What Does an HVAC SEER Rating Mean?

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One of the most important measurements of any air conditioning system is the SEER rating. SEER is an acronym that stands for Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio. Like miles per gallon in a car, the higher the system SEER rating, the more comfort you and your family will get from each energy dollar. With AC units available in a wide variety of SEER ratings , Bruce’s skilled, experienced technicians will help you determine what makes the most sense for your household and budget.

HVAC SEER Ratings Through the Years

Before the 1980s, a typical AC unit had a SEER rating of six or less. In the 1990s, ratings jumped up to 10 to 12. Keep in mind that as the SEER number increases, the energy usage for the same amount of cooling decreases proportionately. Meaning a 12 SEER unit uses half the energy of a 6 SEER.

The U.S. Department of Energy have initiated three mandates pushing the minimum SEER ratings upward. Air conditioning units manufactured in 1992 and later were required to have a minimum of 10 SEER. In 2006, the SEER was reset to a minimum of 13 SEER. Again in 2015, the minimum SEER rating was reset to 14. Some brands on the market go as high as 27 or more SEER rating!

For 2021, there’s a Federal Energy Efficient Tax Credit of 10% with an overall tax credit limit of $500. Keep in mind that the SEER ratio is a maximum efficiency rating that could be lower depending on additional factors like weather conditions. During the Arizona monsoon season, your AC needs to run for a longer period to remove humidity from your house’s air. So money savings with an 18 SEER unit will result in substantial annual energy savings over one with a 13 SEER rating system. And the 18 SEER unit will keep your home cooler and more comfortable for the long summer days.

Who Should You Hire?

If your AC unit is older or failing, it may be time to consider a new AC unit with a higher SEER rating. Start with a call to an HVAC contractor with both experience and expertise. At Bruce’s, we’re here to walk you through SEER ratings and what type of system will work best for your specific needs. Want to learn more? Call us today at 480-968-5652.