SEER: Understand it for Better SavingsEven as we return to the mild days and cool evenings of spring in the Los Angeles area, it is important to continue to maintain home heating and cooling systems. In particular, every homeowner should understand efficiency ratings in order to manage their home’s comfort and utility bills. This is especially true for those of you looking to replace an older unit or purchase a new cooling system.

Rating Cooling Capacity

This is a government rating of your home cooling systems’ capacities and energy use. A Season Energy Efficiency Rating (SEER) measures the performance of cooling equipment based on operating efficiency. The minimum is established by the Department of Energy standards for residential air conditioners and heat pumps. These standards are important for determining how well your cooling system distributes cooled and dehumidified air throughout your home.

Measuring Efficiency

You can think of SEER as a rating similar to the miles per gallon for automobiles. This number can be found by dividing the total, annual cooling output by total energy used over the same time period. The absolute minimum in the United States is a 13 rating, although older equipment may run at 10 or less. Each system is tested to find this measurement, with higher ratings for systems that put out more energy for the energy used.

Benefits of Higher Ratings

Higher SEER ratings mean that such systems possess higher efficiencies, with greater impacts on lowering your energy bills and lessening environmental harm. Some other benefits include:

  • Local utility companies may offer compensation for installing higher efficiency equipment, though it varies by region.
  • Many high efficiency systems are available, at SEER ratings as high as 18 or 23, and with greater savings for you and benefits for the environment.
  • Upgrading to higher efficiency systems will fairly immediately translate into energy and financial savings.
  • Higher efficiency also often means fewer repairs and greater convenience, with more advanced and better built equipment.

Even as we savor the cool days of spring, remember to contact Around the Clock Air Conditioning & Cooling for more expert advice on keeping your home cool and comfortable.

Our goal is to help educate our customers in Los Angeles, North Hollywood and surrounding areas about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems).  For more information about SEER and other HVAC topics, download our free Home Comfort Resource guide.

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