The Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio (SEER) ratings are the best way to compare the efficiency of one central A/C with another. They also are used to rate the cooling efficiency of heat pumps. The rating system was developed by the Air Conditioning, Heating and Refrigeration Institute (AHRI).
Understanding SEER Ratings
Your system’s SEER rating is measured in British Thermal Units (BTUs) by the watts used per hour in a given cooling season, or basically how much of the electricity input into the A/C or heat pump turns into cooling for your home. Consuming less energy makes for lower utility bills and reduces the cooling equipment’s impact on the environment. Various tax incentives and manufacturer and utility inducements are available for homeowners who install high-efficiency cooling and heating systems. For instance, under a federal tax credit program (which unfortunately expires at the end of 2013), a qualifying central A/C or heat pump qualifies for a $300 federal tax credit.
How Does Your System Rate?
To locate your A/C or heat pump’s SEER ratings, look for a labeled sticker on the front of the machine or in its paperwork. If you are unable to locate the information, ask the HVAC contractor who’s selling it to you or sold it to you. Since 2006, the federal government has required that new central air conditioning equipment have at least a SEER 13 rating. To achieve the federal mark of energy efficiency excellence, the cooling system must have SEER 14 or above. However, A/Cs and heat pumps are now available with SEER ratings that rise into the mid-20s, though once they get into that range, they aren’t necessarily suitable for a typical residential situation. Installing a high-SEER cooling system will allow a northwest Arkansas homeowner to save on energy costs throughout the life of the system, though the initial cost will be higher.
Is It Time for an Upgrade to Your Cooling System?
If you are in need of a replacement heating and air conditioning system, or have other HVAC needs, please contact our expert team at Paschal Heat, Air & Geothermal. We proudly serve northwest Arkansas homeowners. For more information on HVAC tips and tricks for your home, visit our blog as well.
Our goal is to help educate our customers in Springdale, Arkansas about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems). For more information, download our free Home Comfort Resource guide.
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