What Does SEER Mean?

Beautiful young smiling woman working on laptop and drinking coffee while sitting in a big comfortable chair at home

When it comes to your air conditioner, a common term used in the HVAC business that you’re likely to see everywhere is your air conditioner’s SEER. But what exactly is SEER? SEER stands for Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio. It’s a rating system of the air conditioner’s cooling capacity to power input, i.e., it’s the ratio of the amount of cooling produced (in BTUs) divided by the amount of electricity (in watts) used. The higher the SEER, the greater the air conditioner’s efficiency.

According to the U.S. Department of Energy, heating and cooling units use more energy than any other system in your Murfreesboro, TN, home. So when you’re in the market for a new air conditioner, you’ll want to pay attention to the SEER level of the different units you’re considering. The higher the SEER number, the more efficiency bang you’ll get for your efficiency buck. That means money you’ll be saving in the long run on energy costs.

The U.S. EPA requires residential air conditioner systems manufactured after January 1, 2015, to have a minimum SEER rating of 14, while previously all systems manufactured after January 23, 2006, needed to have a minimum rating of 13 (with the exception of window units, being exempt from this law). Older air conditioners have a rating of 10 or under. You can usually find your system’s rating on the yellow-and-black EnergyGuide sticker on the outside of your unit.

How to Decide Which SEER is for You

To carry the Energy Star® label, an air conditioner must be in the top 25 percent of efficient models and have a minimum SEER of 14. But automatically purchasing an air conditioner with a higher SEER isn’t the go-to answer. Unfortunately, things aren’t that cut and dry. The SEER rating represents the potential efficiency of the unit under perfect conditions. Much of the system’s efficiency depends on the right sizing of the unit for your home, along with correct installation and an evaluation of other factors as well. For example, your duct work and windows may have leaks, thus directly affecting your energy savings.

Also, keep in mind that your air conditioner doesn’t operate within a vacuum. It’s directly tied to your furnace or heating system. Depending on what equipment you presently have and its age, this definitely factors into your air conditioner’s SEER rating. Even though your proposed new unit has an 18 SEER, once married to your current furnace, the SEER may decrease to a 15 or 16. What you need to aim for is the right-sized equipment operating at its optimal ratings within varying conditions for the best savings and comfort for you. The Tedder Company has specialist technicians who calculate these various factors when proposing the optimal system for your home, comfort, and budget. Give us a call, and we’d be happy to help you with any of your air conditioner needs.


Ballard Natural Gas Services is proud to offer services to Seattle, Shoreline, West Seattle, Capitol Hill, Lake Forest Park, Richmond Beach, Bellevue, Mercer Island, Edmonds, Mountlake Terrace and the surrounding communities. Call us at 206-784-8101 or request service online today!

Need HVAC Service?

Contact the experts at The Tedder Company.

Call us at 615-890-4515!