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If you’re an Apopka, FL homeowner who’s shopping for a new air conditioning system, you’ll need to understand seasonal energy efficiency ratio (SEER) ratings. These are standard ratings that tell you how much energy a new air conditioner uses in the real world. Here’s everything you need to know to understand SEER ratings.

What Is a SEER Rating?

SEER ratings are an efficiency rating system designed by the U.S. Department of Energy for air conditioners. They provide consumers with a reliable estimate of how efficient an air conditioner is during an average cooling season.

How Are SEER Ratings Calculated?

To understand these ratings, you must first understand their less-complex predecessor, EER ratings. An EER rating comes from a simple calculation. It’s the result of dividing a unit’s cooling output per hour in BTUs by how much energy the unit consumes.

In the real world, however, people don’t run their air conditioners at maximum output for 24 hours every day. That’s where SEER ratings come into the picture. They use a unit’s base EER rating to simulate energy usage over an average cooling season.

To simulate an average cooling season, these ratings rely on some standard usage assumptions. They assume you’ll use your air conditioner for:

  • 1% of the cooling season at 100% power
  • 42% of the cooling season at 75% power
  • 45% of the cooling season at 50% power
  • 12% of the cooing season at 25% power

There’s an easy way to interpret SEER ratings, too. The higher the rating, the more efficient the air conditioner. So, your best bet is to purchase an air conditioner with the highest rating your budget allows.

SEER Ratings and Energy Star

When you are air conditioner shopping, you’ll often see these ratings listed on an air conditioner’s yellow Energy Star tag. It’s important to know that Energy Star-qualified central air conditioners must have at least a 14.5 SEER rating. This means that every air conditioner with a yellow Energy Star tag is among the most efficient units available.

When you’re buying a new air conditioning system for your home, you’ll now know how to interpret SEER ratings. That’s just part of the equation, though, since you’ll need someone trustworthy to install your new AC system. Contact our team at E.C. Waters Air Conditioning & Heat for all your AC installation needs!

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