Winter is winding down, and we’re already making plans for the summer. Part of that will be to make sure our central air conditioning system is ready for another season of heat and humidity to keep us cool at home. The folks here at GAMA Air are going to be checking our own central cooling units, and want to help you get ready for summer also. You may have been keeping up with the news about required minimum SEER ratings of equipment, and in a previous post some time back we had a two part series that gave a detailed presentation of what is SEER rating. But do you know the SEER rating of your AC or heat pump unit? Here’s some methods to determine the SEER rating of your existing central heating and air unit.
- Check the nameplate rating. We talked about the nameplate in a previous post. One of the details that should be on it is the SEER, or Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio. This would be the quickest and easiest way to find out the SEER of your unit.
- Check the model number. Many manufacturers incorporated the SEER value into the model number. Here’s two examples; they’re made-up names but follow patterns used commonly in the HVAC industry. One of the easiest model numbers to interpret would be if it is something like “PrimeCool 10”. This is very likely a 10 SEER unit. Or let’s say your unit is a “CoolMaster Z900”. In this hypothetical model the “9” is the key, and it is likely a 9 SEER rated model.
- Look for the Energy Guide sticker. This is the yellow sticker that comes on all new electrical appliances. It is not meant to last a long time, but if it wasn’t pulled off after the install, maybe it is still on your unit. If so, then the SEER rating will be obvious. A black arrow will be pointing down to a bar showing a range of SEER, with the tip of the arrow indicating what the SEER rating is for that unit.
- Determine the year of manufacture. A two-digit code is frequently included in the Serial Number of the outdoor unit. If you can determine the manufacturer year, then here is a guide for figuring out the most likely SEER of your unit, based on what the minimum SEER rating was historically:
- Older than 1980? Probably 6 SEER or less
- Up to 1985? Probably 7 SEER or less
- Up to 1991? Probably 8 SEER or less
- Up to 2005? Between 10 and 12 SEER
- From 2006 onward it will be 13 SEER mimimum
- Call for help. If all else fails, make a note of the manufacturer and also the model and serial numbers. Then call the cutstomer service line for that brand and ask what the SEER rating was at the time it was made.
Do you have a question about the SEER rating of your central cooling system, or want to know what your options are for improving your AC’s cooling efficiency? Visit our “Ask an Expert” page, fill out the form, and the resident expert here at GAMA Air will respond quickly with the answer.