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What Does SEER Mean?

Tuesday, June 03, 2014

How efficient is your AC when the sun starts beating down?SEER, or Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio, is a measure of air conditioning efficiency as defined by the Air Conditioning, Heating, and Refrigeration Institute. The SEER number is calculated by dividing the cooling output, in BTUs, of an air conditioning unit during an average cooling season by the total amount of energy consumed, in watt-hours, during that time.

SEER and EER: What’s the Difference?

The EER, or Energy Efficiency Ratio, is calculated by dividing the cooling output of the air conditioning unit by the amount of energy consumed at a single point during its operation. In areas where the summers are extremely hot and humid, the EER may be a more exact determination of efficiency, but the SEER gives buyers a more comprehensive idea of how efficiently a unit will operate throughout the year.

Government Requirements

Beginning in 2006, the United States government required all air conditioners to operate with a SEER rating of at least 13. It is illegal for air conditioners with a lower SEER to be manufactured or sold in the United States. However, window units are allowed to have SEER ratings of 10 or higher.

Older Air Conditioner Efficiency

Air conditioners that were manufactured before 2005 may have a SEER lower than 13. Although it is not illegal to operate these air conditioning systems, it is not as efficient as operating a newer system. With these older units, more energy is expended to achieve the same cooling output as newer systems. Mitsubishi Electric contractors can help customers evaluate whether it would be more efficient to replace an outdated unit with a newer unit that has a higher SEER.

Ductless Air Conditioning Systems

Mini-split ductless air conditioner systems are more efficient than traditional central air conditioners. The maximum SEER for ductless air conditioning systems is higher than central air conditioning that uses ducts. Mitsubishi Electric contractors can explain why customers may want to choose a ductless system over a traditional one, saving clients’ money and energy for years to come. To find a Mitsubishi Electric contractor near you, just use the convenient search tool at the top of this page.

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