If you're thinking about replacing your air conditioner, you need to understand SEER. SEER, an acronym for seasonal energy efficiency ratio, is the HVAC industry's metric for air conditioner efficiency over a cooling season. Generally, the higher the seasonal energy efficiency ratio (SEER), the less electricity the system uses and the more efficient it is. When you're shopping for an A/C, comparing the SEERs of various models can help you understand which ones are more efficient.
SEER is a measurement of the appliance's cooling capacity during the normal seasonal period of operation (no longer than 12 months) divided by the total electric energy input for the same period. Another way to explain it is that SEER is the unit's cooling output (expressed in British Thermal Units, or BTUs) divided by the output during the same period of operation.
Older air conditioners typically have a SEER of around 10. In January 2006, the government set the minimum SEER for air conditioners at 13, which means any air conditioner manufactured after the deadline had to meet SEER 13. Today, air conditioners with SEERs approaching and even higher than SEER 20 are taking an increasing share of the market as homeowners realize that a higher SEER translates to considerable energy savings, particularly in warm regions such as ours.
For an air conditioner to achieve its SEER, it must be sized and installed correctly. It's important to understand that SEER isn't an exact predictor for actual operating efficiency of an air conditioner, but it's a relative figure. For instance, while an A/C with a SEER of 13 will be more efficient than one with a SEER of 10, how much more efficient will depend on variables such as climate, cooling load and installation.
Learn more about seasonal energy efficiency ratio, as well as McDevitt Air's air conditioning solutions, or give us a call at 877-692-9402.
Image via Thinkstock