Shining a Light on the SEER Rating: Truth vs. Myth

HVAC

Are you in the market for an HVAC? Curious how good your old one is? The SEER rating gives you important information when making purchase decisions to help you find the right unit for your home.

What You Need to Know About the SEER Rating

What Does SEER mean?

SEER stands for Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio. Basically, it is a number that is calculated by the cooling output for a standard season, divided by the total electric energy input during that time frame. It measures the cooling efficiency of your air conditioner or heat pump.

What is a Good SEER rating?

The national requirement from the Department of Energy for a SEER rating in Florida is 14. These standards are much better than older units, so anything at least 14 or better is good. The higher the rating — the more efficient the unit. But, there’s more to the SEER story…

Is the SEER Rating the Same All of the Time?

No. It’s not. Contrary to what many people think, it fluctuates. Think about it like the fuel efficiency of your car —the miles per gallon on the highway is better than in the city. This highway number would be your SEER rating or its maximum efficiency. If you keep your air conditioning unit maintained properly, this will help to keep it running its best.

Does a Higher Number Mean a Higher Overall Cost Savings?

A unit rated 21 will make your energy bills lower than a unit rated 14 or 16. But, there’s a catch. Think about cars again and compare a luxury car to a nice sedan. You pay more for the luxury car overall. This is similar to the units with higher SEER rating. But, just as in making the decision on getting the higher-level car — there are a lot of perks with a higher-rated unit.

Does a Higher Number Mean Better Comfort?

Yes! Typically, units with an 18 SEER rating or higher often come equipped with two components. This can be a real advantage in the Florida climate. These components are a 2-stage compressor and a variable speed blower. A single stage unit will frequently turn on and off a lot, which could lead to uneven cooling throughout the home and even promote a higher humidity too. This can make the air circulating in the home feel heavier, particularly in the heat of the summertime.

Does a Lower Rating = Lower Quality Equipment?

The SEER rating is directly correlated to the efficiency of the system, not the quality of the parts. There are many quality air conditioning units in the 14-16 range. Depending on your home, budget, and air conditioning feature preferences, there are a number of choices for homeowners when considering a new HVAC system.

When you are in the market for a new system, it is important to know the truths vs. the myths when it comes to the SEER rating.

The Comfort Authority offers everything from Heating to Single Stage Cooling and Variable Compressor Technology. We are your one-stop solution for your air conditioning in Tampa. Questions? Call us at (813) 518-8030.

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