What Does The Different SEER Ratings on Air Conditioners Mean?

This question is asked almost all the time and is one of the most common questions asked by potential customers. The SEER (Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio) rating is quite simple and can be broken down into two different categories: mechanical and electrical, and which are explained below:

Mechanical SEER

Mechanical SEER is simply how much cooling your air conditioner will produce as compared to the electricity it uses. This number will vary based on how hot your home keeps without the air conditioning running, but an estimate of 25-26 is average for most homes that stay 70 degrees with no air conditioning running. 

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Electrical SEER

This number deals with how efficiently your system runs when you turn it on and start cooling. The maximum number is ideal as with any appliance, but this number can vary based on weather conditions. If it is 100 degrees outside, for example, your SEER will be lower than 75 degrees outside because the compressor has to work harder to bring down the temperature inside.

As you can see, both numbers are significant when buying a new air conditioner. With higher efficiency units becoming more popular every year, your old 10 SEER system might not meet current standards and should probably be replaced.

Your opinions may differ slightly from ours below because of different geographic areas or an older model home that could have used additional insulation, making it harder to cool with newer units or due to environmental factors such as terrain. However, for the most part, these are our opinions of the most efficient units on the market, both for newer homes and older ones with poor insulation.

If you have a good home that is 75% or more air-tight, we recommend going with a 16 SEER unit because they are very efficient and can save you money in the long run. If your home needs repairs to increase its energy efficiency, we would suggest going with a 14 SEER system so you can enjoy even more significant savings without shelling out a ton of extra cash upfront.

To break the SEER ratings down even further for better understanding: 

Low End: 5-6 SEER units (low quality, bad for the environment)

Mid Range: 10 SEER units (average on the market today)

High End: 14+ SEER units (considered ‘high efficiency’ but will likely pay for itself)

High End: 16 SEER units (considered state-of-the-art today, can save you hundreds per year in energy costs)

The application of SEER ratings has made the air conditioners more earth-friendly and energy-efficient. This creates a win-win situation for everyone. When you plan to have, a new air conditioning installed, ensure that you get in touch with A/C specialists to learn even more about other options and get help regarding the best SEER rating to meet your energy and comfort-saving goals. The higher the rating, the more you spend on the air conditioners. Cooling systems containing lower ratings are less costly. 

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