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SEER Ratings Explained


If you are shopping for a new air conditioner before Florida’s warm spring and blistering summer seasons begin, you might consider upgrading to a more energy-efficient cooling system.  


SEER ratings are important to review when choosing a new HVAC system, but the number can be a little confusing. Don’t worry! Our team here at Frank Gay Services is here to cut through the confusion so you can get the most efficient air conditioner for your money.  



What Does SEER Stand For? 


The acronym SEER stands for the Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio. It measures how efficient an air conditioner is by calculating its total cooling output during a typical cooling season and dividing it by the total eclectic energy expended in that same period.  


In other words, the higher the SEER rating, the more energy-efficient an air conditioner is. See? Simple.   


Remember that, like miles per gallon in an automobile, the SEER ratio is a measurement of maximum efficiency. Suppose your automobile gets 34 miles per gallon on the highway, but it will be less efficient if you are stopped in traffic and have to brake frequently. The same concept also applies to your air conditioning unit. The system’s maximum efficiency is 15 SEER, although it may be less depending on outside factors, like a particularly hot day in Orlando.


There is no real ideal SEER rating, although anything above 13 is excellent. You might drastically lower the cost of cooling your home if you upgrade an outdated 8 SEER system to a 13 SEER unit.



Air conditioners available today range from 13 up to 26 SEER.  



Air Conditioner SEER Regulations  


Residential regulations that mandated that all central air conditioning systems be produced with at least a 13 SEER were put in place by the US Department of Energy (DOE) in 2006; however, in 2015, these criteria were altered to regional standards. The minimal criterion is 14 SEER in the Southeast and Southwest, and 13 SEER as you move further north.


To help homeowners compare the efficiency across models, systems come with an EnergyGuide label that shows how a specific HVAC model compares to others in terms of energy efficiency.  




Benefits of a Higher SEER 


In optimal conditions, higher SEER ratings provide enhanced energy efficiency throughout your system.  



The efficiency of your HVAC system will vary based on the size of your home, your ductwork, the weather, and other variables. 



Greater Indoor Comfort  


Installing an AC system with a higher SEER means that you likely will be much more comfortable during the summer months, especially if you live in a hot region. Hello, Florida!  


To provide enhanced indoor comfort, higher SEER units often have two energy-efficient components: 


  • A 2-stage or variable-speed compressor 
  • Variable-speed blower  


Air conditioners with lower SEER ratings usually run at one speed and use a single-stage compressor. This means that they will cycle on and off more frequently during mild weather, and you might experience uneven heating or cooling spots and more humidity throughout your home.  



A unit with a SEER of 15-18 offers a balance between the money you’ll spend and the amount you’ll save on energy costs.  



SEER Ratings Vs. Price  


Though the upfront costs of a cooling system with a higher rating might be a bit higher, it is important to remember that since air conditioners with a higher SEER rating require less energy to operate, you’ll be saving money on your monthly energy bill.  


It is important in a hot humid climate like ours in Orlando, Florida that you choose an air conditioner with the right SEER that meets your needs and your budget.  


Not sure which SEER rating is best for you? Call our team at Frank Gay Services for an air conditioning consultation and energy audit today; 407-329-5145! 


Other Considerations  


While the SEER rating is important, it’s not the only important consideration when purchasing a new AC unit. You’ll also want to look at the unit’s power capabilities and perhaps the amount of noise that the unit might make. Reliability, technology connectivity, and the unit’s warranty are also important.  



Choose Energy Efficiency 


If you are ready to install a new air conditioner before the heat of spring and summer creeps in, make sure to choose the most energy-efficient unit that you can. Our team at Frank Gay Services can help determine what size unit is best for your home and the most efficient SEER rating based on your needs and budget.  


Ready to go energy efficient? Call our 5-star rated air conditioning pros at Frank Gay Services today; 407-329-5145! 

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