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When the time is right to purchase a new air conditioning system, it pays to consult the SEER. An acronym that stands for Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio, SEER is an industry-wide standard for measuring cooling efficiency. Just as mile-per-gallon ratings let you compare cars based on their fuel economy, SEER ratings can help you select an energy-saving system. Systems with higher SEER ratings deliver the comfort you need during a Columbus, Georgia heat wave without sending your energy bills soaring.

1. How SEER Is Calculated

SEER ratings are achieved by comparing the equipment’s cooling output to the energy it consumes. To reflect the changing climate of the summer season, it’s calculated using the same indoor temperature and a range of outside temperatures:

  • Cooling output is determined by adding up the amount of heat removed from the space over the entire season. This is measured in British Thermal Units (BTUs), representing the system’s overall cooling capacity.
  • The amount of electricity that an AC system uses is measured in watt-hours. For each outdoor temperature scenario, the BTUs are divided by the watt-hours to come up with an average SEER rating.
  • The resulting SEER value gives an accurate indication of the efficiency of the AC system over the warm-weather season. The higher the number, the less energy the equipment uses.

2. SEER Saves You Money

An air conditioner or heat pump that keeps you cool with minimal energy expenditure helps keep utility bills under control. How high can SEER ratings go? Just a few decades ago, an air conditioning system with a SEER rating of 8 was considered energy efficient. Today, a base rating of 13 is the norm. Superior systems boast SEER ratings of 18 or higher. Even if your AC system is only 10 years old, a high-efficiency replacement could cut your cooling costs by 40 percent.

3. SEER Improves Performance

Many of the features that the HVAC industry has implemented to improve SEER ratings also enhance performance. Systems with variable-speed blowers, for example, adjust airflow to meet your needs. The equipment runs at full velocity only when cooling demands are high. This allows you to enjoy a consistently cool environment while conserving energy at the same time. Engineered for efficiency, systems with high SEER ratings deliver the cooling relief you want during a hot and humid summer in Georgia.

4. Let SEER Guide You Toward the Ideal System

The variety of cooling options available today can make it challenging to find the right system. Whether it’s a central air system or a ductless heat pump, SEER ratings make it easier to make apples-to-apples comparisons. A skilled HVAC contractor can facilitate this process by explaining the energy-saving benefits of each model. You can then weigh the upfront costs against the money you’ll save through lower energy bills over the life of the system.

5. New SEER Standards for Georgia

New government standards for SEER ratings went into effect on January 1, 2015. For the first time, different efficiency levels for air conditioning systems were set for different regions of the country. In southeast states like Georgia where cooling demands are high, the minimum SEER rating is now 14 for split-system and single-package units. As a Trane Comfort Specialist, Climate Control Heating & Air Conditioning offers a full selection of qualifying systems. We’re certified to ensure that your new equipment meets all energy efficiency requirements.

Serving Columbus and the surrounding communities since 1982, Climate Control Heating & Air Conditioning knows cooling. We understand the unique challenges of our climate and have the know-how it takes to keep you comfortable. For more information about how our HVAC services enhance your comfort and save you money, give us a call today.