February 14, 2023
HVAC Technician in Layton, UT

Purchasing a new air conditioner can be a stressful experience. You want to own an energy-efficient model, but you want to keep your purchase within budget. If you don’t understand the equipment specifications, you can end up with a system that doesn’t meet your requirements. When purchasing an air conditioning system in the US, the SEER rating can assist you in your selection.

What is a SEER Rating?

SEER stands for Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio. SEER ratings are performance standards set by the Air Conditioning, Heating, and Refrigeration Institute. They’re an accepted standard for figuring out annual energy costs in North America. This ratio allows each homeowner to understand what type of efficiency the unit they purchase can provide. The SEER number also indicates how well an air conditioner cools and the level of electricity it requires to cool.

About SEER Ratings

SEER numbers indicate the cooling output divided by the overall energy consumption of the AC model per season. SEER ratings for older air conditioners start as low as 9. Newer central air conditioners have ratings as high as 23. You see fewer low SEER ratings every year because older AC systems get removed and replaced with newer models. Although the rating of your equipment is important, other issues can actually reduce its efficiency. Poorly installed or damaged, leaky ducting systems can cause a sharp reduction in the efficiency of an air conditioner.

As of 2023, the Department of Energy requires a minimum SEER rating of 14 in the northern states and 15 in the southern states. ENERGY STAR standards require at least a SEER 14 to qualify as an ENERGY STAR recommended product. ENERGY STAR standards are set by the Environmental Protection Agency. According to the Energy.gov website, upgrading from a SEER 9 to a SEER 14 can lower your energy use by 35%.

SEER Formulas

Ratings utilize standard formulas to help approximate how much you might pay every year in energy bills. Look for the SEER number and other guidelines displayed on AC products. This data can help you conduct a side-by-side comparison and select the unit that fits your needs.

Buying a Top SEER AC System

When you request a new AC installation, your estimator will determine what size unit your floor plan requires. It’s important that they match your unit to the square footage you’re cooling. You’ll want to select the SEER number after you know the size unit your home requires. Your new unit should meet your budget and personal comfort preferences.

An oversized unit can cause you to overspend on the purchase price and energy costs. They’re often noisier to run and can result in mold growth and poor air quality because the unit may be too big for your house. An undersized unit can’t deliver adequate cooling and may not be able to keep your home comfortable in summer. An undersized unit can also struggle to keep up with demand and break down more often.

What Ratings Qualify for Tax Credits?

A Homeowner can take advantage of the Inflation Reduction Act of 2022 by upgrading their AC system. Many of the credits in this legislation are available through the year 2032. ENERGY STAR HVAC cooling systems are eligible for a maximum credit of $600. For this tax credit, these products require a SEER 16 or higher, as identified through the ENERGY STAR program. This credit supports installations occurring from January 1, 2023, through December 31, 2032. Installations from previous years may receive a credit retroactively.

Ways to Improve Energy Efficiency

A few simple guidelines can help you improve the overall energy efficiency of a SEER-rated air conditioner. Always request seasonal maintenance to tune your equipment and prepare it for summer use. Use a programmable thermostat, so you can raise indoor temperatures when you’re not at home. Programmable systems allow you to set the system to turn the AC unit on and cool the home before you return.

Experienced Installation Company

The professionals at Smedley Service have you covered with complete heating and cooling services for residential properties. We offer repairs, installation, and maintenance services for all makes and models. You can also turn to us for indoor air quality testing and residential plumbing problems. We’re fully accredited and maintain an A+ rating with the local Better Business Bureau.

Give the team at Smedley Service a call today to learn more about installing an energy-efficient AC system in Layton, UT.

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