While going to shop for the perfect central air conditioner, being in the dark about air conditioner ratings, called SEER ratings, can be a bit of a drawback. It is like going on a hiking trail without your hiking boots. You won’t be able to make it that far.
In the case of AC ratings, each rating shows the cooling efficiency of the system.
You must know about SEER ratings before you go out in the market to purchase your AC unit.
Understanding SEER Ratings
The most commonly-used HVAC system in the states is the split AC (which also has international demand, by the way) or the heat pump system. These systems have a specific component on the inside – the internal component found inside a house called the evaporator coil or the handler, plus an outer compressor or condenser on the outside.
SEER stands for Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio and is applied to split ACs. From 13 to 25 (these numbers are US-only), SEER ratings are obtained by dividing the cooling output by the electrical power that runs the engines and the equipment.
Closer to 25, the unit has a good SEER rating. The further away and it is not as efficient.
Significance of These Energy Stars
So, how do these SEER ratings, or as we would like to call them: energy stars, affect the HVAC industry? Simple, manufacturers are not allowed to sell or in any way deal with split ACs that have low SEER ratings. Anything below 14 is bad and not to be dealt with. For these low-rating ACs to qualify to be bought and sold, they must obtain an above 15 SEER rating.
This was a seller’s point of view. However, if you are a buyer, know that AC units with higher efficiency ratings can cost you more. While a homeowner wanting to buy a new split has every right to know how much a particular AC system will cool their home, they should also know that they should buy one that fits their needs and demands and not go for a unit that has a higher rating.
Let Us Help You Decide
If you run your AC unit constantly during the day and at night, you should invest in an AC unit with a higher SEER rating. As time goes by, the low operating costs will make paying the upfront extra bearable.
However, if you do not plan on staying in this current house of yours for more than a year or two, or you stay out of town more often than not, we would recommend that you do not invest in a split unit that has a higher rating. It is better to go for a low-rating unit instead.