Nothing is meant to last forever, so there may come a time when you need to invest in a new air conditioning system. Unfortunately, this can be a large investment, but it is an important one for your family's comfort and home's health. In addition, choosing the right air conditioning system can help you conserve energy, reducing your monthly bills since about half of your home's total energy usage goes towards heating and cooling. Choosing the right SEER for your AC unit can be a great way to cool your home in an energy-efficient manner. This guide will help you understand this rating, so you can choose the right option for your home and needs.
The 411 on SEER
SEER, or the Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio, refers to the cooling capacity of the air conditioning unit. Basically, the higher the SEER, the more efficient the air conditioning will be.
Of course, if money is an issue, you should know that a higher SEER will cost you more. However, a higher SEER will help you conserve energy and cut your monthly costs, which can make it a good investment over time.
Choosing the Right SEER
There are minimum requirements in each state, so you will need to take that into consideration when selecting a SEER rating for your air conditioning system. Before 2015, the minimum SEER you could install was 13. Consulting your HVAC contractor is best to determine what the requirements are today in your current state.
It is also important to remember that bigger is not necessarily better. A system with a higher SEER is not ideal for a smaller area since it will run to overcompensate, causing it to short cycle, turning off and on, which places unnecessary stress on your system.
If you choose a SEER that is too small for your larger area, other issues may arise. The system may run longer and harder in an attempt to cool the larger space. This places more stress on your system while using more energy, which can be costly.
The best way to determine what SEER is right for your home and budget is through a load calculation completed by an AC services contractor.
This calculation takes a few details into account including your local climate, your home's square footage, the home's layout, and the number of windows and how well the home is insulated. These factors all affect a system's ability to cool efficiently.