What Is a Good SEER Rating in 2023?
When it comes to air conditioners and heat pumps, you want to make sure you’re getting the most bang for your buck. A new cooling system is a big investment for homeowners, and most prioritize investing their money wisely into the best air conditioner in terms of upfront cost and energy bill savings over time. As such, many homeowners look to the seasonal energy efficiency rating of central air conditioners when shopping for a new HVAC system.
So what’s a good SEER rating to look for? Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio or SEER stands for a measure that determines energy efficiency and how efficiently an air conditioner converts electricity into cooling power over a cooling season. Higher SEER ratings mean the air conditioning unit or heat pump are among the options for efficient systems. As ratings increase to a higher SEER, the more efficient the unit is in terms of how much energy it takes to cool your home to a preferred constant indoor temperature.
Williams Comfort Air helps Central Indiana homeowners find the right SEER air conditioner for their homes. The AC SEER rating weighs heavily on upfront cost concerns and savings achieved by the HVAC unit over its lifetime, so it’s important to pay attention to SEER ratings as you evaluate new AC units.
What Is SEER Rating?
A SEER rating is a measure of how energy efficient an air conditioning system is. The higher the SEER rating, the more efficient the system is. A SEER rating is calculated by dividing the cooling output of the system during a typical cooling season by the power input. The cooling output is measured in British Thermal Units (BTUs), and the power input is measured in watts.
The SEER rating of an air conditioner can be found on the Energy Guide label attached to the exterior of the AC unit. The Energy Guide label tells consumers important information about the air conditioner’s energy usage.
Just like your car’s miles per gallon rating, the SEER rating on your air conditioner is not an absolute. The maximum SEER rating is only achieved under ideal conditions – and unfortunately, we don’t always have ideal conditions for our cooling systems. If the outside temperature is very hot or very cold, your AC unit will have to work harder to maintain a comfortable temperature in your home, and as a result it won’t operate at its stated SEER rating.
So what does this mean for you? Basically, it means that you shouldn’t assume that your air conditioner will always operate at its maximum efficiency. But that doesn’t mean you should worry too much about it – after all, your AC unit is designed to handle occasional less-than-ideal conditions.
What Is a Good SEER Rating?
The definition of a good SEER rating varies depending on the homeowner’s individual preferences. Some homeowners prioritize air conditioner efficiency, in which case a SEER rating of 17 or higher would be ideal. Others may prioritize unit affordability, which would make a SEER rating of 14 or 15 more ideal.
Weighing initial and long-term costs and benefits is the best way to determine what SEER rating is best for you and your home. Consider all of your options, such as if the system Energy Star certified, and make the decision that will provide you with the most value in the long run. With so many different factors to consider, doing some research ahead of time is always a good idea.
Prioritizing your needs and knowing what to look for will help you find the perfect air conditioner for your home. Most homeowners opt for a unit with a SEER rating between 15 and 18. This is because it provides a good balance between the upfront cost of the unit and the amount you’ll save on your utility bills.
SEER Rating Impact on Energy Costs
If you’re thinking of upgrading your home’s air conditioner, you might be wondering how SEER ratings impact energy savings. In general, the higher the SEER rating, the more efficient the AC unit and the greater the potential for energy savings. When air conditioning units with a higher SEER rating are used, less energy is required to produce the same amount of cooling, resulting in lower energy bills. So if you’re looking to save money on your energy bills, choosing an AC unit with a high SEER rating is a good place to start.
Impact of SEER Ratings on Air Conditioners
In general, AC units with high SEER ratings cost more than lower SEER units. However, the additional investment can be earned back over time through increased energy savings. For example, a 16 SEER AC unit will use less energy than a 14 SEER air conditioning unit, resulting in lower electricity bills over the life of the air conditioner. In addition, higher SEER units typically have longer lifespans than lower SEER units, so you’ll save money on replacement costs as well. For these reasons, it makes sense to invest in a high-efficiency air conditioner, even though the upfront cost may be higher.
What Is the Minimum SEER Rating?
If you’re in the market for a new central air conditioner or heat pump, it’s important to be aware of the upcoming changes to SEER rating requirements. Currently, the minimum SEER rating for units sold in northern states is 13 SEER, while in southern states the minimum is 14 SEER.
However, these requirements will be increasing in 2023. In the north, the new minimum SEER rating will be 14, and in the south it will be 15. These changes are being made in order to improve energy efficiency and help reduce greenhouse gas emissions.
The new minimum SEER ratings apply to newly manufactured air conditioners only. This means that if you’re in the market for a new air conditioner, you’ll want to make sure it meets the new standards. Luckily, manufacturers are already complying with the new regulations. If you want to buy an air conditioner with the minimum SEER rating for your region, be aware that this is the lowest rating that can be sold. In other words, you won’t be able to find an air conditioner with a lower SEER rating than the minimum for your region.
Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio for High SEER AC Units
Any air conditioner you purchase today will be more efficient than units manufactured even a decade ago. Older air conditioners weren’t subjected to current standards on the system’s efficiency, and both heating and cooling HVAC systems tend to lose efficiency as time goes on.
However, if you want to get the most bang for your buck in terms of efficiency, you’ll want to look for high efficiency systems. These are units with SEER ratings over 16 SEER. The best options in terms of high efficiency extend up to about 26 SEER.
Air conditioners with high SEER ratings are more energy efficient than older models, and they can save you money on your utility bills. There are a few features that contribute to a high efficiency rating. For one thing, these units have more efficient compressors that use less energy to cool the air. In addition, high efficiency air conditioners often have variable speed fans, which means they can run at lower speeds when the air is already cool. This helps to save energy and keep noise levels down.
How Does SEER Rating Affect Costs?
Making the choice to purchase a higher SEER unit air conditioner or heat pump will depend on the level of efficiency you want your HVAC system.
Pricing varies on your location and system availability, but in general:
- Homeowners can pay an extra $900 to $1,500 for going from a 14 SEER rated system to a 16 SEER one.
- Homeowners can pay an extra $3,000 or even $5,000 above the cost of a typical 14 SEER system upgrading to a 21 SEER unit.
Repair costs for a high SEER system can be more expensive than those with lower SEER ratings. Repairs wouldn’t be anymore likely on more efficient systems, but typically part costs is what drives those prices (especially if the system is not under warranty).
- If a homeowner’s AC compressor on a 14 SEER system goes out, repairs start around $1,300.
- If a homeowner’s AC compressor on a 21 SEER system goes out, repairs start around $2,000.
Are Higher SEER AC Systems Worth It?
If you are in the market for a new air conditioner, it is important to understand SEER ratings and how they impact costs. A high SEER rating can save you money on your energy bills in the long run, so be sure to ask about SEER when shopping for a new AC unit.
Call Williams Comfort Air today to receive an estimate for installation of a new air conditioner with a high SEER rating. We would be happy to help you find the best air conditioning unit with the best energy efficiency ratio for your home.