If you’re thinking about air conditioner installation in Athol, you should also be investigating your new air conditioner’s SEER rating.

SEER stands for Seasonal Energy Efficiency Rating. Simply put, it measures how efficient your air conditioner is at changing electricity into cold air. A high number means your air conditioner is more efficient, which is great for your cooling expenses.

However, there are many differing models on the market for air conditioners. And a better SEER ranking frequently is accompanied by a more expensive price tag. So, how do you know which one is ideal for your house?

At Alpine Summit Heating & Cooling, we provide a free, no-pressure home comfort analysis. You can book one by contacting us at 208-561-1226. Our knowledgeable air conditioner installers will partner with you to help you find the right air conditioner for your needs. Plus, they’ll also offer you a free, no-obligation estimate.

In the meantime, let’s discuss SEER ratings and how they can affect your loved ones’ comfort. And your electric bills.

What Does the SEER Rating Really Matter?

In 2016, the federal government made new SEER guidelines. New air conditioners are mandated at minimum 13 SEER in the northern United States and 14 SEER in the southeast and southwest. If you’re not sure when you had your air conditioner installed or what its SEER number is, you can locate the sticker on the unit outside your home. If you can’t find the sticker, you can give us a call at 208-561-1226 for support.

If your air conditioner was installed in advance of that year, it’s presumably much less efficient. Air conditioning technology has rapidly evolved in the past several years, with major advances in energy efficiency and smart home capability. Using your new air conditioner with a smart thermostat could help you conserve more on electric costs, as the thermostat can intuitively regulate your temperature settings when you’re gone.

If your existing air conditioner has a SEER rating between 8 and 10, getting a 14-SEER system could save you close to 30–50% on annual utility expenses. Your savings depend on your air conditioner size and your temp settings.

Is the Higher the SEER the Better?

An air conditioner with a greater SEER rating will be more efficient at consuming electricity for cooling. The best efficient models, which can go as big as 26 SEER, have ENERGY STAR® endorsement. This certification shows the air conditioner matches EPA guidelines for energy savings and environmental conservation.

While ENERGY STAR air conditioners are often more costly, you’ll normally get the difference repaid over time through smaller air conditioning costs. These air conditioners, which are typically rated 16 SEER and up, need about 8% less power than other new units, according to ENERGY STAR.

One of the largest differences between a 14 SEER and 16 SEER is variable-speed capacity. A variable-speed air conditioner can work at a number of speeds. This improves comfort for your house while keeping your cooling costs reduced. It can also keep temperatures and humidity more consistent, since it can run for longer without needing a lot more electricity.

When buying a variable-speed air conditioner, you’ll need to ensure that your furnace or air handler is compatible. This is since your air conditioner relies on this equipment’s blower to distribute cool air around your home. Furnaces only run for approximately 20 years, so if yours is around that mark, we suggest getting furnace installation at the same time so you can get all the benefits of your variable-speed air conditioner.

When you’re prepared to replace your air conditioner, the cooling professionals at Alpine Summit Heating & Cooling are available to support you. Reach us at 208-561-1226 to set your free home comfort analysis today.