Determining the right SEER rating
Our latest blog, Determining the right SEER rating, answers questions to help you in your decision on purchasing a new AC. Conducting research prior to reaching for your wallet is a wise decision. As always, feel free to call us for advice, 239.693.9005.
What is a SEER Rating?
SEER stands for Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio. Simply stated, the higher the SEER rating the more energy efficient the unit. The SEER rating of an HVAC unit is determined by dividing the total amount of cooling it produces by the total amount of electricity needed for that cooling. The higher the rating, the more energy efficient the unit is.
As you will find, SEER ratings range up to to 25. The average central AC unit sold today has a SEER rating between 15 and 18. However, more efficient models are available at a higher price tag.
Each state requires different SEER ratings. In fact, as of 2015, the Department of Energy (DOE) raised the minimum SEER from 14 for people living in hot climates like Florida. Furthermore, the DOE concluded an increase in the minimum SEER rating would save energy for those who tend to utilize their AC more often, as we do in Southwest Florida.
Determining the right SEER rating: Which SEER rating is right for you?
Determining which SEER rating is best for you is somewhat of a balancing act. When you purchase an air conditioner with a higher SEER rating, you will lower your monthly bills. However, you will pay substantially more for the unit upfront. Furthermore, you’ll need to look at your budget and do some math. For example, is the extra initial cost of purchasing a unit with a higher SEER rating worth the monthly savings?
Fortunately, there are many air conditioning options from units in the minimum SEER range to high-efficiency models to help meet your budget requirements.
Why does the price increase on units with a higher SEER rating?
The fact is state of the art technology results in increased efficiency and maximum comfort. Consequently, this advanced technology that goes into producing AC units with higher SEER ratings increases their cost. For example, a higher efficiency 18-SEER air conditioner usually comes with 2-stage cooling and a variable-speed fan. These features improve the energy efficiency of the unit and provide better cooling. However, depending on the size of your home, choosing an 18 SEER over a 15 SEER unit could add $1,500 to $2,500 to the purchase price.
Determining the right SEER rating: What else should I review?
It is important to note the SEER rating is only one factor to consider when choosing a new AC unit. Along with the size of the new system, you should consider how much time you anticipate living in your home, and how often you use your AC.
For most homeowners, opting for a unit with a SEER between 15 and 18 is a good choice because it’s a sound balance between the money you’ll spend for the unit and the amount you’ll save on monthly utility costs.
What is my next step?
We recommend contacting one of our expert technicians as the first step to take when you are ready to purchase a new AC. Our technicians will first determine the optimal size of your new AC unit for your home. We will provide you with several options, along with our recommendation. In addition, we offer financing options to help meet your budget.
Sunset Air and Home Services has been serving SW Florida residents just like you, for over 20 years. We take pride in ensuring all our customers are treated with the utmost respect and understand the services performed. To learn more about SEER ratings, contact one of our experts, 239.693.9005.