Every central air conditioner has a SEER (Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio) rating that is regulated by the U.S. Department of Energy. According to U.S. regulations, no central air conditioner unit currently being manufactured can have a SEER rating lower then 13. Most central air conditioner units usually have SEER ratings ranging from 13 to about 20 SEER.
Unfortunately, most consumers don’t really understand what a SEER rating really means. The easiest way to explain it is to compare an A/C units SEER ratings to an automobiles estimated MPG. Some cars get 15 miles per gallon and others get 30 mpg. All other things being equal, most people would probably prefer buying the car that gets 30 mpg over the one that gets 15mpg. Why, well the car that gets more mpg is going to end up saving the consumer more money in the long run even though it may cost a little more money in the beginning.
Purchasing a newer air conditioning system with a higher SEER rating can also create a substantial savings on your monthly energy bill as the newer systems are much more efficient at cooling. By upgrading your A/C unit from a SEER 9 to a SEER 13 system your power consumption will be reduced by approximately 30%. This can result in an energy savings of up to $300 or more per year depending on your usage rate and the cost of electricity in your area.
Remember depending on the climate and location of where a consumer lives, your air conditioner can be one of the most essential things for a home. For instance, a person that lives in Florida needs to take an air conditioners SEER rating very seriously when thinking about purchasing a new system. Nine out of the 12 months in a year it is hot and humid in Florida. The air conditioner is going be used almost non-stop most of the year. This is why it is crucial to understand the SEER rating and buy the air conditioner that best suits you and the climate you live in.
So the next time you’re in the market for a new A/C unit, remember to factor in the cost savings of a unit with a higher SEER rating. While you may spend a little more money up front for the unit, you will more than likely make up and exceed that extra cost in just a few short years.