SEER rating: sounds delicious, right?
Sadly, I’m not going to talk about the best ways to cook a steak today. But I hope the promise of saving energy and money will be almost as enticing.
SEER stands for Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio, which is defined by the Air Conditioning, Heating and Refrigeration Institute. Essentially, SEER ratings are a grade given to stand-alone air conditioning and heat pump equipment units to help consumers better understand a given appliance’s energy efficiency.
How do the fine folks who grade these things arrive at their final conclusion? SEER ratings are calculated by the “cooling output” (aka: how much cold or hot air can it blow) divided by the total amount of electric energy the unit uses in watt-hours. An easier way to think about a SEER rating is to compare it to the miles per gallon (MPG) rating on your car. In both cases, these ratings measure how much work a machine can get done with a set amount of energy. And just like a higher MPG rating is good for your wallet, so is a higher SEER rating.
As you’re probably all-too-familiar, as temperatures rise, so do our energy bills. Here are a few things to think about as we get ready for the summer months ahead:
- If you’re currently in the market for a new air conditioner or heat pump, pay attention to the SEER rating and ask questions about energy efficiency. You might spend less money over time with a unit that is more expensive but more efficient.
- Check to see if you qualify for Duke Energy’s Smart $aver® program, which offers cash rebates for qualifying high efficiency central air conditioners and heat pumps. You can learn more here.
- Schedule a yearly maintenance visit for your existing A/C before the cooling season gets underway with a local heating and air company. Your unit will operate more efficiently when it’s free of debris and in top working order.
- If you have exposed ductwork that is easy to access in a basement, crawlspace or attic, give it a quick visual inspection for major leaks, gaps or holes. You’ll want to avoid a situation like this.
- Change your air intake filters. All of that dirt and dust makes central heating and cooling systems work harder and waste energy.
Be good to your cooling and heating units and they’ll return the favor to you and your wallet. Now who’s ready for some steak?
Do you know the SEER rating on your air conditioner? Share it in the comments!