What does SEER rating mean?

If you’re in the market for a new air conditioning unit, you may have come across the term SEER rating. A lot of people are unfamiliar with the term. It means Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio defined by the Air Conditioning, Heating and Refrigeration Institute. It is calculated by the cooling output for a typical cooling season divided by the total electric energy input during the same time frame. 

So what gives an air conditioner a good SEER rating? How do I know if the unit I am interested in ranks well? An easy way to think about it is if you compare it to mpg in your vehicle. If your car gets you 19 miles per gallon, that is its maximum efficiency. So if your air conditioner gets you 19 SEER, that is your unit’s maximum efficiency! The higher the SEER rating, the better the unit. The minimum SEER rating is 13 and the maximum is around 21. One thing that is important to keep in mind is that the efficiency of your unit also depends on the size of your home, the ductwork you have and some other factors. 

So why do I want a high SEER rating? Well, units with a higher SEER use less energy to keep your home comfortable; in turn, costing you less to cool your home. Depending on where you live, it may be important to factor in SEER ratings as the minimum requirements for SEER vary depending on where you live in the US. 

Getting a unit with a higher SEER rating is always the way to go. Nowadays, anything above a 13 is great because older units sometimes only have a SEER rating of 8 or 9. No matter what unit you choose, you will start seeing savings and feeling a cooler home. And don’t forget to ask your Air Technical technician about any tax credits or rebates that are offered when installing a new SEER system. We will work with you to find the optimal unit for your home.