SEER? What is it & Why Do I Care?

For homeowners, it’s important that you become aware of SEER, a ratio that will play a huge role in your HVAC system. SEER is something that as a homeowner, you should care about and want to learn about all that is entailed from it. Get ready to learn just how important SEER truly is.

What is a SEER Rating? What Does SEER Stand For?

In general, SEER, “Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio,” is the efficiency rating of an HVAC system, which measures exactly how efficient any appliance in your home, is. In general, the higher the rating, the more efficient the appliance is. The higher the SEER rating is for your air conditioning unit, refrigerator, heating system or other appliance in your home, the less money you’ll spend on your energy bills because of the greater efficiency.

The SEER rating derives from the EER rating that was introduced in 1975. EER—”Energy Efficiency Ratio”— came from the Air Conditioning and Refrigeration Institute. The purpose of this concept was to measure the efficiency of cooling HVAC units. A few years later, Congress passed a law that required labeling to appear on appliances, which soon led to a new rating of SEER to be introduced.

Overall, SEER was viewed as being a better alternative to the EER rating, because it was much more accurate. The SEER rating was designed to determine the cooling costs of an air conditioning unit, based on the specific climate zone in which the appliance resides. In other words, SEER operates based on efficiency ratings at temperatures that differ from those measured by EER. In addition, an SEER rating measures details ranging anywhere from conditions of cycling, to whether the appliance is on or off.

The SEER rating of an appliance—your a/c unit, refrigerator, or your heating system—is also measured based on whether your unit is indoors or outdoors. We refer to this as a matched system. Such units are tested and given a rating in regard to the energy efficiency of the given unit—this can often be compared to the miles per gallon rating for a car.

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