If you’re shopping for a new air conditioning system, you may have come across the term “SEER rating.” What exactly does this rating mean, and why is it important? Use this SEER rating guide to discover everything you ought to know about AC efficiency ratings and the recent minimum SEER rating increase passed by the federal government.
SEER stands for Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio, which is a measurement of how well an air conditioner cools your home — or, to be more precise, how well it removes heat from the indoor air. The SEER rating is calculated by dividing the cooling output of an AC unit by the electricity it consumes across a full season. Higher SEER ratings indicate a more energy-efficient air conditioning system.
SEER2 is an updated SEER rating system that considers real-world usage patterns and regional climate data. This new metric came into effect in January 2023 to give a more accurate representation of an AC system’s energy efficiency.
Unlike the previous SEER rating system, which only takes into account an air conditioner’s energy efficiency in laboratory conditions, the SEER2 metric provides homeowners a more accurate picture of how an AC unit will perform once added in their home. As a result, you can expect SEER2 ratings to be a lower number than SEER ratings, despite the fact that they exhibit the same performance.
The US Department of Energy (DOE) sets minimum efficiency standards for cooling systems. In 2023, the minimum SEER ratings for central air conditioners increased to 14 SEER (13.4 SEER2) in the northern U.S. and 15 SEER (14.3 SEER2) in the southern U.S.
This is the first efficiency rating change since 2015, when the required minimum ratings were set to 13 SEER in the north and 14 SEER in the south. The DOE requires any new AC systems sold and installed in the U.S. to match the new minimums. That said, homeowners with lower efficiency air conditioners do not need to trade them in.
Air conditioning systems with higher SEER ratings tend to cost more up-front than those with lower SEER ratings. This is because ACs with greater SEER ratings incorporate more innovative technology and materials to achieve higher performance. The good news is that while air conditioners with higher SEER ratings may demand a larger investment, they can save you money in the long run by lowering your energy bills.
For example, let’s say you’re comparing two central air conditioners. System A has a SEER rating of 14 and costs $3,000, while System B has a SEER rating of 18 and costs $4,000. While System B costs more up-front, it can save you 22% on your cooling costs when put next to System A. Depending on the climate and electricity costs in your area, this could amount to hundreds of dollars in savings over the life of the system, making System B a more cost-effective choice long term.
You don’t have to settle for the minimum SEER rating in your region, not when modern cooling systems are rated 26 SEER or higher. Consider the numerous benefits of purchasing such a high-end system:
Now that you know what SEER ratings to consider, it’s time to go shopping for a replacement air conditioner. Turn to Service Experts Heating & Air Conditioning for some of today’s best HVAC systems. We can help you save on your energy bills for years to come by installing an efficient AC unit that conform to or exceeds the federal minimum SEER2 rating. We’re so confident you’ll be satisfied with our services that we offer a 100% satisfaction guarantee! For more information or to schedule a free AC installation estimate, please reach out to a Service Experts office near you.
Student loan debt in the United States has been a growing problem for years. Today’s total student debt is more than $1.7 trillion, with the average college graduate owing $20,000 to $25,000. If you’re contemplating your educational journey or advising someone who is, it’s important to weigh... Continue reading
By Brian Sodoma, for Service Experts With autumn around the corner, homeowners will soon be preparing for the winter months ahead. Cold weather adds new demands on your HVAC system. To prepare your furnace for the heavy work it will need to do, routine HVAC maintenance should be on your fall... Continue reading
The HVAC industry is in a continuous state of change. With technological advancements and growing environmental concerns, the skills demanded of HVAC technicians are evolving faster than ever. Preparing to adapt and meet these new challenges is a must for anyone hoping to join the industry. Learn... Continue reading
© 2023 Service Experts, Service Experts Heating & Air Conditioning, and the Service Experts logo and design are registered trademarks of Service Experts LLC and used under license by SE Canada Inc. All Rights Reserved. *Not applicable to the Advantage Program. See your signed Advantage Program Agreement for full details and exclusions. 100% Satisfaction Guarantee is subject to certain restrictions and limitations as set forth in the applicable Terms and Conditions.