What is a SEER rating? Why is it important to you?
SEER otherwise known as “seasonal energy efficiency ratio” is a metric unit used to measure how much cooling your system puts out for each specific unit of energy your system consumes. Think of it like your car’s MPG (miles per gallon) and how it is considered when buying a gas efficient automobile. It is said, the higher the SEER rating, the more efficient the air conditioning system actually is. In other words, a higher SEER unit uses less electricity. As of January 2006, the federal government requires that all new central air conditioning equipment be at least SEER-13, but there is systems that are available rated as high as SEER-18 and even SEER-23. Air conditioners manufactured after January 26, 2006 must achieve a SEER of 13 or higher.
However, homeowners will remain unaffected by this change for some time because these standards do not make it mandatory to change out your existing central air conditioning units and it is likely that replacement parts will be available for your unit for years to come. The typical “lifespan” of a central air conditioner is about 15 to 20 years. Manufacturers should continue to support existing equipment by making replacement parts available and honoring maintenance contracts after the new standard goes into effect.
The cooling experts here at Cool Depot recommend installing an air conditioning system that’s at least SEER-16 if you live in the south where the air conditioner runs more often than not. It can save you approximately $2,000 in operating costs over the lifespan of your system. Some local and state governments offer incentives to upgrading your old unit to a more energy efficient one. Depending on where you are located and what specific incentives are offered, you could receive tax credits, low interest loans, and event rebates. A good resource to check is the Database of State Incentives for Renewable & Efficiency also known as DSIRE for any incentives related to your area. Today’s efficient air conditions use between 30 to 50% less energy than an air conditioner installed 30 years ago. Even air conditioning systems from 10 years ago are not as efficient as the ones today. You could potentially be saving 20 to 40% of your cooling/heating costs by replacing your older system with a newer, more efficient model.
Call your cooling and heating experts today at Cool Depot, LLC to ask about your existing units SEER rating and what they would recommend in order to save you money if you’re looking to upgrade your air conditional system.