Minimum SEER Rating 2019 (What SEER To Buy?)

What is the minimum seer rating to buy in 2019? All of us should be mindful of just how much electrical energy we use. In the typical home, it’s the air conditioner that tends to use more energy than just about anything else over a typical hot summer. As we struggle to come to grips with the new energy market and climate change, it’s important for us all to be investing in air conditioning systems with a good SEER rating.

SEER means: Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio. There’s some math involved, but in the simplest terms, the SEER rating is a measure of how much electrical energy an air conditioning unit uses compared to how much cool air it outputs. If, for example, a unit were to output a lot of cool air and use minimal electrical energy, its SEER rating would be high.

Minimum SEER Rating 2019?

It would seem that a highly rated air conditioner would save you in energy costs, which is a good thing in this day and age. Ideally, one would buy an AC unit with a high enough SEER rating that the costs associated with it would be minimal.

Before deciding on an AC unit though, there are some things you need to know about minimum SEER rating 2019:

  1. They Can Help You Make a More Cost-Effective Decision

The most obvious benefit of the SEER rating is that it can help buyers to make a decision about the most energy efficient AC unit. Once upon a time, everyone would buy a unit based only on how powerful it was at cooling a room. These days, it’s also important to consider how much it will cost over the hot times of the year. By comparing SEER ratings between AC units, one can make a more informed decision.

  1. They Change Depending on Where You Live

Where you live will determine the minimum SEER rating of units available in your stores. For example, in Las Vegas, NV, the minimum SEER rating is 14, but in other areas 13 is the standard minimum.

  1. They Are Not the Entire Story

Even though the SEER rating is important in identifying AC units that are more energy efficient, it doesn’t actually tell the whole story. Every rating is determined according to some standard testing methodology. This method assumes that the indoor and outdoor temperatures are at a certain level. This allows them to determine an energy efficiency rating on averages across an entire season.

Obviously, if the temperatures vary even by a few degrees in a year, the SEER rating doesn’t make as much sense. According to the standard testing, an AC unit with a SEER rating of 14 will be more efficient than one with a rating of 12, for example. But if the higher rated unit is working in a season of temperatures that are unusually high, it may not be any more efficient than a lower rated unit operating in more ideal conditions.

This is also why minimum SEER ratings vary region by region, to reflect different average temperatures. However, despite temperature fluctuations that may occur, the energy efficiency of any unit is also determined by other factors, including how effective the wall and roof insulation is.

  1. These Ratings Get Lower Over Time

Most people don’t actually think about it when they buy an air conditioner, but the unit will decrease in operational effectiveness over time. It will become worn out, parts will need replacing, and the unit will just start to become less efficient.

If you have an air conditioner, it’s important to have it regularly serviced and maintained no matter how high the SEER rating is. If you notice any of the following issues, it’s definitely time to call out a technician to have a look:

  • You hear vibrations and other noises, including wheezing as the AC operates
  • The air conditioner doesn’t cool down a room as quickly as it used to
  • Your electrical bills are higher than normal during periods of AC operation
  • The unit is blowing out warm air instead of cool air

What SEER Rating Should I Buy?

It might seem clear that buying the best air conditioner also means investing in one that has a higher SEER rating. While this would be true on the surface, the SEER rating does not tell the whole story, as has been outlined above.

Lots of sales people will happily tell you that the higher SEER rating will save you money and pay for itself. This may certainly be true under ideal operating conditions, but this can vary. In fact, SEER is a variable that is not set in stone. The SEER rating is best used as a guide as to how effective and energy efficient a unit is, but should not always guide the buying decision.

As a general rule, high SEER units are more expensive than lower rated units. Many people think that high SEER units are actually better because they are manufactured to higher standards. This is simply not true and should not be a factor in the buying decision. Every single company will manufacture equipment according to standards, which means that low SEER equipment is also made to the same standards and tolerances.

So, what minimum SEER rating should you really be looking for? Here are some things that you should consider to guide you in your buying decision:

  • How hot is it where you live in the periods when you’ll be using the air conditioner?
  • How good is the insulation in your home?
  • Is your home shaded?

All of these factors will also determine how effective an air conditioner is going to be in your home. In the worst conditions that are well outside of the standard model used for determining SEER ratings, a high SEER unit will certainly not be saving you money.

None of this is to suggest that you should buy the least expensive and lowest rated model, but these are all real factors in determining how effective any AC unit will be. The minimum SEER rating has been devised to help customers choose a unit that will do the best job under ideal conditions and one should always look at these units when buying.

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