Air conditioners all have an energy efficiency rating. It’s called a SEER rating. A SEER rating is defined as Seasonal Energy Efficiency Rating. The rating is determined by the output of heat or air for each unit of energy the unit consumes. The higher the output, the higher the rating. Higher ratings indicate higher efficiency.
Related Read: 4 Quick AC Tips to Save Money When You’re Away on Vacay
SEER Rating Requirement
The requirement as of January 2006, mandated by the federal government, is that each new a/c unit has to be at least SEER-13. These ratings are important to consumers for a couple of main reasons. First, utility companies will often offer compensation in the hundreds of dollars for a homeowner to install a higher efficiency unit. Consumers can also check for current rebates that are available. Higher efficiency also results in lower utility bills and less stress on the environment.
There are a handful of ways to find the SEER rating of your current unit. The easiest is to get it off the yellow and black Energy Guide sticker, if it’s still intact on your condenser. You may also have a piece of paper taped to your indoor unit that might show the rating. Your model nameplate on your unit may provide an indication (although it may not be exact) of your SEER rating. If you are still having trouble locating it, you can copy down the manufacturer and serial numbers and contact the manufacturer.
Time for a New Unit?
Check out this list of recommendations from ENERGY STAR on when to consider upgrading your AC unit:
- If your heat or AC unit is more than 10 years old
- Furnace or boiler is more than 15 years old
- Energy bills are rising and repairs needed are frequent
- Unequal heating or cooling in different rooms of your house
- If you are gone for long stretches of the day and don’t have a programmable thermostat
- Your home has humidity problems
- Your home has excessive dust
- Your system is noisy
- Your score on the home energy yardstick is below 5