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Things to Know About Air Conditioning and SEER Rating

The Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio (aka SEER rating) is a measurement of how much cooling an air conditioner gives for each unit of energy it uses. The higher the SEER rating, the more efficient the air conditioner. This means lower electricity bills and less impact on the environment. If you are looking for a new unit, you’ll find all new units built after January 2015 are rated at least SEER-14. However, you can find air conditioning units with rates as high as SEER-18 and SEER-23.

Understanding SEER Rating

SEER rating is an often confusing number when it comes to energy efficiency.

Many HVAC professionals recommend a unit that has at least SEER-16 rating especially if the home or office is in a region that has hot summers, like here in the Myrtle Beach area. For example, an AC system that has a 16-SEER rating operating in here will save the homeowner about $2,000 in operating costs over the lifespan of the unit. It also means about 30,000 pounds of greenhouse gases are not released into the air which is the equivalent of planting four acres of trees or removing three cars each year from the roads.

When you are shopping for an AC unit, you’ll find a yellow Energy Guide sticker that shows the SEER rating. The rating is also usually listed at the top of the manufacturer’s label. If the model number begins with 16AC, it means the unit has a 16-SEER rating. You may find a SEER rating as high as SEER-25, but that doesn’t necessarily mean that is the best model for you. There are other factors to consider such as, how long you will be living in your home, the size of the new system, the regional climate in your area and how much you expect to use the unit. You can find a savings calculator from Energy Star to help you choose the best SEER rating for your new air conditioner.

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