An air conditioner’s Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio, or SEER, measures two things. The first is how effectively it cools a given amount of space. The second is how much energy the appliance uses in cooling that space. Closely related to an air conditioner’s SEER rating is its Energy Efficiency Ratio (EER). Think of the EER as a snapshot of the air conditioner’s energy efficiency at a specified point in time. Rather than a snapshot of a single moment, SEER looks at the unit’s performance over one season.

Understanding SEER Rating

To calculate a SEER rating, we multiply the air conditioner’s cooling output (in British Thermal Units, or BTUs) over the season times the amount of energy (in Watts-hours) it uses. BTUs are found by using a constant number to represent the indoor temperature and a range of outdoor temperatures, from over 100 degrees Fahrenheit down to 60 degrees Fahrenheit. We assume a relative humidity of 50 percent for these purposes. The SEER is a whole number; the higher the number is, the more efficient the air conditioner is.

The Department of Energy and SEER

As of January 2006, the U.S. Department of Energy requires vendors selling residential air conditioners to sell only those units with a SEER of at least 13. Typical air conditioners have a SEER rating somewhere between 13 and 21; ductless mini-splits tend to have higher ratings. Earning an ENERGY STAR rating requires an air conditioner to have a SEER of at least 14.

Publications by the Department of Energy state that if you replace an air conditioner with a SEER of 9 with one that has a SEER of 14, you’ll save approximately 35% on your energy costs. Further incentives for replacing inefficient air conditioners may be available from manufacturers or local utility companies.

Contact Schmitt Refrigeration, Heating & Air in Evansville, IN

If you’re in need of air conditioning, heating, refrigeration, or HVAC services in Evansville and the surrounding areas, don’t hesitate to reach out to us at Schmitt Refrigeration, Heating & Air. We install and repair air conditioners and furnaces, including ductless mini-split systems. Contact Schmitt Refrigeration, Heating & Air today and get a quote.

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