We service ALL brands makes and models!
Request Service

What is an Acceptable SEER Rating for an Air Conditioner?

August 20, 2020

If you’re needing air conditioner installation in the Bay Area, you should also be investigating your new air conditioner’s SEER rating.

SEER means Seasonal Energy Efficiency Rating. Basically, it looks at how capable your air conditioner is at turning electricity into chilled air. A greater number indicates your air conditioner is more efficient, which is great for your energy costs.

However, there are lots of different models on the market for air conditioners. And a greater SEER number usually involves a bigger price. So, how can you find out which one is best for your home?

At Contra Costa Heating & AC, we offer a free, no-pressure home comfort analysis. You can get one by contacting us at 510-343-9841. Our experienced air conditioner installers will work with you to help you find the right air conditioner for your family. Plus, they’ll also provide you with a free, no-obligation estimate.

For the time being, let’s go over SEER ratings and how it can impact your family’s comfort. And your utility costs.

How Does SEER Rating Impact My Air Conditioner?

In 2016, the federal government made new SEER guidelines. New air conditioners must be at minimum 13 SEER in the northern United States and 14 SEER in the southeast and southwest. If you’re unsure when you had your air conditioner installed or what its SEER number is, you can check the sticker on the condenser outside your residence. If you can’t find the sticker, you can get in touch with us at 510-343-9841 for assistance.

If your air conditioner was installed in advance of that date, it’s likely much less efficient. Cooling technology has swiftly changed in the past several years, with major advances in energy efficiency and smart home compatibility. Using your new air conditioner with a smart thermostat could help you save even more on AC bills, as the thermostat can automatically manage your temperature settings when you’re away.

If your present air conditioner has a SEER rating between 8 and 10, adding a 14-SEER system could save you close to 30–50% on annual utility expenses. Your savings are contingent upon your air conditioner size and your thermostat settings.

Is the Higher the SEER the Better?

An air conditioner with a better SEER rating will be more efficient at converting electricity for cooling. The most efficient systems, which can go as high as 26 SEER, include ENERGY STAR® designation. This designation shows the air conditioner meets EPA requirements for energy savings and environmental conservation.

While ENERGY STAR air conditioners are frequently more costly, you’ll usually get the difference repaid throughout the years through lower air conditioning bills. These air conditioners, which are frequently rated 16 SEER and better, use about 8% less energy than other new systems, according to ENERGY STAR.

One of the greatest differences between a 14 SEER and 16 SEER is variable-speed capability. A variable-speed air conditioner can operate at varying speeds. This fine-tunes comfort for your residence while keeping your electrical expenses low. It can also keep temperatures and humidity more balanced, since it can operate for longer without consuming a lot more electrity.

When getting a variable-speed air conditioner, you’ll want to make sure that your furnace or air handler is compatible. This is since your air conditioner uses this unit’s blower to send cold air around your house. Furnaces only run for about 20 years, so if yours is around that mark, we recommend furnace installation at the same time so you can get all the advantages of your variable-speed air conditioner.

When you’re ready to replace your air conditioner, the cooling professionals at Contra Costa Heating & AC are here to help. Call us at 510-343-9841 to set your free home comfort analysis right away.