What is a SEER Rating and Why Does It Matter?

When shopping for an air conditioner, you might notice a SEER rating on the specification list. Unfortunately, most people do not understand this, so they ignore it. But little do they know, and this ratio is quite important to consider when choosing an air conditioner to buy.

What is the SEER Rating?

SEER stands for Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio. This ratio is used to measure how efficiently an appliance uses energy during the cooling season. 

The number is found by dividing the total amount of energy produced for cooling in a season by the total amount of energy consumed in the process. The calculation should use a constant indoor and variable outdoor temperature ranging from 60 to 100 degrees for a valid result.

What SEER Rating is Good Enough?

The higher the rating, the better. A higher rating means the AC is more efficient in converting electrical energy to deliver cool air into the house. But bear in mind that the number represents the maximum possible efficiency. 

So if your AC has a SEER of 18, it can be 18 or lower. But that depends on the conditions of your home and other factors. But there is no way it can ever go up to 19 or 20.

Most modern AC units have a SEER of around 13-21. But AC units with a SEER of 14 dominate the market nowadays. This is about 20% to 30% better energy efficiency than the ACs commonly sold in the previous era.

The latest guidelines from the federal government state that all new AC units sold in the northern U.S. should have a SEER rating of at least 13. 

Meanwhile, units sold in the Southeast and Southwest should have at least a 14 SEER. This means that it will be easier for you to get a new energy-efficient AC unit.

What is EER, and How Is It Different from SEER?

Besides the SEER rating, you might also find EER on a unit’s specification list. EER stands for Energy Efficiency Ratio. The formula is pretty similar to SEER. 

Both of these serve as measurements of energy efficiency. The only difference is the letter “S,” which stands for “Seasonal.” So, while SEER measures seasonal efficiency, EER shows a more constant ratio.

Nonetheless, both EER and SEER are beneficial in helping you save on energy bills.

If you’re interested in saving money on your energy bill, the most important rating to look at is the AC unit’s Energy Efficiency Ratio (EER). This measures how well the unit can maintain a specific temperature difference while using a set amount of energy. 

The higher the EER, the more efficient the unit will be. And since efficiency often comes with a higher price tag, looking at the EER is a good way to compare different models and find the most cost-effective option.

It would help if you considered many factors when purchasing an AC unit. However, SEER Rating is one of the most important factors you should consider. It determines how high your electricity bills will be for years to come.



ECM Air Conditioning, with its headquarters located in Boynton Beach, FL, provides air conditioning services within Palm Beach County, Broward County, Martin County, and St. Lucie County. If you’re looking to have a new HVAC system installed, we’re on-call and ready to assist you. So if you’re in need of an HVAC installation, don’t hesitate to contact us today to schedule an inspection! Our HVAC installation experts will check your ductwork, measure, check wire sizes, and more before making recommendations to ensure maximum efficiency and comfort. Call us at 561-295-1763 or contact our HVAC installation team online by clicking here.


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