If you’ve been shopping for an air conditioner or heat pump, you’ve definitely heard about the seasonal energy efficiency ratio (SEER). Residents in Avondale, Arizona, depend heavily on their air conditioning throughout the year, so it’s important to understand energy efficiency. Here’s what you need to know:

What’s a Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio (SEER)?

SEER is a measure of a cooling system’s energy efficiency usually expressed in terms of cooling output in British thermal units (BTU) divided by energy consumption in watt-hours. The higher the SEER, the more efficient the air conditioner. In other words, an air conditioner with a higher SEER consumes less electricity to provide the same amount of cooling power as an air conditioner with a lower SEER.

What’s a Good SEER Rating?

The Department of Energy regulations require that all split-system central air conditioners installed in the Southwest, which includes Arizona, must have a SEER of at least 14. This is slightly higher than the national standard due to the greater need for efficient cooling in our region. In order to have an Energy Star rating, an air conditioner must have a SEER of at least 14.5.

However, some air conditioners can achieve significantly higher SEER. The most efficient traditional split-system air conditioners on the market today are in the upper 20s, while some ductless mini-splits are in the low 30s. Some ground-source heat pumps can reach an even higher SEER all the way up to 75. Although, it’s difficult to get that high in Arizona because the ground temperature is so hot.

How Do I Pick the Right Air Conditioner?

Remember, your air conditioner is one of your home’s biggest consumers of electricity. The rule of thumb is to get the highest SEER system you can reasonably afford in order to benefit from long-term savings. The upfront cost of a more efficient system will be offset by your lower electric bills for years to come.

Need help choosing and installing a new air conditioner? El Indio AC Heating and Cooling at 623-907-1470 to learn more about SEER ratings and how they impact efficiency.