What is a Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio Rating (SEER) and Why Does it Matter?

When shopping for your next HVAC system—whether it’s a ductless mini-split or a whole-house central air conditioning system—you will inevitably be confronted by the term “SEER rating.” It is essential that you understand this rating and what it means for your overall energy costs. Here is a quick rundown on what “SEER” means and what else you need to know:

What Does SEER Mean?

The term SEER” is an acronym for “seasonal energy efficiency ratio.” The numbers range anywhere from 7 to 20 and beyond. The average HVAC unit typically runs at about 13 SEER, but units from as few as 5 years ago have SEERs as low as 8! This number refers to an AC unit’s ability to cool and output a given amount of air during a typical cooling season, divided by the total energy needed to do so during the same period. The ratio is the unit’s SEER.

The SEER ratings are overseen by the US Department of Energy and seem to get a little stricter every year. Currently, the minimum SEER for new air conditioning installations in Pennsylvania and New Jersey is 13. These standards take into account regional differences when determining what the minimum for a region should be. For more detailed information on this aspect of SEER, a homeowner should consult with an experienced HVAC installation company.

What Should I Know About SEER Ratings?

What else does the savvy homeowner really need to know? On a practical note, the higher an HVAC unit’s SEER rating, the more energy efficient it is. While high-efficiency HVAC systems—those with high SEERs—are more expensive than less efficient ones, they have some decided and significant advantages.

In particular, high-SEER units are far more cost-effective to operate and can even pay for themselves in just a few years’ time through lowered monthly operating costs. The cost-benefit analysis is fairly easy to do and any good HVAC installation company will probably already have it mapped out for you. In other words, it can actually pay you to increase the comfort level of your home. While you are at it, you will also be helping the environment and the nation’s economy.

Don’t believe us? Think about this: an HVAC unit with a 23 SEER operates at about 50 percent the cost of a unit with a 13 SEER. All those savings pile up, and will pay for the new unit in no time.

Install an HVAC Unit with a Higher SEER for Lower Energy Bills

So, do yourself, your community, and the world at large a small—or large!—favor and install a high-SEER HVAC unit. For more information on SEER ratings or on HVAC issues in general in the Greater Lehigh Valley/Allentown, PA area, please contact us online, or you can phone us directly at 610-596-9967. Our certified techs and experienced in-house staff are ready to answer any of your HVAC-related questions.

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When you choose Jack Lehr Heating Cooling & Electric, you’ll benefit from our:

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