What Do SEER Ratings Mean for Air Conditioners?

Home > Heating & Cooling Blog > What Do SEER Ratings Mean for Air Conditioners?

When shopping for an air conditioning unit for your home or business, you may have come across the term “SEER rating”. In case you’ve been wondering what it means or how it affects your purchase, this guide is here to assist you.

What Do SEER Ratings Mean for Air Conditioners?

What is a SEER Rating?

SEER is an acronym for Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio. A SEER rating refers to the ratio of the cooling output of an AC system across a cooling season to its total power consumption over the same period. It’s a pretty simple concept that gives you a rough idea of how energy efficient an AC unit is. As you might have guessed, air conditioners with high SEER ratings are considered more energy-efficient than those with lower ratings.

How Do SEER Ratings Affect Air Conditioners?

The U.S. Department of Energy uses SEER ratings as a regulatory mechanism for the HVAC industry. All air conditioners must have a minimum SEER rating of 13 subject to laboratory testing. As of January 1, 2023, SEER has been replaced with SEER2, which offers more rigorous testing conditions. Consequently, the threshold has risen to 14 for all new air conditioner models.

Why Do SEER Ratings Matter?

Air conditioner manufacturers are required to display valid SEER2 ratings on their products, giving you an idea of how energy-efficient they are. This will play a big role in your decision-making, considering air conditioners with SEER2 15 or higher can offer you double-digit percentage energy savings compared to those with SEER2 13.

However, do note that the higher the SEER rating, the bigger your initial investment. Nevertheless, this shouldn’t put you off from investing in a more efficient AC unit. This is especially true if you live in a warm region, like Florida, where the cooling demands are higher, since you’ll end up saving a lot more in the long run.