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SEER Ratings - What Do They Mean & Industry Updates

Updated: Oct 31, 2022

Be prepared to make the right decision for your home. Know what SEER Ratings are and what they mean when trying to find the right air conditioning system. With industry standards and new technology constantly changing, ensure you are up to date on how it could impact your home and budget.


What Does SEER Mean?

It stands for Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio. Simply stated, it measures an air conditioning unit's energy efficiency. This ratio is calculated by taking the cooling capacity in a given season and dividing it by the power used over one year.

Don't fret about trying to do the math - Use the SEER Savings Calculator to calculate your current SEER rating compared to a new AC and what your yearly savings could be. Since "more than half of energy use in homes is for heating and air conditioning." according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration, it is good to know how your new system will affect your monthly budget.

What Do the Numbers Mean?

The higher the SEER Rating, the less energy is used to cool or heat your home. Older units could have a SEER rating below 10, but most units today are rated 14 SEER or higher, depending on the model.

SEER energyguide
This sticker can usually be found on the outside of your unit - showing your current SEER rating.

Effective January 1, 2023, the Department of Energy (DOE) has implemented new efficiency regulations for central air conditioners and heat pumps. Across the United States, SEER ratings will increase by one SEER in 2023, resulting in less electricity being used for the same amount of cooling or heating.

Watch for label changes that will state SEER2 to show that units have been tested under the new efficiency guidelines that will also change according to the DOE.

What is Considered a Good SEER Rating?

SEER rating averages are anywhere between 16 to 23, with newer high energy-efficient systems. Converting from an old 9 SEER system to 16 SEER could save you 44% on your monthly bill and reduce energy consumption by about $430. Below you can see how the increase in SEER rating reduces energy consumption dollars and increases monthly savings.

Graph showing SEER Energy savings
**Estimated energy consumption savings by SEER Rating

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