Among the important numbers with which a homeowner or business needs to be familiar is the SEER rating, particularly when it’s time to replace that worn cooling system. SEER ratings are linked closely to the performance of an air conditioner or heat pump and can significantly influence an energy bill. Below, we examine what the SEER rating is and why this number matters.
What Is the SEER Rating?
Air conditioners and heat pumps use energy to cool a room. The SEER—or seasonal energy efficiency ratio—measures how efficiently these cooling systems use energy to perform the cooling function under optimal conditions. The higher the SEER rating, the less energy a system uses to cool a room and the greater the energy efficiency of the unit.
The SEER rating is equal to the cooling system’s output during a typical cooling season divided by the electrical energy the unit consumes. SEER ratings are standards specifically applied to central air conditioners and heat pumps and allow for more reliable comparisons of these cooling systems when consumers go to make purchases. The ratings are located below the EnerGuide logo at the back of newer units.
The SEER rating is a relative concept, and as such, a cooling unit’s true efficiency will depend on several factors, including a building’s size, insulation, and windows.
Minimum SEER Rating
In Canada, SEER ratings are governed by the federal Energy Efficiency Regulations. The minimum standard rating for modern cooling systems is 13; this minimum rating is required for cooling systems to be imported into Canada or transported across provincial and territorial lines. SEER ratings often range from 13 to 21.
Why Do SEER Rating Matter?
Higher SEER ratings equate to greater energy efficiency. When purchasing air conditioners, consumers can use ratings as a means to not only conserve energy but also to lower their energy bill, find their ideal cooling system, and positively impact the environment.
Lower Energy Bill
An air conditioner is one of the highest contributors to a homeowner’s energy bill and, by extension, a homeowner’s overall utility expenses. Older models carry significantly lower SEER ratings—as low as 8 in some instances—and are therefore less efficient and more costly to maintain. Consumers choosing to upgrade or install a newer, higher-rated air conditioner can reduce the energy cost, keep the energy bill low, and save money while maintaining a cool home environment. Modern air conditioner models, especially those that are ENERGY STAR certified (SEER of 14.5 or higher), use 30 to 40% less energy and save consumers upwards of 30% on their cooling costs.
Excessive energy consumption contributes to the deterioration of the environment. Central air conditioners in Canada increase the electricity burden—particularly during the summer. Newer air conditioners with higher SEER ratings increase energy conservation and have the potential to improve the impact on the environment. Consumers wishing to reduce their carbon footprint can opt to install cooling systems carrying higher SEER ratings.
Consumers often find it a challenge to sift through the wide variety of cooling systems to make the right purchase. With the help of an HVAC technician, SEER ratings can make it easier to assess and compare how efficient cooling systems are, determine which units are suitable for your geographic location, and find the right options for your budget and lifestyle. This helps you make a better-informed purchasing decision when it is time to upgrade or install one of the most indispensable conveniences in the home.
Where Can You Purchase a New Central Air Conditioner in Canada?
Buying an air conditioner or heat pump for your home or office is a major decision—many factors need to be considered. If you are ready to buy a central air conditioner in Canada, let us at Canada HVAC help you. We supply trusted brands of air conditioners and other HVAC products and have over 30 years of experience matching the right products with our customers. Shop online today or call us at 833-226-4822 to speak with one of our experienced HVAC specialists.