Learn More About AC Seer Ratings

Buying a new air conditioner for your home is an important investment. It’s also not something you do very often. As you research what to look for in a new air conditioner, you’ve surely run across the term SEER rating. This figure describes the number related to the Department of Energy’s efficiency standards for cooling equipment. The acronym stands for Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio. With a full understanding of this rating, you can weigh the upfront cost of an AC unit against its expected power usage.

Higher Ratings Equal Greater Efficiency

An air conditioner’s efficiency improves as the SEER rating increases. For example, a unit with a SEER rating of 18 uses electricity more efficiently than a unit with a 13 rating.

The ratio represented by the SEER rating derives from the comparison of cooling output to units of energy used. To be precise, the calculation uses the cooling capacity expressed in British thermal units (Btu) per hour and the electricity wattage used at a temperature of 95 degrees.

  • Other Factors Influencing AC Operating Cost
  • 1. Size of house
  • 2. Insulation in the house
  • 3. Price of energy per kilowatt hour

Regulatory Standards

In the interest of promoting energy efficiency, the Department of Energy has imposed minimum SEER ratings on new central air conditioning units. These minimum ratings vary by region because hot climates place greater cooling demands on buildings. Ohio qualifies as a Northern state and therefore requires a SEER rating of at least 13 on new central air conditioning systems. By comparison, only AC units with SEER ratings of at least 14 can be sold in Southern states.

SEER Rating and AC Price

As you look at your options for a new air conditioner, you’ll see that price points typically go up as the SEER rating increases. This occurs because an air conditioner with a high SEER rating contains technical components of greater complexity than units with lower SEER ratings.

Most equipment manufacturers offer standard units that comply with the minimum SEER rating required for each region as well as higher-efficiency units. The lower-cost units with lower ratings will save you money initially but cost more to operate over the long run. The opposite is true for highly rated units. They cost more to buy but reduce your utility bills going forward.

When you discuss a new air conditioner installation with a representative from A To Z Dependable Services in Niles, OH, we’ll help you compare your options and evaluate pricing. Choosing a unit with the correct cooling capacity for your home’s square footage matters as well, and we’ll advise you about the best size to buy.

High AC Efficiency Relies on Two-Stage Cooling

Modern central air conditioners with high SEER ratings employ two-stage cooling technology. This system alters the cooling function based on current demand. Turning on your AC when your home is very hot will require the system to run at 100% capacity.

However, your AC usually only has to maintain indoor temperature. Instead of trying to cool a hot home by several degrees, the AC only has to cool the air by 1 or 2 degrees. When that is the case, the AC may not need to run at 100% capacity. Minor temperature adjustments typically allow the equipment to operate at only 70% to 80% capacity. This reduces power demand for the compressor and circulating fan and thereby greatly increases energy efficiency.

To achieve two-stage cooling, the air conditioner must be built with a variable-speed compressor. The advanced nature of this part increases manufacturing costs. Compared to a standard, single-stage air conditioner, the two-stage unit will not need to run as often. The high-efficiency equipment will produce less noise, more consistent indoor temperature control, and optimal humidity management.

Professional Home Services

A To Z Dependable Services has highly experienced technicians who can complete heating and cooling repairs and many other home improvements. We install new air conditioners and furnaces as well as perform maintenance. Our seasonal maintenance service can prolong the lifespan of your heating and cooling equipment and promote energy efficiency. On top of heating and cooling, we can provide plumbing, septic tank, and sewer services. If you decide that your bathroom needs an update, our bath renovation team can transform it into a stylish and safer bath. We offer discounts to seniors, disabled people, and veterans. Call A To Z Dependable Services for more information today.