What Is a SEER Rating?

November 12th, 2021 | Heating & Cooling, Tips & Tricks

If you’re in the market for a new air conditioner, you probably have many questions. From the size of your air conditioner to its efficiency rating, there are many things to consider when shopping for your new AC unit. 

A SEER rating is just one of several ratings you’ll see on your new air conditioner, and it’s determined by the efficiency of your unit’s output. Especially if you’re living in a warm climate like Memphis, TN, a reliable and efficient air conditioner is essential, so let’s learn all about air conditioner efficiency and how to pick the right system for your home. 

How Is a SEER Rating Determined?

SEER stands for Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio. To determine the SEER rating of an air conditioner, industry experts simply divide the cooling output in a season by the electric energy output. 

Usually, you’ll see a SEER rating ranging from 13 to 26. The higher the rating, the more energy-efficient the air conditioner. An air conditioner must have a minimum SEER rating of 14.5 to be Energy Star certified. 

The higher your air conditioner’s SEER rating, the less energy it will take to operate, so a good SEER rating is one of the top factors people look at when shopping for a new AC system. 

Understanding SEER Ratings

Your air conditioner’s SEER rating is one of the most important considerations when choosing a new unit. Still, they can be a little hard to make sense of, especially if you’re not familiar with efficiency ratings.

The bottom line is that air conditioners with higher SEER ratings use less energy to produce cooling output. This efficiency translates into energy bills savings for you over time, and energy-efficient air conditioners are also less of a drain on the environment. 

The best way to understand SEER ratings is to look at them relative to one another across different products. For example, an air conditioner with a SEER rating of 16 is approximately 20% more efficient than one with a 13 SEER rating. 

Old air conditioners may have very low SEER ratings, sometimes even just a six or seven. However, newer air conditioners can boast very high SEER ratings, and some of the best ones have ratings upwards of 22. 

However, keep in mind that the SEER rating does not determine the quality of your air conditioner. Even though it tells you about energy efficiency, it can’t tell you if the product is high quality and if it will stand up to your needs. 

A high SEER rating doesn’t mean your system won’t still need regular maintenance. All HVAC systems benefit from yearly inspection and tune-ups, regardless of their rating. 

The Benefits of a High SEER Rating

A high SEER rating is one of the top considerations when buying a new air conditioner for a reason. Many benefits come along with a good rating, including: 

  • Increased efficiency
  • A newer design
  • Variable speed blowers and compressors
  • A minimized impact on the environment

Opting for an air conditioner with a high SEER rating makes sense for many people because of the long-term savings and because it means getting a modern design. 

However, the SEER rating is not the only consideration when purchasing your new AC system. 

Other Factors to Consider

Even though your air conditioner’s SEER rating is important, it’s not the only thing you should think about when shopping for a new AC unit. Here are some other factors to consider before you make a decision:

How Much You’ll Use Your System

Even though your AC’s SEER rating is vital, its value is partially determined by how much you’ll use it. If you keep your home very cold over the warm months, efficiency will be one of your top concerns. 

However, if you don’t cool your home to a low temperature, you’ll use the system less, so you might opt to spend less money upfront. 

The Size of Your Home

Picking the right size for your home is essential when selecting a new air conditioner. If the unit is too small, it won’t cool your home to your liking. 

But if it’s too large, you’ll find it cycling on and off because it’s too powerful. In the end, this will waste energy and cost you extra money on your monthly bill. 

Additional Features

Many modern air conditioners come with helpful extra features. They may boast an energy-saving mode or other convenient features, like a sleep timer. These features can help save you money and ensure you’re not wasting energy when you don’t need your air conditioner running. 

A programmable thermostat is also a perfect way to keep your home at your ideal temperature, so looking for AC units with additional features can be a huge convenience. 

Picking the Right Air Conditioner for Your Home

If you’re in the market for a new air conditioner, contact our team of trusted experts at Nance Services today. Based in Memphis, TN, we also serve Arlington, Barlett, and the surrounding areas. Reach out to learn how we can help you select and install the right air conditioner for your home.

Nance Services is a full-service HVAC & Plumbing Company based in Memphis, TN. Follow our blog for valuable homeowner tips, and updates from your favorite team of plumbing and HVAC professionals.