When you’re shopping for an air conditioning system, there’s one phrase you’re going to hear over and over: energy efficiency. You’ll constantly be told that it’s not just a low price that will save you money for air-conditioning. You’ll also want a system that’s going to save on your energy bill. But how do you know if an air conditioning system is energy efficient? A system is in place that measures the efficiency of central air conditioning systems. It’s called Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio (SEER). Tragar Home Services wants you to know how SEER works, what the US government requires and why energy efficiency is the right choice when you’re buying a ductless air-conditioning system.
What is SEER?
SEER is a measure of the relative amount of energy needed to provide a specific cooling output, according to the Department of Energy. The Air Conditioning, Heating and Refrigeration Institute (AHRI) defines SEER as a mathematically determined ratio of the total cooling capacity during normal periods of operation (not to exceed 12 months) divided by the total electric energy input during the same time period.
The higher the SEER rating is, the more energy efficient the air conditioning system is. Cooling capacity for air conditioners are measured by BTUs or British Thermal Units. (Yes, this is the measure used in the United States). The electric energy input is measured by watt hours. So SEER would be the number of BTUs per watt hour.
SEER and Government Standards
The reason why we need SEER as a measurement of Energy Efficiency is that the US Energy Department has required that air conditioning units manufactured in the United States meet minimum SEER requirements since 1992. In the more than two decades since the minimum requirements were enacted, the government has moved toward requiring even more energy efficient standards.
The original 1992 requirement was that all air conditioning systems have a SEER rating of 10 or higher, according to AHRI, but more efficient standards have since been enacted. The minimum standard is currently a SEER rating of 13 or higher and that could go up again in the future.
Energy Efficiency Matters
Making sure you have an energy efficient air conditioning system is important because it will save you money. One way to know that you’re buying an energy efficient unit is to look for one that has the Energy Star mark on it. The Energy Star program, which was created by the US Department of Energy and the Environmental Protection Agency has even more rigorous SEER standards. In order to carry the Energy Star label, an air-conditioning unit must have a minimum SEER rating of 15.
Tragar Home Services
Tragar Home Services is the place to go for money saving, energy efficient air conditioning systems. We wanted you to understand how SEER works and why systems with high SEER ratings save you money. Tragar also wants remind you that proper installation and maintenance and controlling your thermostat will also help save energy and money.