This SEER is quite a bit like the MPG or miles per gallon rating that your car has. For every unit of energy it consumes, the more heating and cooling that your system provides, the higher its SEER rating will invariably be.
Thus, a unit that has a very high SEER will use less energy and allow you to enjoy lower energy costs overall.
Air Conditioners That Are High Efficiency
A central heating and cooling system with a SEER between 16 an 23 is a high-efficiency unit. These usually start at around $3,500. While the upfront costs of these systems are a bit higher, you will wind up saving a lot more on your energy bills in the future.
Units that use less energy are better for the natural environment and these are often ideal for those who live in regions with extreme temperatures and higher than average energy costs. Units like these also use R-410A freon rather than R-22 freon, which makes them more environmentally-friendly.
Central Units In The Mid-Efficiency Range
Mid-efficiency systems have SEER ratings between 14.5 and 17. They usually start at approximately $3k. These options provide a better balance between upfront costs and long-term savings.
The US government currently requires that all new central systems have a minimum SEER of 13. Mid-efficiency systems, much like those that are high-efficiency, do not use the R-22 freon, but use the more environmentally friendly R-410A freon instead.
Central AC Units With Minimum Efficiency
Minimum-efficiency units have a SEER between 13 and 14.5. These start out at $2,500. Only ten years ago, these same units would have been called high efficiency. Thus, if you are swapping out a more dated unit, then today’s designs with minimal efficiency will still help to reduce your energy costs by as much as half.
Some companies assert that these options offer the greatest value. If you happen to live in a region that allows for only moderate use of an AC system, then these could be the right choice.
Additionally, if you have a very small budget or want to secure a model for a rental property that you own, these could be the sensible solution. Among the various high to low efficiency central air conditioning units, these options rely on the R-410A type of refigrerant.
Mini-Split Ductless Designs
Central cooling and heating systems have to have ducts to vent cooled air throughout the various rooms in the home. If you do not have ducts in your home, it can be very expensive to have these installed. One solution for properties that lack ducts is an AC unit known as a mini-split design. These usually start out at about $1k.
These operate with two primary components. The compressor is situated on the outside of the property, while the air handler sits inside of the home and contains the blowers and the evaporators.
These systems could cost a bit more than you are actually going to get in terms of value but they are usually much less costly to install when the home does not have existing duct work.
One major benefit of these units is that it is easy to control the temperature in individual rooms throughout the home and this means that it is possible to only cool rooms that you are using, so long as these rooms have units in them.