We’re glad that you’re thinking about the SEER rating already in your quest for a new air conditioning installation in Bulverde, TX. It shows that you’re approaching this important job with the right questions in mind. Choosing a new air conditioner is not as simple as just picking a unit in the right price range or looking for something that is advertised as “high-efficiency.” You have to balance several factors to make sure that the AC unit you end up with can handle your comfort needs without wasting power.
SEER is an efficiency rating used on all refrigerant-based air conditioners, and it’s defined by the Air Conditioning, Heating, and Refrigeration Institute (AHRI) so it is standardized across all cooling system manufacturers. You probably already know that a higher SEER rating means a unit has better energy efficiency. Now you want to know how much importance to place on SEER in your AC shopping.
Look for the ENERGY STAR label
The first piece of advice we can give you is to always look for air conditioning systems that have the ENERGY STAR label. This means the unit meets the minimum specifications for energy efficiency as set by the US Department of Energy. An ENERGY STAR-qualified unit may not be considered a “high-efficiency” air conditioning system, but it’s not a power-waster. You’re already in a good efficiency range. The current ENERGY STAR standard for air conditioning systems is SEER of 15 or more.
Higher SEER means a higher price tag
As the SEER rating of a unit increases, the air conditioning system price will also increase. It’s not an even growth, as ACs can have several different features that raise the price, but it’s generally true that you’ll pay more for an 18 SEER unit than a 15 SEER one, and units above 20 SEER are top-of-the-line air conditioners with the highest price.
Is high efficiency worth the cost?
That’s the big question you’ll have at this point: will the improved efficiency of an AC with a high SEER rating offset the initial cost and end up saving you money over the air conditioner’s service life? And the answer is … it’s impossible to say as a generalization. This is where working with professional installers is essential. Trying to guess at how much you’ll save based on SEER can end up leading to picking the wrong system for your house. Because—and this is the key part—higher SEER doesn’t guarantee you’ll save money. A unit can be highly efficient, but if it’s not the right size or type of unit for your home, it will run too frequently and end up wasting money regardless.
Size and other factors
For an air conditioning system to work correctly for a house, it must be the right size—i.e. power. If too small or too large it won’t work either effectively or efficiently. Finding the right size requires working with professionals. Once experts know the size of the AC necessary, they can help you determine general savings based on SEER. Other factors to consider are special AC features like multi-stage fans and variable speed refrigerant flow. Work with our pros and they’ll see you find the perfect fit for your budget, your future savings, and your comfort.
At Thayer Air Conditioning, your comfort is our #1 priority! Call us when you’re ready for a new air conditioning installation.