Understanding SEER and Why It Matters in Fresno, TX

Plenty of people in Fresno, TX, want to save money with an efficient cooling system, but “efficient” is a relative term. While it can be difficult to choose your system based on efficiency alone, SEER ratings provide a standardized way to compare air conditioners. Here’s what you need to know.

What’s a SEER Rating?

SEER stands for “seasonal energy efficiency ratio.” This rating is a standardized way to evaluate and compare energy efficiency between cooling systems. Just by checking their SEER numbers, you can find out which of two systems is more efficient.

You can calculate the rating by taking the total cooling output per season and dividing it by the total energy input needed to power the system. The most efficient systems have the highest SEER ratings.

It’s important to understand that a SEER rating indicates a system’s maximum efficiency. Other variables like house size and ductwork may make it more or less efficient from day to day. If you’re thinking of upgrading, one of our seasoned cooling experts can help you choose the right system for your home.

When choosing a cooling system, you’ll need to balance a good SEER rating with the cost of purchasing and installing the system. An air conditioner with a high rating is efficient enough to save you money on utility bills over time. However, these cooling systems typically cost more money up-front.

What’s a Good Rating?

SEER ratings in modern systems usually range from about 13 to 21. If you have an older system, chances are good that it has a lower SEER. Thanks to new advances in cooling technology and energy efficiency, manufacturers have been able to design highly efficient units in the past decade.

You might be familiar with the Energy Star certification system for energy-efficient appliances. This is a certification awarded to equipment that is considerably more energy efficient than the industry average. In order to earn an Energy Star certification, a system must have a SEER rating of 14.5 or greater, although some certified systems have significantly higher ratings.

In 2006, according to Bob Vila, the U.S. Department of Energy began requiring cooling systems to have a minimum SEER of 13. Now, SEER requirements vary depending on the region. In Southern states, 14 is the minimum SEER, but in the North it’s 13.

One thing that’s important to remember is the fact that a system’s SEER rating will get lower as it ages. Like all machines, a cooling system accumulates wear and tear over the years.

The good news is that you can take steps to maintain the system’s efficiency. One of the most important is routine maintenance. With our Annual Fixed Right Guaranteed HVAC system tune-ups, you can rest assured that a NATE-certified technician will provide the service you need to keep your cooling system operating optimally.

Why Do Ratings Matter?

You already know that a system with a high SEER rating has less environmental impact than older, slower systems. But a more efficient cooling system has more surprising benefits for you as a homeowner.

Depending on the exact system you get, you may qualify for a tax credit for installing a system with a higher SEER rating. Energy Star also offers rebates in some cases.

A more efficient system certainly saves money over time, but it can also keep your home more comfortable in hotter weather. Such a cooling system will do a better job of keeping your indoor temperature consistent compared to a less efficient one. This feature is especially important in Fresno, TX, and other areas with very hot summers.

Upgrading to a cooling system with a higher SEER rating is a great choice, but it can be tough to know which one to pick when you’re selecting a new system. Whether you want to repair your current cooling system or install a new one, call us at Davis Air Conditioning & Heating for expert advice and service. Our knowledgeable staff is ready to help you keep your home in Fresno, TX, comfortable all year long.

Image provided by iStock

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