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Oct 20, 2020 11:00:00 AM by Joe Berardi

SEER Rating? What the $#%@ is That?!

What is SEER rating

If you are an HVAC novice, you may wonder what SEER is...In this article, we are here to let you know!

What is SEER?

SEER, or Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio, represents the cooling output of an air conditioning system over a 'typical' AC season, divided by the energy used by the system in Watt-hours. 
SEER is determined by simulating a typical AC season. An AC season is simulated by using a constant indoor temperature and different outdoor temperatures in a range of 60 to 100 degrees. This puts the system to work in a variety of different settings to test it at all different levels. 
The Trane website refers to SEER in terms of MPG for your car, like in the picture shown above. They go on to refer to a car that gets 28 miles per gallon on the highway...sounds great, right? But what if you are driving through painfully slow, red light-filled city traffic? The car becomes a lot less efficient, and that 'maximum' 28 miles per gallon drops. You AC works the same! If a unit has a SEER of say, 18, that is its max efficiency and fluctuates in reaction to conditions. 

What is a good SEER rating?

So after all of that, what is considered a 'good' SEER ratio? Naturally, the higher the SEER the greater the maximum efficiency. Most newer air conditioning systems have a SEER ranging from 13 to 21. For Pennsylvania, the US Department of Energy requires a minimum of 13 SEER. A majority of older AC systems fall at around the 8 SEER mark, meaning whatever system you purchase now will be much more efficient! 
To summarize, there is no perfect answer to what SEER rating you should choose, but anything over 13 is GREAT! If you have an older system and upgrade to one that is 18 SEER, you will cool your house  much more efficiently, greatly reducing the cost of it. 
Remember, SEER is still representative of a maximum efficiency rating. If your system runs on and off constantly, it may not perform at that rating. However, if it can maintain a temperature at a constant rate, like your car on the highway, the system will approach that max. 

ECI Comfort specializes in high-efficiency cooling systems. Learn more about these opportunities by clicking the button below or give us a call at 215-245-3200.

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