How SEER Levels Impact Your Utility Bill

Hot summer days and nights are just around the corner, and you want to make sure your home is nicely chilled and comfortable for you and your family, without breaking the bank.

Young family of three playing on floor

If you’ve been shopping around for a new cooling system or heat pump, chances are you’ve already heard the term ‘SEER’ a few times.

Still, not many people know what SEER means exactly, and why it’s important.

Here’s an easy-to-understand, concise guide to understanding SEER and SEER ratings.

The Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio (SEER) measures the energy efficiency of your air conditioner and heat pump, calculated by the cooling output for a usual cooling season divided by your total electric energy input of that season.

The more efficient your air conditioner is, the less energy it will take to cool your home, so a higher SEER rating means greater energy efficiency and therefore lower energy bills.

There’s no set range for SEER ratings, as maximum range increases with new air conditioners becoming even more efficient, yet there are some levels to pay attention to:

  • Older air conditioners (10-15 years old) have SEER ratings of around 8 -10 SEER
  • Minimum SEER rating of air conditioners you can purchase today is 13 SEER
  • Most efficient SEER ratings of air conditioners is 20+

Now, when considering a new cooling unit, what SEER rating should your air conditioner be?

That will depend on you and your budget.

While it’s true that the higher the SEER rating, the more expensive the air conditioner, you can also save more money in the long run through lower utility bills.

How much money you’ll save with a higher SEER-rated air conditioner will depend on a variety of factors, including:

  • Your utility company’s electricity rates
  • The SEER rating of your current air conditioner
  • How well you maintain your air conditioner

We’ll give you a general sense of how much you can save if you upgrade from one SEER to another, by using an energy savings calculator from NATE, Independent, non-profit national organization committed to improving the HVAC/R industry through voluntary testing and certification.

Let’s say you are upgrading from an 8 SEER to a 16 SEER new unit with a tonnage of 3, your utility company is charging an electric rate of $0.080 per kilowatt, your estimated cooling savings per year would be $204.

As far as how much tonnage is needed, it’ll depend on many factors and should be determined by a professional HVAC contractor.

At UGI Heating, Cooling and Plumbing, we size your home for a proper, professional installation of your new cooling system that controls humidity and airflow to ensure complete home comfort. We’ll make sure to advise you of any available manufacturer and utility rebates, and financing options. In many cases, we can arrange for the next-day installation.

Temperatures are on the rise – is your home equipped for cool comfort and energy savings?

Rely on UGI Heating, Cooling and Plumbing skilled technicians for all of your cooling system needs in Bethlehem PA, Harrisburg PA, Lancaster PA, Reading PA.

Want to learn more about SEER? Our HVAC experts will be happy to help!