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What Are SEER Ratings?


It happens to the best of us: your air conditioner gives out right when you need it most. Trying to decide on what new air conditioner to purchase can seem challenging, but SEER ratings are here to help! SEER stands for Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio. It calculates the ratio of your air conditioner’s cooling output divided by the watts hours it took to produce that amount of cooling. Sound complicated to understand? Our experts will explain what you need to know.

Air conditioners on the market today range from 13 to 25 SEER. The higher the number, the more efficient the unit and the more you’ll save on your utility bills. However, the higher the SEER rating on your unit, the more money you’ll most likely pay for the unit. The best comparison would be the MPG or miles per gallon on a car, a SEER rating is effectively the same for a conditioning unit.

Choosing the Right SEER Rating For You

Need help deciding what unit is right for you? Our service technicians will come in, determine the best size unit for your space, and then list different options of varying SEER rating for you to decide on. You’ll have to weigh the out front cost of purchasing a more-high-efficiency unit versus a unit that fits your current budget, but may cost you more money over a long period of time.

In Michigan we only utilize our air conditioners for 3-4 months out of the year.  Comparing the use of similar air conditioners in Florida or Arizona to ours here in Michigan is a massive difference.  Typically, purchasing an air conditioner over 17 SEER for our climate is an economically poor choice.  The savings from a 3-4 month cooling season will never recoup the initial investment in a high end air conditioner.  That being said, technology continues to get cheaper and I expect the price on higher SEER systems to continue to become more affordable over the next 5-10 years.  That will shift the cost/benefit analysis over that time frame.

seer energy guide

This energy guide shows the different SEER ratings. This is often attached to energy using products.

Ready to Upgrade?

We know that cost is important to you. That’s why Baumann & DeGroot offers free estimates so that you can get an accurate idea of what a new air conditioning system will cost. Be sure to get a 2nd Opinion at Baumann and DeGroot. Fill out the form on our website, include a few pictures, and we’ll take a look at the current equipment and assess what system would be best for your needs. Just like our work, our estimates are honest and reliable. Call us today to schedule an appointment at 616-396-HEAT. You can also check us out on Facebook.

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