What’s a Good SEER Rating?

What's a Good SEER Rating?What’s a good SEER rating? If you feel lost in a sea of HVAC statistics and acronyms, you’re not alone. Shopping for a new heating and air conditioning system can be an overwhelming task. But the residential air conditioning repair and installation experts at H & H are here for you, breaking down SEER ratings into information you can understand so you can make the best possible home investment.

SEER Ratings Explained

SEER ratings measure how efficiently a heating and cooling system works. Air conditioning contractors often refer to it as Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio or Seasonal Energy Efficiency Rating. The higher the number, the more efficient the unit is in certain conditions. For you math experts, it’s the output of a system over the entire cooling season and the energy it uses to maintain a specific indoor temperature throughout seasonal temperature fluctuations (from 60-100+ degrees), divided by the energy consumed in watt-hours.

How SEER Rating Impacts Performance

HVAC systems just 10 years old typically offer SEER ratings around 8-9. Most of today’s heating and air systems have a SEER rating between 13 and 21, though some high-efficiency ductless mini-split systems offer ratings far higher. The higher the number, the more efficient the system – but keep in mind this is the maximum possible efficiency based on near-ideal operating conditions. Like the gas mileage rating on your car, depending on conditions, performance may vary. As our 24-hour HVAC service techs can attest, like city traffic and excessive idling, a dirty air filter and leaky ductwork can impact efficiency.

What SEER Rating Should I Choose?

There is a wide range of SEER ratings, from a minimum of 13 to a max of 26 for traditional central AC units and up to 38 for ductless mini-split style systems. Higher SEER units typically cost more – but they also offer the most efficient performance, saving you energy over the long run and offering a fast return on investment. When determining the best option for your home and budget, our central heating installation experts recommend that you meet the minimum SEER requirements set by the US Department of Energy for your region, which is a minimum SEER rating of 13 for the northeast. This ensures the purchase of a system suited for your area’s climate.

When it comes to bang for the buck, the SEER sweet spot is around 17-18 SEER. Unlike lower SEER systems with a single-stage compressor and blower, these higher SEER systems usually offer added features such as a 2-stage/variable speed compressor and a variable-speed blower, providing better humidity control and improved comfort without breaking the bank.

Still Unsure What SEER Rating You Should Choose?

We can assess your needs and help you find the right size system for your home and budget so you can be comfortable year-round. Contact H & H Heating & Air Conditioning at 610-546-7157 and talk to one of our experienced HVAC installation specialists today.


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