What is SEER, and what are my choices?

SEER stands for Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio. It is a way of rating a systems energy usage and allegedly, efficiency. A federal law went into effect in January of 2006 that prohibits HVAC manufacturers from building units less than 13 SEER. Although the intentions of the new law are good, it does not mean that you will automatically save the energy you believe when you invest in your new or upgraded system. According to the EPA, a 20 percent duct leakage will result in a 50 percent reduction in SEER. Most duct systems have leakages of over 50 percent. As a result, the perceived energy savings go right out the ducts. Units range from 13 to 21 SEER and the prices are relative to the SEER rating. The higher the SEER, the higher the initial investment, but the faster you will recoup the investment in energy savings. Be sure to have your ducts inspected by Brown’s Arctic Air prior to making an investment on higher SEER equipment that may not benefit you.

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