April 24, 2017
As you may already know, air conditioners are often marketed according to their SEER (Seasonal Energy Efficiency Rating). You'll usually hear that a higher SEER means a more energy efficient air conditioner, and these usually come with a higher price tag.
So, you may be wondering, "Well, what SEER should I get?"
We get this question a lot. And the answer is: it depends. That's because SEER alone won't accurately tell you how much you'll actually save on energy costs.
Only a professional can recommend what SEER you should get because energy savings also depend on these 3 main factors:
Let’s go into more detail about each of these reasons and why you need a professional’s help...
The size of your air conditioner and how many stages it has affects your system’s overall energy efficiency, so you must take these factors into account when comparing SEERs. Let’s take a closer look at these 2 factors:
When comparing different SEER ratings, it’s important to make sure you have a matched system.
What do we mean by a matched system?
Your air conditioning system consists of 3 parts: the indoor coil, air handler/furnace and an outdoor (condensing) unit. A matched system means your indoor components are matched in size and rated with your outdoor air conditioning unit.
A perfectly matched system = peak performance from your A/C.
A/C marketing materials focus on SEER numbers, but don’t take them at face value: If you replace one half of your system and it doesn’t match with the other half, your actual SEER could be very different.
Most homes lose up to 20–30% of conditioned air to leaks or poorly connected ducts, according to EnergyStar. If your home has poor ductwork, you can’t properly estimate what A/C you need just by looking at the SEER alone because you’re already losing efficiency to leaks.
So, before you start comparing SEERs, you should have a professional inspect your ducts for leaks. A certified air conditioning contractor can perform the necessary tests to determine the health of your ductwork and then seal your ducts should they find any leaks. After your ducts are sealed, your technician can give a more accurate recommendation about what SEER you should get.
Whew! That’s a lot to consider when comparing SEERs. Luckily, there are professionals who make the job a whole lot easier.
For your convenience, you can request an appointment in one of two ways: