When you go shopping for a new AC, you will inevitably hear about SEER ratings. But what are they and what do you need to know?

Energy Efficiency—What are AC SEER Ratings?

SEER ratings stand for “Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio.” Yes, it is ratio, not rating, though many make this mistake. Basically, this energy is a ratio of the cooling output (BTU’s or watts) of your AC in a variety of temperatures measured over a season. A higher SEER rating is more energy-efficient, but this does not mean you need the highest SEER rating for your home. This ratio is measured at maximum efficiency. If you have an older AC, likely the SEER rating is 8 or 9. Even an upgrade to the minimum SEER allowed today—13 for non-energy star units, 14 is the minimum to be Energy Star rated–will be vastly more energy-efficient than your old unit.

Does a high SEER rating for my air-conditioner always mean more energy efficiency?

Well, yes and no. Remember, this number is the maximum provided your HVAC system is well-maintained. Changing your air filter and getting a clean and check twice a year by J and C Services, LLC can help keep your high-efficiency air-conditioner operating at peak performance to help save money on your utility bills. Making sure your ductwork and insulation are sealed properly equally helps as does keeping your AC running at about 76 degrees.

Don’t I need a high SEER to get my HVAC system to pay for itself?

Many unscrupulous companies will tell you merely by purchasing a high-efficiency system such as those rated at 25 or 26 (the highest SEER ratings, often more expensive units) will pay for itself in lower utility bills. However, this is unlikely. Even properly maintained, the unit will not pay for itself. However, that combined with lower repair bills can help defray the cost of a new system. Using programmable thermostats also help lower your utility bills. Most people do not find a significant enough difference in savings to justify more than a system rated at 13 or 14.

How do I know which air-conditioning system is right for me?

Consulting a reputable HVAC contractor such as those at J and C Services help you evaluate what SEER rating is best for your home based on the size of your home and your typical demand. Call J and C Services today at 972-986-2317 to find the best AC for your needs.