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How Does SEER Rating Impact My Air Conditioner?

August 20, 2020

If you’re thinking about air conditioner installation in Portland, you should also be investigating your new air conditioner’s SEER rating.

SEER is short for Seasonal Energy Efficiency Rating. Basically, it looks at how efficient your air conditioner is at converting electricity into cooled air. A bigger number signifies your air conditioner is more efficient, which is great for your cooling costs.

However, there are lots of differing options on the market for air conditioners. And a higher SEER rating often involves a more expensive price tag. So, how can you determine which one is ideal for your house?

At Three Rivers Heating & Cooling, we give you a free, no-pressure home comfort analysis. You can request one by contacting us at 503-213-4433. Our knowledgeable air conditioner installers will collaborate with you to help you locate the right air conditioner for your needs. Plus, they’ll also give you a free, no-obligation estimate.

For the time being, let’s discuss SEER ratings and how it can influence your home’s comfort. And your electric expenses.

Does My Air Conditioner’s SEER Rating Matter?

In 2016, the federal government created new SEER guidelines. New air conditioners are required to be at baseline 13 SEER in the northern United States and 14 SEER in the southeast and southwest. If you’re not sure when you had your air conditioner replaced or what its SEER rating is, you can look at the sticker on the unit outside your home. If you can’t find the sticker, you can get in touch with us at 503-213-4433 for help.

If your air conditioner was put in in advance of that year, it’s probably much less efficient. Air conditioning technology has rapidly changed in the past few years, with major advances in energy efficiency and smart home capacity. Connecting your new air conditioner with a smart thermostat could help you conserve more on cooling costs, because the thermostat can seamlessly change your temperature settings when you’re gone.

If your current air conditioner has a SEER rating between 8 and 10, getting a 14-SEER system could save you an estimated 30–50% on annual electricity expenses. Your savings are tied to your air conditioner size and your temp settings.

Is a Higher SEER Number Better?

An air conditioner with a greater SEER rating will be more efficient at converting electricity for cooling. The best efficient models, which can go as high as 26 SEER, have ENERGY STAR® endorsement. This certification shows the air conditioner matches EPA rules for energy savings and environmental conservation.

While ENERGY STAR air conditioners are frequently pricier, you’ll usually get the difference returned over the years through cheaper utility expenses. These air conditioners, which are typically rated 16 SEER and higher, need about 8% less electricity than other new models, according to ENERGY STAR.

One of the biggest differences between a 14 SEER and 16 SEER is variable-speed technology. A variable-speed air conditioner can work at varying speeds. This improves comfort for your family while keeping your air conditioning expenses down. It can also keep temperatures and humidity more balanced, since it can run for longer without consuming a lot more energy.

When adding a variable-speed air conditioner, you’ll want to check that your furnace or air handler is compatible. This is due to the fact your air conditioner uses this system’s blower to disperse chilled air throughout your residence. Furnaces only last for about 20 years, so if yours is around that mark, we advise getting furnace installation at the same time so you can receive all the advantages of your variable-speed air conditioner.

When you’re set to replace your air conditioner, the cooling professionals at Three Rivers Heating & Cooling are here to help. Call us at 503-213-4433 to schedule your free home comfort analysis right away.