If you’re in the market for a new air conditioner, or have just been looking more closely than usual at the labelling on the one you own, you may have noticed a reference to something called a SEER rating. SEER stands for Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio, and the SEER number assigned to a particular air conditioning unit represents how well it can perform.

Consumption Versus Output

The SEER rating gets assigned based on how much heating or cooling output the appliance can offer after using one unit of energy. From a consumer’s point of view, a higher SEER rating could mean lower utility bills because it shows that the air conditioner does a good job without requiring excessive amounts of energy.

More Efficient Units Are Kinder to the Environment

In addition to making it so homeowners can enjoy comfortable temperatures without dealing with overly expensive bills, a higher SEER rating may make a household eligible to receive a rebate after installing a unit. That’s because the U.S. government has mandated that all air conditioning units must have a SEER rating of 13 or better, recognizing that a more efficient unit is better for the environment.

You may be able to get money back after buying an especially efficient unit by taking part in a government program that’s put in place to encourage people to make environmentally friendly home upgrades.

What’s Best for Your Needs?

The typical climate for your area of the country can help you determine how high of a SEER rating you need. When shopping for a unit or discussing your specifications with an air conditioning specialist, it’s helpful to keep an eye out for the “ENERGY STAR” label. It’s related to a program offered by the Environmental Protection Agency, and only appliances that are able to reach a certain energy efficiency threshold are permitted to bear the label.

Looking for labels that designate good energy efficiency may be the fastest way to find something with a high SEER rating. It’s also a good idea to make a list of your other ideals, whether you want a unit that’s especially quiet, or one that has a timer function so you can switch it to a lower operating mode during times when your usage is lower.

Hopefully you’ll now feel well informed when you notice the SEER acronym on an air conditioner. Although some consumers might pass over it without a second glance, you now know that the number associated with a SEER rating might directly impact how much you pay to keep your home at a comfortable temperature.

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