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SEER And Your Air-Conditioning System: How It Affects Efficiency

Air conditioning is crucial for maintaining your family’s comfort during our hot, humid summers. When you’re in the market for new air-conditioning equipment, you may notice numerical SEER ratings on the products. SEER (Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio) is a standard, industry-wide measurement that helps consumers compare individual pieces of equipment. SEER numbers indicate the relative energy input that is necessary to ensure a certain cooling output (measured in BTUs, or British Thermal Units) over an entire cooling season.

The numbers

Air conditioners manufactured after 2006, when the latest energy standards were put in place, must have a minimum SEER of 13. These energy-efficient units will carry the Energy Star label. Don’t hesitate to purchase equipment with a rating above the minimum; in fact, certain units rate as high as SEER 21. Remember, the higher the SEER, the more energy you will save and the lower your operating costs will be. Models with higher SEERs may require some ductwork upgrades, however, since many older homes don’t have the proper return air ducts necessary for new, energy-efficient systems.

Affordability and comfort

Even when ductwork is needed, homeowners will still save money over the long run with a highly efficient system. Additionally, you’ll be eligible for federal tax credits with the purchase of qualifying, higher-SEER equipment, plus you’ll benefit from much lower utility bills. To learn just how much you might save, use this handy SEER Energy Savings Calculator tool.

Air-conditioning systems with higher SEERs will also keep your home more comfortable here in the humid conditions we face in Tampa Bay, since they come equipped with the very best humidity-control systems.

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