SEER Ratings and What They Mean

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SEER Ratings and What They Mean

SEER ratings are the method used to describe the efficiency of a particular equipment or system. It stands for "Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio".

The systems purchased today range from 13.00 SEER to 26.00 SEER. If you have a home and the current system is 10-15 years old, you may have a system that ranges from 6.0 SEER to 10.00 SEER. Of course at the time it was installed, 10.00 SEER was considered "High Efficiency". Today, with all the focus on conservation and energy savings, that "High Efficiency 10.00 SEER" from 10-15 years ago is growing obsolete.

As an example, if you would have spent $100 to operate an 8.00 SEER system, by installing a 14.00 SEER system your operating costs would drop to $57.00. If you have a 6.0 SEER system, and you installed a new 12.00 SEER system, you would cut your power consumption in half. These are estimates only, and mentioned to show that with the higher SEER rating a homeowner could lower the operating costs. Considering that in many cases the air conditioning system represents the largest draw on power in your home, any improvement could be a wise decision.

The ductless air conditioning and heat pump systems today are very advanced as you move up in the efficiency range. They cost a bit more at initial purchase, but when you calculate the energy savings vs. dollars spent they pay for themselves fairly quickly.

Let’s look at an example:

Current system is 6.0 SEER and power bill runs $150.00 per month. Replace it with 10.00 SEER system for $1500.00 and your power bill may be $125.00 per month. Upgrade to a 14.00 SEER system for an additional $800.00 and your power bill drops to $90.00 per month.

The price between the 10.00 SEER and the 14.00 SEER is $800.00. The monthly savings equate to $35.00 per month (14.00 SEER vs. 10.00 SEER).

Take the $800.00 difference and divide that by the $35.00 savings and you would pay off the improved system through energy savings in 22.86 months. Less than 2 years.

No matter what, you were going to replace the system with at least a 10.00 SEER system.

Improved power bill, increased value of home, and your system won't be obsolete in 2 years - wise decision. Bear in mind, the ratio of savings varies from household to household as people live differently in each case. The example given above is strictly as an example and there is no guarantee that you will see that exact example in your home.

Some other Energy Saving Tips:

  • Seal the windows in your home around the frames,
  • Consider dual pane insulated windows when you opt to replace your current windows,
  • Improve your insulation factors in your attic to R-30,
  • Install ductless air conditioners or heat pumps in your home,
  • Keep filters cleaned,
  • Keep your ductless unit serviced – maintenance does wonders! Have a technician check your system at least twice per year.

These are just a few ideas that are proven to work. Common sense should prevail in regard to maintaining your unit. A maintenance plan is a wise decision. It could mean the difference between your unit lasting only 8 years or lasting 20 years. It is like changing the oil in your car. Do change the oil in your car?