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What is SEER and EER?

What is SEER and EER?

Posted by
Ed Miller on Thu, Nov 07, 2013

Before you look into AC installation Jacksonville residents should familiarize themselves with two very important terms: SEER and EER. SEER stands for Seasonal Energy Efficiency Rating (or Ratio) and EER stands for Energy Efficiency Rating. While both terms are closely related, there are some distinct differences between the two. Regardless, both rating numbers will have a huge impact on your overall energy bill as well as affect the AC installation Jacksonville residents are looking for.

What is a Seasonal Energy Efficiency Rating (SEER)?

Before the1990s, energy consumption in the United States was out of control, specifically with air conditioning costs. That’s because the units being sold were not energy efficient; winding up costing homeowners and renters astronomical amounts of money. Not only that but our non-renewable energy sources were being depleted.

From the1990s to 2000, air conditioning manufacturers started making changes in the way they built their air conditioning units, providing more energy efficient models to consumers which conserved energy and kept their electric bills manageable. This change proved to be very effective. In order to ensure this trend continued, the United States Department of Energy (DOE) took charge of regulating and assigning all air conditioners with seasonal energy efficiency ratio numbers, or SEERs.

The SEER is defined as an air conditioning unit’s BTU (British Thermal Unit) output over a seasonal period of time divided by the annual electrical input over the same period of time. The BTU usage indicates the cooling output, or how much cool air your air conditioner pumps into your room, while the in-watt hours, or the total energy input coming into your air conditioning unit, indicates how much energy it takes to pump out that cool air.

What Does a SEER Tell You?

Before you buy an air conditioner and get AC installation Jacksonville residents should certainly consider the SEER number. With some simple arithmetic, you can figure out exactly how much each model or unit will cost you to run per hour. For example, a 5,000 BTU air conditioner that has a SEER rating of 10 would typically run for about 8 hours per day. The average cooling season is around 125 days so that means you’d operate the air conditioner for about 1,000 hours each year.

This means that 5,000 BTU (1,500 watts) per hour multiplied by 8 hours each day for 125 days a year would give you 5,000,000 BTUs. This is the total annual BTU output (the first number in our SEER equation). Since we know that the SEER number is 10 from the DOE, we also know that if we divide that by 10, we come up with 500,000 watts per hour each year. If we know how much you are paying for energy, we can figure out that 5,000 watts divided by the SEER of 10 gives us 500 watts each hour. If you’re paying 20 cents per kWh, then 500 watts (0.5 kW) multiplied by 20 cents per kWh is 10 cents an hour. That’s not too bad considering at 1,000 hours a year, it’d only cost you $100 to run your air conditioning for a full year.

And for those that don’t want to do the math before getting AC installation you only need to know that the higher the SEER number is for an air conditioner, the more energy efficient it will be. This means lower energy bills for homeowners and renters alike. But since you’re living in Florida, you should put more stock in the EER number of the unit you plan to purchase.

What is an Energy Efficiency Rating (EER)?

Before even thinking about AC installation Jacksonville residents should really pay attention to the EER number on each and every air conditioning unit they look at. The EER is more accurate for determining actual energy efficiency and cost savings, especially in warmer climates such as Florida. That’s because much like the SEER, the EER takes into consideration the total output cooling in regards to the total electrical input, but instead of doing it over a season, it does it at any given point.

This point is generally calculated using a 95°F outside temperature and an inside temperature of 80°F. This is used in conjunction with a 50% relative humidity. You can already see why this number would be more likely to influence a Floridian! With the warmer Southern climate and high humidity coming off the Gulf, even before AC installation Jacksonville homeowners have to consider these types of variables.

Purchasing an air conditioner with a lower EER rating will cost you and your family a lot more money than higher-rated units. To save even more money on AC installation Jacksonville residents should always contact Snyder Heating and Air Conditioning for a free quote today on service, repair, maintenance and installation.



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Snyder Air Conditioning, Plumbing and Electric serves families across Florida. You'll find our technicians are just a short phone call away in neighborhoods throughout these counties:


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Snyder was easy to get in contact with and had availability the next day. Clint came out and needed some parts so had to reschedule us for the next day for installation. He did a great job converting our old 3 knob shower to one. Looks great! Professional and courteous. 100% recommend this company, especially Clint.

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