What exactly is SEER rating?
Large strides have been made in air conditioner efficiency in recent years. As a result, many homeowners purchase a new air conditioner not just for a more comfortable home environment and quieter operation, but to reduce their electricity bills.
You probably have heard about SEER rating with your air conditioning unit but what exactly is it? Air conditioner efficiency is rated by the unit’s Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio, or SEER. The higher the number the greater the efficiency and the less it costs to operate the system. An air conditioner’s SEER rating is determined by dividing the total cooling achieved over a year divided by the amount of energy used to generate that cooling.
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In Canada, central air conditioners are covered by the federal government’s Energy Efficiency Regulations, which came into effect in 1995. The minimum allowable efficiency level is 13 SEER. Units with a rating of 14.5 or higher will have an Energy Star designation. Energy Star is an international symbol applied to equipment that achieves a premium level of energy efficiency. Some of today’s central air conditioners are rated as high as 25 SEER. You can look for the EnerGuide rating system which provides you with a standardized method of comparing the energy-efficiency of different models and brands of EnerGuide rating label that can be found in manufacturer’s product literature.
There is another rating system that is sometimes used. The Energy Efficiency Ratio (EER) is a measure of how much cooling is provided for a given amount of electricity consumption. As with SEER, the higher the number the more efficient the unit.
Some of today’s air conditioners use high efficiency – and quiet – electronically commutated motors (ECM). They use substantially less electricity than older motors. Your contractor must carefully size the system to suit your home and ensure the different components in the system are designed to work together. View information on sizing systems, and details on matched systems.
Learn more and locate a qualified contractor to service your air ducts and furnace system by going to the Heating, Refrigeration & Air Conditioning Institute of Canada (HRAI) Contractor Locator page, or calling 1-877-467-HRAI (4724). All HRAI member contractors have been pre-screened and have the required trade licences, technical certifications and insurance coverage to service on your system.
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