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What Is SEER and Why Does It Matter?

It’s important to know how energy efficient your air conditioner is, and the best way to assess this is by checking its SEER number. SEER is to air conditioning systems what AFUE is to heating systems: it tells you the energy efficiency of your unit. While AFUE is presented as a percentage, SEER is a ratio number based on a scale that runs from 1 to 23+. Whether you have an existing air conditioner, are installing one for the first time or need a replacement system, it’s important to know how your air conditioner is using energy.

What SEER Stands For

SEER is an acronym for seasonal energy efficiency ratio. The technical definition of SEER is that it is the ratio of cooling in BTUs (British thermal units) to the energy the air conditioner consumes in watt hours, but for consumers, it is much easier to go by the scale: the lower the SEER rating, the less efficient the system.

Why Does SEER Matter?

SEER is important for all air conditioners, whether you just purchased an air conditioner or have been using the same one for ten years. This is because manufacturers have to produce whole home cooling systems at a minimum SEER rating. Right now, the minimum SEER is 13; however, up until 2006, the minimum SEER was 10. This means if your current air conditioning system is 10 years old or older, you may be getting short-changed on energy efficiency simply because of your SEER number.

A Higher SEER Number Doesn’t Mean the Unit Cools Better

A lot of consumers confuse the meaning of what SEER tells you. SEER does not indicate how well a particular air conditioner will cool your home; what it tells you is how much energy it will use to do so. The best way to use SEER is to compare an AC unit you like at two different SEER ratings. This will show you how much a certain SEER number can save you in monthly energy costs versus the same unit at a different SEER rating.

SEER can be a bit confusing, so if you need help with understanding how SEER works, or have any other air conditioning needs in Bolingbrook, IL, give the experts at DuAll Heating & Cooling a call today!

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