Before buying a new AC system, you’ll need to determine what SEER (Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio) rating you want for your new system. Many homeowners may have heard the term "SEER" before but don't actually know what the acronym stands for when it can be a vital part of choosing the right AC unit.
The answer? Per national regional standards, all Pittsburgh ACs have to be rated at least 13 SEER.
However, the SEER rating you should buy for your home depends on a variety of factors, like:
- Your budget
- Insulation levels
- Existing ductwork
- Size of AC unit
Because there are so many factors that go into this decision, getting a professional's recommendation is the only way to accurately determine which SEER rating is best for you.
Below, we’ll go into more detail about why you need a professional recommendation. But first, let’s start with a look at what SEER means and why it’s important.
Rather skip the read and get a professional's recommendation now? That’s where we come in. Unlike other, scammy techs that may try to rip you off, we train all of our techs for 10,000 hours, so you can be sure that the recommendations they’re providing are accurate and honest. Learn more about the AC installation services we offer or...
What does SEER stand for?
SEER stands for Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio. SEER measures how energy-efficient an AC system is, on a scale from 13–25+.
SEER is measured by dividing the total amount of cooling the system provides (in British Thermal Units) by the amount of energy it consumes.
The higher the SEER, the higher the efficiency. And the higher the efficiency, the more monthly savings you’ll likely see in regards to your electricity bill.
Now that we’ve discussed what SEER means, let’s look at the factors that affect which SEER rating is best for your new AC system.
The most important SEER factor: Your budget
Like we mentioned above, there are quite a few factors that impact the SEER rating you should buy. However, your budget far outweighs the other factors.
This is probably not a surprise, but the more efficient your AC system is (the higher the SEER), the more expensive it will be.
If you are on a tight budget, our advice would be to purchase a system with a SEER rating of 13. Per national regional standards, 13 is the lowest SEER rating an AC can have, so if you have a small budget, this is the best option for your home.
If you have a larger budget, our advice would be to invest in a high-SEER system, 16+. Because these systems are highly efficient, you could see a return on your monthly energy bills.
In addition, high-SEER systems usually have advanced comfort features, like two-stage and variable-speed technology, which provide benefits like:
- Reduced indoor humidity
- Even cooling throughout your home
- Increased efficiency
Although your budget is important in determining which SEER rating is best for your AC system, there are other factors that play a part. Let’s look at how a professional will evaluate those factors to help you determine which SEER rating is best for your home.
Why you need a professional’s recommendation
As we mentioned above, the higher the SEER rating, the more cost savings you could see in the long run, but the more expensive the initial investment is.
At the end of the day, you want to ensure that your investment will pay off. So, if you invest in a high-SEER system, you want to be sure that you will see those returns. This is where a professional comes in.
An HVAC professional can take into account factors like:
- Your home’s insulation levels
- The quality of your existing ductwork (i.e., if it has leaks)
- The size of your AC unit
These factors all determine the actual savings you could get from a high-SEER AC.
For example, if your home has poor insulation, you won't see significant cost savings from a high-SEER system. That's because your AC will have to work harder to cool your home, which negates the benefits of a high-SEER system. When a professional looks at these factors, they can help you predict and maximize the energy-savings before you invest in an AC system.
Ready for an estimate on a new AC system? Hire Pittsburgh’s best: Calfo!
Regardless of what your budget is, our team of highly-trained pros can find a solution that is best for your home and your budget.