Understanding the SEER rating & Kansas requirements for air conditioners
The SEER rating is one of the most important aspects of your air conditioning unit, but it’s still a confusion for most people. Here are the answers to the most fundamental questions about SEER ratings that you should know before making any change to your home’s cooling system.
Why do I need to know about SEER ratings?
Understanding SEER ratings could end up saving you money. Air conditioners are a significant investment for your home. You’re going to spend thousands of dollars on your next cooling system. Not only that, you are probably going to spend thousands on your energy bills. An air-conditioner with a good SEER rating can save you hundreds of dollars on your energy costs each year.
What is a SEER rating?
SEER stands for Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio. The SEER rating is about the quantity of energy your AC unit will need to operate. It is a ratio of how much cooling a system puts out for each unit of energy it consumes.
Is a higher or lower SEER rating better?
An air conditioner with a high SEER rating is better. The higher the SEER rating, the more efficient that air conditioner will be. How high of a SEER rating you should get depends on a few factors, such as the size of your house and where you live.
What SEER rating is needed for Kansas?
The U.S. Department of Energy requires all new air conditioning units to meet certain levels of efficiency. These levels are determined by the SEER rating. While this efficiency standard was the same for all states when the government regulation first began, over recent years the SEER rating has changed for some states not far from Kansas.
- In 2006, when existing air conditioners had SEER ratings as low as 6, the government set the minimum SEER rating for all new AC units to 13. While all AC manufacturing companies adhere to this guideline, many have been able to produce even more efficient models with SEER ratings in the 20s.
- In 2015, the government raised the SEER rating minimum to 14 in certain states that are in warmer climates. Kansas is not included in this list, but Oklahoma is.
How much money will I save by raising my SEER rating?
There isn’t a simple answer. Each home has many factors that determine its regular energy costs such as the size of the house and how well it is insulated. Some may find that by improving their SEER rating by 10 will result in their air conditioner using only half as much energy! You can check out any number of online SEER Savings Calculators to get an idea for how much you might save.
How should I use the SEER rating to shop for a new air conditioner?
The SEER number gives you the ability to compare air conditioning systems and to know which one will work more efficiently in your home. The SEER rating tells you which units will expend the least amount of energy and therefore save you money on your utility bills.
However, the SEER rating isn’t the only factor to consider when purchasing a new air conditioner. Our Hanna Heating and Air technicians will be happy to assess your home’s specific needs to help you determine which unit is right for you AND your budget. With several decades of experience installing air conditioning units in homes across Wichita, you can trust us to find the best options needed for you and your home. We can also help you determine if a repair is needed instead of a new AC installation. Call us today at (316) 945-3481 or send us a message online