less energy from sources such as electricity and natural gas are being used. That means monthly costs and environmental damage are both reduced. Saving energy helps everyone and our planet. Plus, it lessens the likelihood of power outages due to overconsumption.
Related Read: How to Save $180 a Year with a Progammable Thermostat