The Demand for AC Units with Higher SEER Ratings is Spiking

May 14, 2024

Has the high cost of living got you looking for ways to save money?

Or, are you more concerned with how your energy use affects the environment?

Either way, homeowners have started inspecting the Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio (SEER) rating on their home air conditioning units. If you’re looking to improve your utility bills or reduce your carbon footprint, here are some reasons the SEER rating matters.

SEER Rating

If you’re in the market for a new air conditioning system, you may notice the SEER rating on the yellow EnergyGuide sticker located on the AC unit.

The SEER rating is the ratio of the cooling output (in BTUs) of your air conditioner over a typical cooling season divided by the energy it uses (in watt-use hours). SEER ratings have been available for most AC units since the 1970s, but the new SEER2 rating system came out in 2023.

When the SEER rating system first began, most units were given a rating of between 8 and 10 points, which reflects the percentage of energy savings. Since the 1970s, the minimum SEER rating for new HVAC systems has continued to increase as a result of more awareness about energy costs and advancements in HVAC technology.

With the new SEER2 rating system, the U.S. Department of Energy uses new testing procedures that better replicate how efficient AC units are under more realistic field conditions.

Energy Costs

Generally speaking, the higher an AC unit’s SEER2 rating, the more energy it saves. That means that less energy is required to produce the same amount of cooling as older models.

The unit’s SEER2 score is a maximum rating and is based on the energy used when the AC unit is operating at peak efficiency. It’s a lot like gasoline mileage, however, these energy savings aren’t a constant. For example, you use more gasoline in bumper-to-bumper traffic than on the open road. Similarly, an air conditioning unit may have a SEER rating of 14 but won’t achieve that score at all times.

SEER v. Cost

If all things are equal, buying an air conditioning system with the highest SEER rating of 24 would be everyone’s ideal. However, that’s not always what is best for your house, your family size and where you live in the country.

If you’re in a hot climate or have a very large home, it might be best to consider an AC unit with a much higher SEER rating. But they do cost more.

So, if you have a smaller home in the Detroit area, you can opt for a less expensive unit with a lower SEER rate.

And, if you’re curious to learn more about SEER ratings and how they affect you, feel free to reach out to your Detroit cooling specialists at C & C Heating & Air Conditioning. Call us at (586) 439-3319 or contact us online.

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