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Atlantic Refrigeration and Air Conditioning, Inc. Blog

What is a SEER Rating and How Does It Affect my Air Conditioner?

If you’re in the market for a new air conditioner, you may have heard the term “SEER rating” to describe the unit’s efficiency. The term stands for Season Energy Efficiency Ratio, and it’s a convenient way to measure how much an air conditioner is going to cost you to run when you have it installed. That’s a significant consideration, especially considering Dover, DE’s hot and muggy summers. Understanding the SEER rating is important to making an informed choice for a new air conditioner. A trained professional can help you with the specifics, but a brief overview of what the rating means makes a good place to start.

How the Rating is Made

The formula for deriving a SEER rating is fairly complicated. It’s basically the ratio of cooling power (measured in British thermal units or BTUs) to the energy the air conditioner consumes (measured in watt hours). In other words, it measures how much cooling energy it creates against the amount of energy is consumes. The higher the rating, the more bang the air conditioner generates for your buck. Keep in mind that this isn’t the same thing as power. A powerful air conditioner can have a much lower SEER rating than a much less powerful system, because the smaller system does more with less.

What to Look for in a SEER Rating

Generally speaking, the higher the rating, the more value the air conditioner has and the more efficiently it will cool your house. As of 2006, all air conditioners sold in the U.S. need a SEER rating of at least 13. If you can afford a higher rating, you should definitely look into it. A good shortcut is to look for units with the Energy Star sticker, denoting particularly efficient air conditioners.

For more on SEER ratings and to find an air conditioner that’s right for you, talk to the experts at Atlantic Refrigeration today!

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