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Understanding SEER Ratings

Posted on: December 1st, 2017 by Precision Temperature No Comments

When you’re choosing a new HVAC system, one of the factors your San Diego HVAC technician will present you with is each potential unit’s SEER rating. But what does the SEER rating mean and how should it factor into your decision about what HVAC system to choose?

Trane Clean Effects HVAC

 

What is SEER?

An air conditioning unit’s efficiency is often measured by the Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio or SEER. The air conditioner’s SEER is calculated by dividing the unit’s cooling output during a typical cooling season divided by the total electric energy input during the same period. In the U.S., the SEER is the ratio of cooling in British thermal units (BTU) to the energy consumed in watt-hours. The higher the HVAC unit’s SEER rating, the more energy efficient it is and the more money you could potentially save on your energy bills.

Factoring SEER into Your Purchase Decision

Since January 1, 2015, the U.S. Department of Energy has required that all new air conditioning systems installed in California must be a minimum of 14 SEER or higher, so you can’t choose one below that threshold. However, choosing the HVAC system with the absolute highest SEER rating may not be the correct decision either, even though a higher SEER rating can mean more efficiency. Your purchase decision must also be based on the square footage of the area you are trying to heat or cool. A unit that is too big for an area will not yield any efficiencies but will actually overcompensate, while a unit that is too small will have to work overtime, driving up utility bills and putting strain on the HVAC equipment that will cause it to wear out faster.

You’ll also need to consider other factors that influence the temperature in your home or business and how they can impact energy efficiency in order to fully realize the potential savings of your new HVAC system. Make sure your building is properly insulated and sealed against air leakage and radiant energy; you can check out our blog for tips on weatherization.

Your local San Diego HVAC professional can help you decide what size heating and air conditioning unit your home needs, recommending the SEER rating that will help you achieve maximum savings both short- and long-term. Call Precision Temperature today at (619) 588-5321 to upgrade your HVAC system and start saving on energy bills today!

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