Let’s discuss one of the most misunderstood terms about air conditioning – the SEER rating. SEER is one of the most essential factors in determining what AC to purchase, but it is a confusing matter for many homeowners.
At Tiger Heating & Air, we know a well-informed customer is a happy customer with a home that keeps them comfortable for many years to come. So we want to provide you with the most basic (yet important) pieces of information to understand the SEER rating. You will learn why it’s important to understand before making any change to your home’s cooling system.
The bottom line is that understanding what the SEER rating is can end up saving you money. A home cooling system is a significant investment for your home. You’re will spend thousands of dollars on getting it installed. And then you will continue to spend thousands more on your energy bills. But how much you spend each month depends a lot on the SEER rating of your AC unit. An air-conditioner with a good SEER rating can save you hundreds of dollars on your energy costs each year!
SEER stands for Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio. It is a measurement of the amount of energy your AC will need to consume in order to operate. SEER is a ratio of how much cool air your system puts out for each unit of energy it consumes. It’s a complex math formula, but it’s all about “tons.” A ton of cooling equals about the energy needed to melt 1 ton of ice over a 24-hour period.
Generally speaking, an AC with a higher SEER rating is better. The higher the SEER rating, the more efficient that air conditioner will be. But that doesn’t mean you should simply get the air conditioner with the highest SEER rating there is. You always need to make sure you are getting the perfect system for your home. How high of a SEER rating you should look for depends on a few factors, such as the size of your house and where you live.
The U.S. Department of Energy requires all new AC units to meet certain levels of energy efficiency. These levels are determined by the SEER rating.
In 1992, the government enacted the first-ever SEER efficiency standards. Back then, it was common for homeowners to have an AC with a SEER of just 8 or 9. The first SEER rating required all new AC units installed in homes to be at least SEER 10. Despite Texas and other southern states having greater cooling demands than the rest of the country, this SEER 10 minimum rating was for all states.
In 2006, the DOE increased the minimum standard to 13. But regulation changes were on the way, and different climate regions were treated separately.
In 2015, government regulators raised the SEER minimum to 14 for split system central air conditioners for Texas and other states in the country’s Southeastern region. And another SEER change is on its way. Starting in 2023, only ACs with a 15 SEER or higher can be installed.
Back when the first regulations started, some homes had AC units that were as low as 6 SEER. Today, it is not uncommon to see many in the 20s. Tiger Heating & Air are Corpus Christi’s certified Trane Comfort Specialists. We can install a new, efficient Trane air conditioner in your home that range from 14.5 SEER up to 22.
Unfortunately, there isn’t an absolute answer. There are various factors that determine a home’s ongoing energy costs, such as the size and amount of insulation. However, increasing your home’s SEER rating by 10 can result in your air conditioner using half as much energy. How much will a higher SEER system save you? See what your current system’s rating is, and you can find out how much money you will save in energy costs with this online calculator.
Knowing how SEER factors into how much energy you use each money makes you better able to compare different air conditioning systems. The SEER rating tells you which units will expend the least amount of energy and save you money on your utility bills.
As we’ve mentioned, SEER isn’t the only factor to consider when purchasing a new air conditioner. Our experienced Tiger Heating & Air AC technicians can help assess your home’s specific needs to help you determine which cooling system and unit is suitable for your home.
With several decades of experience installing air conditioning units in homes across Corpus Christi, you can trust Tiger Heating & Air to find the best home cooling options for you. Call us today at (361) 852-4450.