The Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio, or SEER rating, measures your air conditioning system’s energy efficiency by calculating the cooling output divided by the amount of electric energy input. The higher the SEER rating, the greater energy efficiency of your air conditioning system. This measurement applies to a normal cooling season.
Locate the white or yellow label on your air conditioner or heat pump. This label is the EnergyGuide tag that lists the SEER rating of your unit. A SEER rating lets you know how efficient your current system should be or how efficient it will be after installation. The purpose of a SEER rating is to help homeowners save money.
Air conditioners have SEER ratings ranging from six to 23, but all current units are required to have a SEER rating of 13 or higher. The rating you need is dependent on how much money you want to spend on an air conditioner or heat pump. The higher the SEER rating means, the more efficient the system is and the more it will cost compared to that with a lower SEER rating.
Aside from investing in an air conditioner or heat pump with a high SEER rating, there are other ways you can boost your system’s efficiency. The first way to increase the energy efficiency of your HVAC system is to schedule preventative maintenance at least twice a year on your unit. Well-maintained equipment doesn’t suffer from dust or debris, which lead to reduced performance and higher energy costs.
Changing the air filter on a regular basis helps filter your indoor air and protects your system’s components against debris. Checking the filter once every month will help you determine how often you need to change the filter. If you live in a home with pets or smokers, the filter will need to be changed more often than the average system.
A programmable thermostat will also boost your system’s efficiency by adhering to a schedule designed specifically for you and your family. You can set the thermostat to different temperatures depending on the time of day, when you are asleep, while at work, or when you are on vacation.
The final way to boost energy efficiency in your home is to seal and insulate the ducts that move air throughout your home. This prevents drafts forming in your attic, crawlspace, basement, or garage, which compromise the ventilation and temperature in your home. Your air conditioner or heat pump will have to work more to combat the outside temperature so you can have the ideal climate inside your home.