A Basic Guide to SEER Ratings

As summer approaches, it’s time to make sure your air conditioner is cooling properly for the hot Texas weather ahead. If you’re thinking about buying a new air conditioner, it’s important to look at the features and output capacities for cooling. One feature that should not be ignored is the SEER rating.

What is the SEER rating?

A SEER rating (Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio) shows the amount of energy needed to provide a certain cooling output. In January 2006, the U.S. Department of Energy mandated that all new air conditioners must have SEER ratings of 13 or higher. This number describes the air conditioner’s operating efficiency, similar to the miles per gallon (mpg) rating on your car. Equipment is tested for cooling efficiency and awarded a rating that is used by consumers to determine cooling output and compare models for costs and efficiency.

As a consumer, the most important thing to understand is that the higher the rating, the more energy-efficient the air conditioning system will be. Although the rating must be a minimum of 13, you can find new energy-efficient models on the market with SEER ratings up to 23. They will conserve energy, cost less to operate and have a less harmful impact on the environment. If you live in a warm climate, like we do in Texas, you should have a minimum rating of 16 or higher for proper cooling efficiency.

The life span of a new air conditioner is 15 to 20 years with regular maintenance and upkeep. If you have an air conditioner that’s been in service for 15 years or longer, this might be a good time to consider a newer energy-efficient model. Many older models have SEER ratings as low as 6, which means they are significantly less efficient.

Wood Air Conditioning & Plumbing, Inc. can evaluate your existing system or help you find a new system that’s right for your home. For more expert advice on SEER ratings and other home comfort needs, please feel free to contact us for assistance. We’ve been serving the Mount Pleasant and Titus County area for over 56 years.

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