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What SEER Rating Should My Air Conditioner Be?

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

SEER is short for Seasonal Energy Efficiency Rating. Simply put, it examines how productive your air conditioner is at turning electricity into chilled air. A high number means your air conditioner is more efficient, which is great for your energy expenses.

However, there are a lot of different options on the market for air conditioners. And a greater SEER ranking often includes a more expensive cost. So, how can you find out which one is right for your home?

At Banister's Heating & Air Conditioning Services, we give you a free, no-pressure home comfort analysis. You can book one by contacting us at 575-446-3948. Our skilled air conditioner installers will collaborate with you to help you pick the right air conditioner for your needs. Plus, they’ll also offer you a free, no-obligation estimate.

In the meantime, let’s go over SEER ratings and how it can impact your family’s comfort. And your energy bills.

Does My Air Conditioner’s SEER Rating Matter?

In 2016, the federal government made new SEER rules. New air conditioners are mandated at baseline 13 SEER in the northern United States and 14 SEER in the southeast and southwest. If you don’t know when you had your air conditioner put in or what its SEER ranking is, you can locate the sticker on the unit outside your house. If you can’t find the sticker, you can get in touch with us at 575-446-3948 for help.

If your air conditioner was installed in advance of that date, it’s presumably much less efficient. Air conditioner technology has rapidly evolved in the past couple of years, with major breakthroughs in energy efficiency and smart home capacity. Connecting your new air conditioner with a smart thermostat could help you conserve more on utility expenses, because the thermostat can intuitively change your temperature settings when you’re away.

If your current air conditioner has a SEER rating between 8 and 10, installing a 14-SEER system could save you an estimated 30–50% on annual cooling bills. Your savings relate to 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 using electricity for cooling. The highest efficiency models, which can go as high as 26 SEER, include ENERGY STAR® certification. This endorsement signifies the air conditioner meets EPA rules for energy savings and environmental conservation.

While ENERGY STAR air conditioners are often more expensive, you’ll normally get the difference returned over time through lower utility costs. These air conditioners, which are typically rated 16 SEER and higher, consume about 8% less energy than other new models, according to ENERGY STAR.

One of the biggest differences between a 14 SEER and 16 SEER is variable-speed technology. A variable-speed air conditioner can cool at a number of speeds. This improves comfort for your home while keeping your cooling costs down. It can also keep temperatures and humidity more consistent, since it can operate for longer without requiring a lot more energy.

When adding a variable-speed air conditioner, you’ll have to ensure that your furnace or air handler is compatible. This is because your air conditioner depends on this system’s blower to distribute chilled air around your home. Furnaces only last for about 20 years, so if yours is around that age, we suggest getting furnace installation at the same time so you can enjoy all the benefits of your variable-speed air conditioner.

When you’re prepared to replace your air conditioner, the cooling professionals at Banister's Heating & Air Conditioning Services are ready to support you. Give us a call at 575-446-3948 to book your free home comfort analysis today.

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