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Homeowner’s Guide to the SEER Rating

Homeowner’s Guide to the SEER Rating

 SEER ratingThe SEER rating of central air conditioners and heat pumps indicates how efficiently the appliance runs.

SEER stands for seasonal energy efficiency ratio. It’s expressed as a number that starts at 1 and can go as high as 30 or more. Higher SEER ratings indicate greater efficiency.

The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) sets energy efficiency standards that the manufacturers have to meet. The minimum efficiency rating for southern states currently stands at 14 for both heat pumps and air conditioners.

How It’s Found

Each manufacturer has to test the energy efficiency of each model of central cooling systems and label the equipment accordingly. They test it by measuring the amount of electricity it takes a unit to cool an interior space to 80 degrees F over the course of a cooling season. Systems that use less electricity are more efficient and have higher SEER ratings.

The Implications

Learning your system’s efficiency rating will give you insight into its performance and your energy bills. Taking it into account when selecting a new system will help you choose the right system for you. While equipment with high ratings generally cost more, you will see significant savings each month on your electric bills.

Each numeric increase in SEER ratings means that the equipment uses 10 percent less electricity. Replacing an old system with a SEER of 10 with a SEER of 14 will theoretically lower your electric bills by 40 percent. You’ll save money each time the system runs when you invest in more efficient systems. Considering the length and intensity of summers in Georgia, it makes financial sense to invest more up front for long term savings.

The easiest way to find an efficient system is to look for the Energy Star or Most Efficient label. The DOE has established these designations to make it easier for consumers to find highly efficient equipment.

The SEER rating is the fastest way to learn how efficiently air conditioners and heat pumps cool. If you’d like more information, contact Powers Heating & Cooling, providing HVAC services for Peachtree City homeowners.

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