What Are SEER Ratings and Why Are They Important?

Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio, or SEER, ratings are an important metric to consider when shopping for a new AC system—especially in hot areas like Tampa Bay where air conditioning equipment is hard at work most of the year. As a rule of thumb, the higher the SEER, the less energy the equipment needs to cool to a specific point.

In Florida, the minimum SEER rating for new equipment is 14. These models use 30 percent to 50 percent less energy than AC units produced in the 1970s. Replacing a unit that’s 10 years old could save you up to 40 percent on your annual cooling costs. The problem is, the more efficient a unit is, the most it costs.

What is EER and How is it Different Than SEER?

EER, or Energy Efficiency Ratio, ratings tell you how your equipment performs under extreme heat conditions. It’s another important ratio to consider when shopping for a new unit, but SEER ratings are more comprehensive because they tell you how your HVAC system should perform across all seasons, not just the summer.

Where do I Find SEER Ratings?

Manufacturers are federally mandated to apply an EnergyGuide sticker with a SEER rating to every air conditioner. You should be able to find it on the side of your current condenser unit. If the sticker is faded or has been removed, use the model number to locate the product on the manufacturer’s website.

Why does SEER Matter?

Homeowners can determine how much energy their HVAC system will require using the SEER rating. While the minimum SEER in Florida is 14, a good unit may have a SEER rating ranging from 14 to 21. High-rated models tend to perform better in other ways, for example minimizing humidity that can contribute to microbial growth or mold.

SEER is one of the most important factors when buying a new HVAC system, but the size of your home and ductwork also play a role in efficiency. If you’d like more information about energy-efficient equipment or help selecting the right model for your home, please give Bay Area Heating and Cooling, Inc. a call at 727-565-4555.

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