What Is a SEER Rating?

Air conditioners are measured in several ways, so we can gather accurate information about how the system works. However, one measurement is more crucial than any other: the SEER rating or Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio. You might be thinking, what is a SEER rating? But have no fear; that’s precisely what we are explaining today. 

This article will discuss the details of the SEER rating to help you better understand your current air conditioning system or learn how to choose the best replacement system for your Springdale, AR, home.   

So What Is a SEER Rating? 

Simply put, SEER ratings are a convenient way to define and compare energy efficiency. This rating is calculated by comparing the amount of heat extracted from a given air volume with the energy required to do it. The results are rounded to the nearest whole number once the two measurements are combined. 

A system’s SEER rating indicates how energy-efficient it is. If you’re searching for a new air conditioner, ask your local heating and cooling specialist about a unit with a high SEER rating. This inquiry will help reduce your monthly energy bill. 

What Is a Good SEER Rating? 

Every region has its own minimum SEER rating determined by the US Department of Energy. Depending on your location, the current minimum SEER for AC systems is 13 or 14. However, most modern systems measure between 13 and 21. Why does this matter, you ask? 

Units with a higher SEER rating have more cooling power and create a more comfortable living environment. They tend to provide more consistent cooling and don’t require frequent cycling. 

Even if you replace your old-fashioned air conditioner with a modern unit that has the minimum SEER rating, it will still be more efficient than your old air conditioner. For residential Springdale, AR, properties, the best SEER rating is between 14 and 16.      

What Do the Numbers Mean? 

To help you better understand your current air conditioner or potential new system, here is what the SEER ratings mean: 

  • 13 and 14 indicate the least effective systems 
  • Ratings between 15 and 20 are moderately efficient systems 
  • Anything greater than 21 is an above-average system 

Remember, the SEER rating indicates a system’s maximum capabilities. Many factors contribute to how effective a system is. A unit may have a high SEER rating but not perform as efficiently as the number indicates. 

Why SEER Ratings Matter

The SEER rating of your existing AC system can generally be found in one of the following ways:

  • Printed on the EnergyGuide sticker on the outdoor unit 
  • Located on a piece of paper on your HVAC system’s air handler or indoor unit
  • It may be referenced in the model number 
  • You can contact the manufacturer with the model number and ask

AC units 10 to 15 years old typically have a SEER rating between eight and 10.

The US Department of Energy has established new energy standards that require modern AC units to have a minimum SEER rating of 13. But you’ll find that most fall into the range mentioned above of 13 to 21. Using a professional HVAC contractor to replace your old unit could save you up to 40% on your energy bill each year.  

Because every AC model operates at different efficiency levels, there are various price points. If you’re searching for a new cooling system, don’t be afraid to purchase a unit with a SEER of 13. 

It could still operate efficiently enough to cool your home, especially given other factors influencing its performance. Your best bet is always to consult a local heating and cooling specialist to find the style and SEER rating that will work best for you.    

Benefits of a High SEER Rating 

Although a higher SEER rating may be more efficient, it also brings a heftier price tag. But with so many makes and models to choose from, you can bet that you’ll find a system that works with your home and budget. 

However, you’ll get the following benefits from a unit with a higher SEER rating installed by a professional HVAC contractor:

Increased Energy Efficiency 

Higher SEER ratings mean the unit will run more efficiently under certain conditions. When the system is using less energy, you’ll see more savings on your monthly energy bill. How much you save each month will depend on the SEER rating of your old unit compared to your new unit. 

Improved Indoor Comfort 

In addition to abating the heat, air conditioners with a higher SEER rating can help reduce humidity in your Springdale, AR, home. Your new AC will provide you with welcomed relief from the hot summer days.  

Decreased Environmental Impact 

When you use an air conditioner with a higher SEER rating, you reduce your carbon footprint. You use less energy and safer refrigerants. This approach means that you are contributing to preserving the environment for future generations.  

Best SEER Rating for Your Springdale, AR, Home 

As we mentioned, every region has its own minimum SEER rating. There are different requirements to meet the demands of different climates. 

An air conditioning system with a SEER rating of 13 could create the ideal cool, comfortable indoor environment for your family. However, you want to consider the size of your home, its insulation, and your current ductwork system. 

Many variables influence the effectiveness of your air conditioner. You should enlist the help of a professional to determine what unit will meet the needs of your home. They’ll also be able to help you determine whether there are any applicable tax credits or manufacturer’s rebates that can help make a high-SEER system more affordable.  

Local Heating and Cooling Specialists in Springdale, AR 

For the past 50 years, Stith Plumbing & HVAC has been a top provider of HVAC services for residents of northwest Arkansas. We want to continue helping you keep your home comfortable by guiding you through the steps to select a new air conditioner. 

Our team will help you find a unit with a high SEER rating that fits your budget. Call us today to book your appointment!