When it comes to buying an air conditioner, no one wants to buy an inefficient model that’s just going to be an energy hog in order to keep the house cool. It’s just good old common sense to want to get the most cooling power for the least power consumption. This saves you money and also helps the environment by ensuring that you’re not needlessly consuming fuel in order to make yourself comfortable. So how do you choose an efficient air conditioning unit? The answer is by understanding the SEER, or Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio. In this blog from our Kankakee HVAC service company, we’d like to cover what you need to know about SEER in order to make the best air conditioning decision for this summer.

What Is The Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio (SEER)?

The Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio is a number that gives customers insight into how efficient an air conditioning unit is. In other words, how much power does it take for this particular air conditioner model to cool your air? A higher number means a more efficient unit, so you’ll pay less in energy costs. You can see the SEER clearly marked on the yellow tag attached to the air conditioner. The SEER number is not a measure of quality or price or any other factors, but the more efficient a unit is, the more it will tend to cost.

What Do I Need To Know About the SEER?

Whether your old air conditioner has completely failed you or you just want a newer, more efficient unit, here are some things to keep in mind. Evaluating air conditioners and choosing the one that’s best for your needs is easy when you understand these things about the SEER.

  • The SEER for all air conditioning units everywhere in the US is based on a standard calculation that incorporates a range of temperatures. However, the numbers they used in the calculation were for a climate slightly hotter than our Kankakee, IL climate. Therefore, you’ll probably be able to save a tiny bit more money on energy than you’d expect from just looking at the SEER number. Conversely, if you lived in a hotter climate, you’d save a bit less money.
  • US Federal law requires that all new air conditioning units must meet a minimum SEER of 13, and in some states, the minimum is 14. However, given that many older air conditioning units in operation have a SEER of 8 or 9, you’ll stand to save money on energy by buying a new unit, even if you get one with the lowest legal efficiency ratio.
  • If you were looking exclusively at the SEER, you’d probably buy the unit with the highest SEER available. However, if the highest-SEER unit is also significantly more expensive, you may not save money over the long run. You will be saving energy, but a significant boost in the initial price of the air conditioner can offset the money you’ll save on electricity, even over a span of 10-15 years, so be cautious in your calculations.

It’s easier than ever to run an energy-efficient home while also keeping your living space at a comfortable temperature. Get ready for this summer’s hot season by asking Home Furniture, Plumbing and Heating about your air conditioner options today.