If the time has come to replace your air conditioner, you’ve probably
been bombarded with information to consider. One of these important factors
you’ve probably heard of is the “SEER” rating of your
new system. What does this mean, what does it measure, and why is it so
important? On our blog, we’ll explain this number in greater detail
and explain how it could both help you choose the right system and convince
you to purchase the wrong one if you’re not careful.
What Is a SEER Rating?
SEER stands for Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio, which is essentially
a measurement of an air conditioner’s energy consumption and efficiency.
To put it in simple terms, the SEER rating is the ratio of the amount
of air a system can output over the course of a typical cooling season
divided by its energy consumption. The higher the SEER rating, the more
efficient an air conditioner is. Today, SEER ratings are used to push
energy efficiency, and new systems are required by law to meet a minimum
requirement of 14 SEER in order to be sold and installed in Florida homes.
However, it’s important to remember that this value is an
average, for reasons we will discuss momentarily.
There are lots of misconceptions about what this stat can tell you. The
first misconception is that the modern 14 SEER system is a “bottom
of the line” system that’s the least efficient. While it’s
true that this is the minimum efficiency requirement, the truth of the
matter is they’re still remarkably good in terms of their consumption.
In fact, if your existing air conditioner is 15 to 20 years old, odds
are its SEER rating will probably be around 8 to 10, and a jump to a 14
SEER system is going to bring you
massive savings on your energy bills. Sure it may not be as efficient as a 16
or 18 SEER system, but the truth is it’s still going to be a huge
upgrade for your home.
Second, there’s a common myth that a higher-SEER system is always
going to be better. The truth of the matter is that in most instances,
this isn’t true, and in fact may wind up costing you far more out
of your pocket for not a lot of difference. Modern ultra-efficient systems
can have a SEER rating as high as 25, but the truth is most people don’t
have the infrastructure of equipment built into their home to make the
most of a system like this. These require ultra-efficient ductwork, properly-insulated
refrigerant lines, and plenty of other things as well.
The truth is if you slap a 25 SEER heat pump on a system that’s rated
for a 14 SEER system, the entire system’s energy efficiency is only
going to improve nominally. This greatly cuts into the money you’re
saving by significantly increasing the cost without proportionately increasing
the savings on your energy bills.
And this brings us to a third misconception: SEER is not a guarantee of
performance. As we stated earlier, a SEER rating is an
average that’s based on laboratory tests in ideal conditions. This allows
for performance in an extremely controlled environment. However, real-world
never the same as the ones you’ll find in a laboratory, and as a result
no system is ever going to be as efficient as this test might claim. While
you may have purchased a high-SEER system, you may only be seeing marginal
increases in efficiency over a 14 or 16 SEER system that cost significantly less.
Why do we tell you this? Because the truth is that if you need a new air
conditioner, you need to make sure that you get the right one. And for
most people, the right air conditioner isn’t the one that’s
got the best statistics and the highest price tag. It’s strongly
advised you work with a skilled professional from a Palm Beach County
air conditioning company who can advise you on their opinion for the best
option for your home and they’ll give you an upfront, honest opinion
that has your home’s performance and your satisfaction in mind.
Call Phoenix Air Conditioning, LLC today at (888) 660-4337 to
request a service appointment for your air conditioner replacement project!