The Us Department of Energy recently passed a new minimum requirement for the Seasons Energy Efficiency Ratio (SEER). The number was raised from 13 to 14. Indeed, the minor spike in the minimum SEER requirement was a long time overdue, given that AC units exist with SEER ratings exceeding 14.
What is a SEER Rating?
As an illustrative example, a SEER rating applies to your air-conditioning much like miles per gallon does to your car. The higher the SEER rating the more efficient the AC unit. A SEER rating is similar to HSPF rating on a water heater. Both measure the amount of total cooling/heating compared to the total expenditure of energy.
The New Minimum Requirement and Its Predicted Effects on the Industry
Most people agree that the U.S. Department of Energy’s recent regulation on AC SEER Rating is aimed towards manufacturers rather than consumers. As a consumer, running an AC unit with a SEER rating exceeding 13 will not be prohibited, but producing an AC unit exceeding this number will be. A minor stipulation worth noting is as follows: manufacturers are permitted an 18 month grace period during which manufacturers are permitted to distribute AC units that fail to meet the minimum SEER requirement. Indeed, these manufacturers will be forced to reduce the price of these units in order to move units before the grace period runs its course.
New AC Unit Consumers
For those individuals about to purchase a new AC unit that meets the minimum SEER requirement, the most important thing is proper installation. At Parker and Sons we receive calls all the time from disgruntled customers of other AC providers. Indeed, improper installation can decrease efficiency by 30%. Ergo, reach out to the pros when dealing with AC installation.