Understanding Your HVAC System’s SEER Rating

January 24, 2019 11:31 pm Published by Leave your thoughts

Being a homeowner doesn’t mean you are innately knowledgeable in all aspects of your home. Instead, you learn things over time through trial and error, through repairs and replacements. For example, let’s say you move into an already existing house that needs a new HVAC system, or you’re building a custom home and the builder approaches you with your HVAC installation options. Anyone not familiar with residential heating and cooling in Central Kansas will ask the contractor for his or her recommendation, and in the process will learn that there are choices based around a SEER rating.

If you read the above and immediately find yourself asking, “What is a SEER rating?” then the following information is for you. Read on for a better understanding of your HVAC system’s SEER rating.

What does SEER mean, and how is it measured?

The Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio (SEER) measures heating and air conditioning efficiency. This is calculated by taking the output for a regular cooling season and dividing it by the electrical energy consumed during the same time period. In order to figure this out, a constant indoor temperature is used, while a variety of outdoor temperatures are used.

It’s important to keep in mind that a SEER rating refers to maximum efficiency, much like how your car’s miles per gallon (MPG) rating indicates what it’s likely to get on the highway, rather than driving around town. A SEER rating of 21, for example, does not indicate that your HVAC system will maintain that maximum level of efficiency at all times.

What is considered a good SEER rating?

Your next likely question, once you understand how the concept of the SEER rating works, is likely to be this one. In short, the higher the SEER rating, the greater the energy efficiency of the HVAC system. A majority of modern systems have a SEER between 13 (the mandated minimum) and 21. Trane, for example, offers systems with a range of 14.5 to 22. Regardless of the manufacturer, what’s going to determine the actual efficiency of your system is a combination of the size of your home, the configuration and sealing of your ductwork and other related factors.

Other considerations

It’s important to note that a high SEER rating does not automatically mean a particular HVAC system is of high quality. Equipment with high SEER ratings has typically been built to provide that higher efficiency, but also to a baseline standard in terms of other specifications. In other words, the extra cost associated with a higher-efficiency system does not signify a higher quality.

If you’re interested in learning more about SEER ratings, or if you are in need of HVAC repair, installation or maintenance, look no further than the experts at K V K Inc. We are a locally-owned and family-operated company specializing in heating and cooling in Central Kansas for residential and commercial clients. Call us today to schedule a service appointment or to arrange a consultation. We look forward to assisting you soon!

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