Rose Heating Blog

What Does SEER Mean and Why Does It Matter?


Are you in the market for a new HVAC system or air conditioner for your Portland home? If so, you should probably get familiar with the term SEER. SEER is an important thing to consider when purchasing a new system or unit. It outlines, in a simple to understand way, just how energy efficient a new air conditioner is compared to various models on the market. If you’re considering purchasing a new A/C, it’s important to understand what SEER is all about.

In addition to cost and size (which affects the energy efficiency and effectiveness of the unit), it’s also wise to take into consideration your new cooling system’s SEER rating.

What is SEER All About?

SEER is an acronym that stands for, ‘Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio’. This essentially describes how much energy an air conditioner consumes while in operation. The higher the SEER rating, the more efficient the unit, which is a huge plus when you’re thinking about energy savings.

Air conditioners come in ratings between 13 and 20. Today, government standards require a minimum of at least 13 SEER, which is a bit more efficient than the units from 20 years ago before regulations set in. Shoot for as high of a number as you can afford when shopping for a new A/C, because you will only get back the money in energy savings down the road. Not to mention, a more efficient system will be more comfortable for you and your family for a longer period of time than a minimally rated one—so purchase the best you can afford and or ask about local specials, rebates, or financing for your new air conditioner, which can make your home cooling upgrade more affordable.

Does Age Matter?

Many people ask, what if I have a high SEER rated A/C, but it’s over 10 years old? Is it still efficient? Over time, damaged coils, dirt buildup, and corrosion can cause an air conditioner to lose efficiency. While you should be OK with a system that’s 10 years old with a higher SEER rating, if your system is over 20 years old, then it’s time to replace it. Not only is this system extremely inefficient at this point, it’s at risk of total failure, which could leave you in a sticky spot if it breaks down unexpectedly.  

Bottom Line

Even though higher SEER rated air conditioners cost more money initially, the ROI is well worth the investment. If your system is over 15 years old, or has a low SEER rating, then it might be time for you to consider a higher efficiency model. Fortunately, modern day air conditioners come in a variety of options to fit you and your loved ones’ home comfort needs. So, if you have to replace your old worn out A/C, consider it a blessing in disguise to purchase a better fit for your home.

For more information on the latest in home cooling technologies, check out our products page, which outlines all of the most efficient products available today to cool your home.  

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