An Easy Guide to SEER Ratings

It has probably been awhile since you last shopped for an air conditioner, and you may be just a bit overwhelmed by the variety of choices you have these days. One very reliable measure of an air conditioner’s value is its seasonal energy efficiency ratio. You can find that rating on the yellow EnergyGuide label on each system look at. An easy guide to SEER ratings can be helpful when you’re making your decision.

What is a SEER rating?

A SEER rating is a measure of an air conditioner’s energy efficiency over the course of a cooling season. The rating is calculated by dividing the amount of cooling generated — in British thermal units per hour — by the power consumed by the system. The higher the rating, the more efficient the unit. Currently, all new air conditioners must have a minimum SEER of 13. But many units on the market today have SEER ratings in the 20s.

How are SEER ratings determined?

SEER testing takes place in accordance with exact specifications outlined by the Department of Energy. Each system — from one brand to the next — is laboratory tested under the same conditions. These conditions are ideal, however, and those in your home may not match them. Some modifications to your home may be needed to ensure that your new system performs to the SEER rating. In addition, a quality installation is essential.

How do I ensure a quality installation?

Using a thoroughly qualified HVAC contractor is crucial when you’re choosing and installing your new air conditioner. Your contractor should use the industry-standard Manuals J and D to properly size your system and ensure that the duct layout is optimal. This will help to ensure that your highly efficient system achieves its SEER rating in your home. Your installation should factor in the following:

  • Airflow: Your system must have a sufficient amount of air flowing over the coils.
  • Refrigerant charge: Your contractor should check the amount of refrigerant and correct it as needed.
  • Ductwork: Your ducts should be tight. They should also be as straight and short as possible.

Have questions about SEER ratings? Contact the experts at Balance Point Heating & Air Conditioning. We serve your neighbors in the Fort Collins area, and we’re happy to help you, as well.

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Call us at 970-480-0387!