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What Are SEER Ratings?


As a busy homeowner, you may not give much thought to your heating, ventilation and air conditioning system once it has been installed, except when the equipment isn't working properly or when it is time to arrange for inspection, cleaning and maintenance every year.

After all, when your home is consistently nice and cozy in the winter and is refreshingly cool during summer, why would you spend much time considering the details of your equipment? For some homeowners, the idea to revisit their HVAC equipment may not come up again until they start examining their utility bills and notice that they seem to be more expensive than they should be. It's a clue that the heating and air conditioning components are not working as efficiently.

If it's been some time now since you installed your HVAC system, or if you are not even sure when it was put in place by the previous owner of your home, it's very likely that the equipment is outdated. Older HVAC equipment is less energy efficient than modern designs. A key indicator that consumers should look for when selecting a new HVAC system is the SEER rating. If you're not familiar with SEER, here are answers to some frequently asked questions about the rating system.

What is SEER?

SEER stands for Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio. It's a technical term used by professionals to indicate how much energy an HVAC system requires to produce a designated amount of cooling.

Your older equipment with a SEER rating of 9 will be much less efficient than a new system with a rating of 13.

Who is in Charge of SEER?

The Air Conditioning, Heating and Refrigeration Institute or AHRI sets the standards for SEER ratings.

On the government side, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency or EPA has created ENERGY STAR, a voluntary program designed to assist homeowners and business owners in selecting and installing the most energy-efficient equipment.

What are the Benefits of Higher SEER Ratings?

The higher the SEER rating, the more energy efficient the system will be. One direct result will be lower utility bills. When your system is running more efficiently, it will last longer, as compared to older, less efficient systems that struggle to keep the house cool during the hottest months.

You will also gain the peace of mind that comes from knowing you are doing your part to help the environment, by lowering your family's carbon footprint thanks to the new HVAC equipment you install.

When Should Homeowners Consider Upgrading?

If your HVAC system is not working efficiently, based on how often it runs, the size of your utility bills and advice from a qualified HVAC technician, you will want to upgrade your system. Much more efficient systems are now available.

Did you install your HVAQ equipment 10 or more years ago? According to the U.S. Department of Energy, replacing a 10-year old system can result in a savings of 20 to 40 percent on cooling costs.

The initial costs of installing a new system will be offset by lowered utility bills as well as possible federal tax credits. Ask your HVAC technician for the latest information on tax credits that might be available to you.

The knowledgeable experts at David Gray Heating & Air stay on top of industry trends and the latest in energy efficiency when it comes to HVAC equipment. If your home's heating, ventilation and air conditioning system is old and you are ready to replace it, we will be happy to help you find the perfect model to meet your family's particular needs, especially in terms of the SEER rating. For more information or to schedule an appointment, please contact the professionals at David Gray Heating & Air today.