Understanding the SEER Rating for Your Air Conditioning System

Understanding Your Air Conditioning SEER Rating



Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio

The Air Conditioning, Heating, and Refrigeration Institute rates air conditioning systems using the Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio (SEER for short). But what exactly does the SEER rating measure? Here’s a useful guide to understanding the SEER Rating for air conditioning systems:

Simply put, the SEER rating of a unit is determined by dividing its cooling output during a typical cooling season (summer); by the total electric energy input during the same period. The higher a unit’s SEER rating is, therefore the more energy-efficient it is.

The U.S. Department of Energy requires minimum SEER ratings based on regions of the country. For example, air conditioning units for use in the Northern region of the country must have a minimum SEER rating of 13, whereas units in the Southern and Southwestern regions have a higher standard — a minimum SEER rating of 14 — because they’re in a region with hotter climates. Bear in mind that these are minimum standards, and the general rule still applies: The higher the SEER rating, the more energy-efficient an air conditioner is, and by extension, the more money it will save you on your cooling costs each season.

As with almost all appliances, the energy efficiency of air conditioning systems has improved over the years. It is possible now to install a ductless (aka mini-split) air conditioning unit with a rating as high as 33.

Having a central air or mini-split system in your home with a high SEER rating can actually increase the resale value of your home — something definitely worth considering if you’re about to install a new system and you live in the Southern region of the country.


Contact Green Heating and Cooling in Canton.  We can help you decide the best rating for your home.