Why SEER Ratings Matter When Choosing a New AC System for Your Panama City FL HomePublished on: June 22, 2012
SEER ratings evaluate the energy efficiency of an AC unit. The acronym “SEER” stands for “Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio.” This rating measures the output of cooling power compared to the cost in energy to run the unit over a particular season. The higher the SEER rating, the more energy efficient the AC unit will be over the course of the cooling season.
Having an AC unit with a higher SEER rating is particularly important for those living in southern regions, such as Panama City, FL. Because of the volatile weather conditions, homes in the southern United States tend to have a longer cooling season than homes in the northern regions. A high SEER rating of an AC unit will ensure that the homeowner is getting the most bang for their buck in regards to energy usage and spending. In addition to a higher SEER rating, make sure that your new energy efficient air conditioner is installed by a qualified air conditioning service professional.
How is the SEER Rating Calculated?
SEER ratings are calculated using the following formula:
Cooling Output Energy Input = SEER
(Total Cooling Output Measured in BTUs Over the Cooling Season) divided by (Total Electrical Energy Input Measured in Watts Over the Cooling Season)
Newer ac systems usually have a SEER rating between 10 and 18. For new construction, building codes in the U.S. require a SEER rating of at least 13.
What Do SEER Ratings Mean In Terms of Operating Costs?
SEER ratings are strongly correlated with the cost to operate the unit. Older AC systems that were installed more than 10 years ago may have SEER ratings of 8 or 9. In fact, a SEER rating of 10 was considered a “high efficiency” rating just 10 years ago. By today’s standards, a SEER of 10 is considered a “low efficiency”. If you currently have a unit with a SEER of 10, an AC service company would likely recommend that you replace the unit with a high efficiency model.
The cost to operate these older units is higher than the cost to operate a newer, more energy efficient unit with a higher SEER rating. Your air conditioning service professional will be able to shed more light on the SEER rating of your current system. Your air conditioning service technician will also be able to tell you approximately how much money you will save in energy costs when switching to a more energy efficient system with a higher SEER rating.
In general, the higher the SEER rating, the lower the unit will cost to operate. An AC unit with a SEER rating of 8 may cost about $100 per month to operate. Purchasing an AC unit with a SEER rating of 17 to replace the unit with a SEER rating of 8 will cause the energy costs to drop to about$57 for the same period of time. A unit with a SEER rating of 13 would cost about $62 for the same period of operational time.
The SEER rating is provided for all AC units that are sold on today’s market. New homes should have AC units with SEER ratings of 13 or higher. Be sure to check the SEER rating of the AC unit if you are purchasing a new home. It is also a good idea to have the AC service professional provide a system check of the HVAC system in any home you are considering purchasing in Panama City, FL or anywhere for that matter.
A qualified air conditioning service professional will assist you with the selection of a high efficiency AC installation that will save you a considerable amount of money over the life of the unit. The higher the SEER rating, the more energy efficient the unit will be and the more money you will save in energy costs.