If you’re thinking over air conditioner installation in Houston, you should also be looking at your new air conditioner’s SEER rating.

SEER means Seasonal Energy Efficiency Rating. Simply put, it measures how effective your air conditioner is at changing electricity into chilled air. A bigger number means your air conditioner is more efficient, which is excellent for your electrical bills.

However, there are many different solutions available for air conditioners. And a higher SEER number frequently involves a higher cost. So, how do you know which one is right for your home?

At Air Current AC & Heat, we provide a free, no-pressure home comfort analysis. You can request one by contacting us at 713-322-4318. Our experienced air conditioner installers will partner with you to help you pick the right air conditioner for your home. Plus, they’ll also offer you a free, no-obligation estimate.

In the meantime, let’s discuss SEER ratings and how they can impact your family’s comfort. And your electric bills.

Why Do the SEER Ratings Even Matter?

In 2016, the federal government developed new SEER rules. New air conditioners are required to be at least 13 SEER in the northernmost United States and 14 SEER in the southeast and southwest. If you’re not sure when you had your air conditioner installed or what its SEER rating is, you can find the sticker on the condenser outside your residence. If you can’t find the sticker, you can give us a call at 713-322-4318 for support.

If your air conditioner was replaced prior to that time, it’s probably much less efficient. Cooling technology has quickly advanced in the past few years, with major progress in energy efficiency and smart home capability. Pairing your new air conditioner with a smart thermostat could help you spend less on utility expenses, because the thermostat can automatically adjust your temperature settings when you’re gone.

If your current air conditioner has a SEER rating between 8 and 10, getting a 14-SEER system could save you an estimated 30–50% on annual air conditioning bills. Your savings are contingent upon your air conditioner size and your temperature settings.

Is the Higher the SEER the Better?

An air conditioner with a greater SEER rating will be more efficient at consuming electricity for cooling. The best efficient models, which can go as great as 26 SEER, include ENERGY STAR® designation. This endorsement shows the air conditioner has achieved EPA requirements for energy savings and environmental conservation.

While ENERGY STAR air conditioners are typically more costly, you’ll usually get the difference returned over time through lower electrical expenses. These air conditioners, which are frequently rated 16 SEER and higher, use about 8% less energy than other new models, according to ENERGY STAR.

One of the largest differences between a 14 SEER and 16 SEER is variable-speed capacity. A variable-speed air conditioner can run at different speeds. This fine-tunes comfort for your residence while keeping your utility costs low. It can also keep temperatures and humidity more consistent, since it can work for longer without needing a lot more power.

When installing a variable-speed air conditioner, you’ll need to ensure that your furnace or air handler is compatible. This is due to the fact your air conditioner depends on this system’s blower to distribute cool air throughout your residence. Furnaces only run for about 20 years, so if yours is around that mark, we recommend furnace installation at the same time so you can receive all the perks of your variable-speed air conditioner.

When you’re set to replace your air conditioner, the cooling pros at Air Current AC & Heat are here to help. Give us a call at 713-322-4318 to book your free home comfort analysis today.