SEER: What It Is and How It Can Help You Save Money

SEER ratio

The time has come for a new air conditioning unit for your home or business…but now what? An HVAC unit is an investment that will last you for years to come, but like many items in life, cheaper is not always better. One of the factors that you want to judge when get a new unit is the SEER ratio.

SEER – What It Really Means. SEER stands for Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio (not rating as you may see), the ratio of the cooling output of an air conditioner over a cooling period, divided by the energy it consumed during the same period. That sounds great, but what does that really mean? SEER is the efficiency at which air conditioning units create cooled air. We’ve all heard of “energy efficient” and years ago the units that our parents and grandparents used were extremely inefficient, resulting in very high electric bills. Today North Carolina requires a minimum rating of 14 for any newly installed air conditioning units however the higher the SEER rating the more energy efficient your unit can be and, over time, this significantly adds up! Think of your unit as a car engine, the lower the gear, the more your car has to work, with a higher SEER unit, your unit uses different zones (changing into higher gears) and will not have to run as long for the same amount of cooling output.

Saving You Money. How does SEER help you? According to SEER calculations, simply by going from a unit that is 14 SEER to 20 SEER you could save over 30% on your electric bill. This can lead to thousands of dollars in savings of the life of the unit. Even higher SEER ratios will save you even more money as they are extremely energy efficient. Like with any major investment, you’ll want to do your research. Lower SEER units have a lower up front cost but the savings on your electric bill during the lifetime cycle of the unit could easily lead to conclude that a higher SEER is worth it for your home or business.

Like with any HVAC questions, call the experts! Thornton’s Heating & Air has over 40 years experience helping the local Alamance County area and beyond. Our technicians would love to answer any questions that you may have and schedule a FREE estimate on your new installation today!

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