What You Need To Know About SEER Rating In The Southeast
SEER ratings are the method used to describe the efficiency of a particular equipment system. Today’s systems range from 10 to 18 SEER. With most of the focus today on energy efficiency and conservation, the higher – the better.
Ratings work much like gas mileage on your car. The higher the SEER rating, the higher the efficiency and the greater the energy savings. Although it is rare to see systems rated below 9 SEER, especially here in the Southeast. Aging, existing units are being replaced with newer higher efficiency systems.
Since January 2006 all residential air conditioners sold in the United States, particulary the Southeast, must have a SEER of at least 13. However, starting January 2015, split system central air conditioners installed in the Southeast of the United States must be at least 14 SEER.
Today there are mini-split (ductless) air conditioners available with SEER ratings up to 27.2 In 2014, Mitsubishi unveiled a new mini-split ductless AC unit with a SEER rating of 30.5. Keep in mind, traditional air conditioning systems with ducts have maximum SEER ratings below these levels. Also central systems will have an energy efficiency ratio of 10 to 20 percent lower due to the duct-related losses.
There are also ground-source residential AC units with SEER ratings up to 75. Unfortunately, they do not perform well in the Southeast because of the higher ground or surface water temperatures. There are a variety of technologies available that will allow SEER ratings to increase even more in the very near future. Some of these technologies include rotary compressors, inverters, brushless motors variable speed drives and integrated systems.