Premier HVAC Company in Albany, OR

What Is a SEER Rating and Why Is It Important?

Almost any consumer product you buy is going to have some benchmark for quality or comparative value. When you’re talking about air conditioning units, that benchmark is known as the SEER rating. A Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio (SEER) rating is going to give you some insight into the energy efficiency of your HVAC equipment, including how it performs during peak months.

At face value, a SEER rating is just a number for consumers—the higher the number, the more efficient a piece of equipment is going to be during peak season. It’s an easy way to gauge the return on investment you’re going to get from a potential new air conditioner installation in Albany, OR.

These days, a typical SEER rating falls somewhere around 13. This is actually the minimum rating for a residential unit as well. Typically, it’s a good fit for homeowners—anything higher could be overkill. That said, however, there are numerous AC units with SEER ratings as high as 20 to 25!

Deciding what SEER rating is right for you depends on a number of things, and it’s important to consider all of them before you choose an AC unit based on its SEER rating. First, consider:

  • What’s the total R-value of your home? The better your home is at keeping temperatures regulated and consistent, the less it will rely on the high SEER rating of your unit.
  • What kind of climate do you live in? Someone in a scorching hot climate is going to want a higher SEER rating because they’ll be relying on their unit throughout the year.
  • What type of unit are you looking at? Mini-split systems can have different capabilities as compared to ground-source AC units. Knowing what to expect from the unit itself will keep your expectations in check.

Chances are, you won’t be able to answer all of these questions on your own, let alone know what SEER rating you should be looking for based on the answers. This is why it’s a smart idea to consult with an HVAC expert before you put money down on a new air conditioner installation in Albany, OR. You’ll avoid investing in a unit that’s not up to the needs of your home, as well as one that might be too much or too expensive.

In Oregon, we see a pretty stable climate during the summer months. The Pacific Northwest stays more humid than hot, which means there’s less reliance on AC units for fewer months of the year than other states. This means the minimum 13 SEER rating is often just right for homeowners. However, there are outliers, and it does pay to evaluate your situation thoroughly before making an investment.

The professionals at Larsell Mechanical Service are here to assist you in understanding SEER ratings and how they play into your home’s HVAC system. If you’re in the market for a new AC unit, give us a call. We can do everything from offering advice about ideal SEER ratings to helping you navigate unit capacity and features specific to your home.

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