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What is the SEER rating for air conditioners?

The SEER (Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio) rating is a measure of the energy efficiency of air conditioners. The higher the SEER rating, the more energy efficient the air conditioner. SEER ratings range from 10 to 25, with higher numbers indicating greater efficiency.

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How is SEER Rating Calculated?

The SEER rating is calculated by dividing the cooling output of an air conditioner over a typical cooling season by the total energy used. The cooling output is measured in British Thermal Units (BTUs), and the energy input is measured in watt-hours. For example, if an air conditioner produces 12,000 BTUs of cooling over a season while using 3,000 watt-hours of electricity, its SEER rating would be 12,000/3,000 = 4.

What is a Good SEER Rating?

The minimum SEER rating for new air conditioners in the United States is 13. However, many air conditioners have SEER ratings of 16 or higher. Higher SEER ratings can save you money on your energy bills, especially in areas with hot climates.

How to Improve the SEER Rating of Your Air Conditioner

If you have an older air conditioner with a low SEER rating, you can take steps to improve its efficiency:

  • Change the air conditioner filter regularly. A dirty filter can restrict airflow and make the air conditioner work harder.
  • Keep the air conditioner coils clean. Dust and dirt can buildup on the coils and reduce their ability to absorb heat.
  • Seal air leaks in your home. Air leaks can let in hot air, making your air conditioner work harder.
  • Set the air conditioner thermostat to a higher temperature when you are not home. Even a few degrees can make a difference in energy consumption.

Benefits of a High-SEER Air Conditioner

Energy consumption SEER rating

There are several benefits to owning a high-SEER air conditioner:

  • Lower energy bills: A high-SEER air conditioner can save you up to 30% on your energy bills.
  • Reduced environmental impact: High-SEER air conditioners use less energy, which means they have a smaller carbon footprint.
  • Longer lifespan: High-SEER air conditioners are typically built to last longer than lower-SEER models.
  • Improved comfort: High-SEER air conditioners can provide more consistent and comfortable cooling.

How to Choose the Right SEER Rating for Your Home

The right SEER rating for your home will depend on a number of factors, including:

  • The size of your home. The larger your home, the higher the SEER rating you will need.
  • The climate in your area. If you live in a hot climate, you will need a higher SEER rating than if you live in a milder climate.
  • Your budget. High-SEER air conditioners typically cost more than lower-SEER models.


The SEER rating is an important factor to consider when choosing an air conditioner. A high-SEER air conditioner can save you money on your energy bills, reduce your environmental impact, and improve your comfort. Talk to an HVAC professional to find the right SEER rating for your home.

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Additional Resources

  • Energy Star: https://www.energystar.gov/equipment/air-conditioners
  • North American Technician Excellence (NATE): https://www.nate.org/
  • American Society of Heating, Refrigerating and Air-Conditioning Engineers (ASHRAE): https://www.ashrae.org/

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