SEER Rating? When you are looking for a new HVAC system you can become overwhelmed with information and options. If you aren’t an HVAC expert then it is difficult to know who to trust or what information out there is accurate. One thing you can do on your own to help determine what is right for you is looking into the unit’s SEER rating.
What Does SEER Mean?
A SEER rating measures how efficiently your heating and cooling system works. The acronym stands for Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio or Seasonal Energy Efficiency Rating. This tests the HVAC units output over an entire cooling or heating season and divides it by the energy use of watt’s per hour. They look at the consistency and compare it to the energy it takes to maintain the home’s temperature. Most of the time these temperatures range from 60 degrees to 100 degrees. When choosing the right SEER it is said that you want to take the BTU’s, divide them by the SEER and then divide that by 1000 to see how many kWh per hour are consumed.
So what is a good SEER Rating?
You are looking for a higher number. The higher the SEER rating the better the unit’s efficiency. Most newer units rate around 13 and a majority of units rate between 13 to 21. There are a few that rate higher and typically are the most expensive units available. This rating tells you the measure of the HVAC units maximum efficiency, not necessarily how it always functions. This can be compared to a car’s mileage per gallon rating.
SEER ratings are required to be at a certain level depending on where you live. The US Department of Energy placed minimum standards on many household appliances which include HVAC systems. The decisions were made by splitting regions. The regions are southwest, southeast, and north. These regions have different minimum approved ratings based on weather patterns.
- Southwest: Arizona, California, Nevada, and New Mexico
- Southeast: Alabama, Arkansas, Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Hawaii, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maryland, Mississippi, North Carolina, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Virginia, the District of Columbia, and the U.S. Territories
- North: The remainder of the United States
As you are shopping for a new system make sure what you are purchasing meets all the minimum requirements for your region. This determines the lowest rating system companies are allowed to sell you. Also, remember that the system you purchase may not always work up to that rating but it will be able to reach when it is in ideal conditions. The most important thing is that you want to be comfortable in your home.