Saving Money With SEER

With all major investments in life, you want to receive a good return and make them worth your while. You may not realize it but that also stands true when it comes to your HVAC system, especially when it comes to SEER.

Who Sets SEER? SEER (Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio) is enforced by the US Department of Energy. ALL HVAC units have a SEER rating which you can find on the side of your exterior unit, often on a bright yellow sticker (see below). Just like you may see “energy efficient” appliances, lawn mowers, and even cars, your HVAC unit can be energy efficient, too. The SEER guideline for your HVAC varies by what area of the country you live in. In North Carolina, the minimum SEER ratio is currently 14. For a full explanation of how SEER is calculated, you can find out more information here.

So What’s In A Rating? You’ve likely noticed that energy efficient home appliances or automobiles are a higher upfront investment compared to their less efficient counterparts. The same is true with your new HVAC unit – the higher the SEER the higher the investment. However, there’s a good reason why and it can lead to great savings for you!

The higher the SEER the more efficiently your unit runs year round, which means savings on your power bill year round, too. This calculator shows the difference between a minimum 14 SEER unit and a 20 SEER unit with an average five year savings of over $600 and 15 year savings of over $1800. Depending on the life of your unit you could save thousands of dollars on your power bill over time from investing in a higher SEER HVAC system. Many older units, which may be true for you, have a SEER even lower than 14 since the minimum requirement was just adjusted a few years back. The minimum is expected to be adjusted again in 2023 by the US Department of Energy to a 15 SEER for North Carolina residents.

There are many factors that can contribute to how long your unit lasts and how efficiently it runs. At Thornton’s Heating & Air, we recommend a bi-annual tune up, once in the warm months and again when it gets cool. SEER can help your unit run more efficiently but our maintenance agreements keep them running smoothly year round. For any of your questions about SEER, HVAC units, ventilation, duct work, maintenance or repairs, give our experienced technicians a call today!

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