Sunny, beautiful Florida can also sometimes be crazy fluctuating temperature Florida. If your AC isn’t cooling properly, you may be due for a new one. If you need a new air conditioner, two of the most important factors at play include price and energy efficiency. But with all of the features and options available, how do you know what to look for? In terms of energy efficiency, you need to pay attention to the SEER Rating.
What is a SEER Rating?
According to the Air Conditioning, Heating and Refrigeration Institute (AHRI), SEER, or the Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio, indicates the energy efficiency of air conditioners.
This rating is determined by accounting for the cooling output of your air conditioner with the total electrical energy input during each season. A higher SEER Rating usually means a more efficient unit. The rating is normally shown somewhere on the unit itself. If you have a unit already, inspect it closely to see what the rating is. This is especially useful for comparison purposes when shopping for a new unit. The government has specified that all new central air conditioning units must have a minimum rating of 14 or higher.
Energy Savings and the SEER Rating: A Balancing Act
At first glance, you would think that an air conditioner with a higher rating would be the obvious choice. After all, this would mean lower costs, particularly during Jacksonville’s intense summer months, right?
Yes, a higher SEER rating can mean lower overall operating costs and smaller energy bills. For example, an air conditioner with a SEER rating of 23 would use less energy than one with a rating of 13. On top of cutting energy costs, a unit with a higher SEER rating would also have a smaller environmental impact.
However, there is a balancing act. Buying an air conditioner with a higher SEER rating will lower your monthly bills, but you will pay substantially more for the unit itself. This means that you need to do some math: is the extra upfront cost of purchasing a unit with a higher SEER rating worth the monthly savings? Depending on how often you use your unit, it is possible that you could lose money in the long run if you don't recoup the initial expense.
There is another factor you should note about SEER ratings. The rating is calculated using a baseline temperature of 82 degrees. In Florida, temperatures frequently soar far higher than 82 degrees. This issue can create some debate about exactly how efficient the unit truly would be in your area. However, even in this case, a SEER rating does offer a rough idea of its efficiency.
One last thing: saving money is great, but don’t forget about another extremely important factor in choosing a unit—your personal comfort. What good is having an air conditioner if you are uncomfortable, even when it is running? Some things don’t have a price tag on them.
How We Can Help
If you need help understanding SEER ratings or figuring out which air conditioner unit is best for you, contact the experts at Snyder Heating & Air Conditioning. We can guide you in your search for affordable, efficient units that are the best fit for you.