If you’re thinking about air conditioner installation in Portland, you should also be looking at your new air conditioner’s SEER rating.
SEER is short for Seasonal Energy Efficiency Rating. In summary, it measures how efficient your air conditioner is at converting electricity into cooled air. A bigger number indicates your air conditioner is more efficient, which is good for your electric costs.
However, there are a lot of different models available for air conditioners. And a better SEER rating frequently involves a bigger price. So, how do you know which one is right for your home?
At Three Rivers Heating & Cooling, we offer a free, no-pressure home comfort analysis. You can schedule one by contacting us at 503-213-4433. Our experienced air conditioner installers will work with you to help you choose the right air conditioner for your family. Plus, they’ll also provide you with a free, no-obligation estimate.
Right now, let’s go over SEER ratings and how they can influence your family’s comfort. And your electric costs.
Does SEER Rating Really Matter?
In 2016, the federal government created new SEER guidelines. New air conditioners must be at least 13 SEER in the north United States and 14 SEER in the southeast and southwest. If you don’t know when you had your air conditioner replaced or what its SEER number is, you can find the sticker on the system outside your residence. If you can’t see the sticker, you can get in touch with us at 503-213-4433 for help.
If your air conditioner was put in before that date, it’s presumably much less efficient. Cooling technology has swiftly advanced in the past couple of years, with big progress in energy efficiency and smart home capability. Using your new air conditioner with a smart thermostat could help you save even more on electric expenses, as the thermostat can intuitively change your temperature settings when you’re gone.
If your existing air conditioner has a SEER rating between 8 and 10, adding a 14-SEER system could save you an estimated 30–50% on annual electricity bills. Your savings depend on your air conditioner size and your thermostat settings.
Is the Higher the SEER the Better?
An air conditioner with a greater SEER rating will be more efficient at consuming electricity for cooling. The highest efficiency ones, which can go as great as 26 SEER, carry ENERGY STAR® certification. This designation shows the air conditioner matches EPA rules for energy savings and environmental conservation.
While ENERGY STAR air conditioners are often pricier, you’ll generally get the difference repaid over the years through reduced power bills. These air conditioners, which are generally rated 16 SEER and better, need about 8% less energy than other new models, according to ENERGY STAR.
One of the greatest differences between a 14 SEER and 16 SEER is variable-speed capacity. A variable-speed air conditioner can work at different speeds. This refines comfort for your house while keeping your electrical expenses reduced. It can also keep temperatures and humidity more even, since it can operate for longer without needing a lot more electricity.
When adding a variable-speed air conditioner, you’ll need to make sure that your furnace or air handler is compatible. This is because your air conditioner relies on this unit’s blower to distribute cold air around your home. Furnaces only run for around 20 years, so if yours is around that mark, we advise getting furnace installation at the same time so you can enjoy all the perks of your variable-speed air conditioner.
When you’re prepared to replace your air conditioner, the cooling pros at Three Rivers Heating & Cooling are available to support you. Reach us at 503-213-4433 to request your free home comfort analysis right away.