What’s the SEER You Seek When Buying an HVAC?

Let’s face it, buying a new HVAC can be an overwhelming purchase. There are so many different parts and pieces to look at before making a very expensive purchase- how many BTUs? One unit or two? All electric or a combination of gas and electric? One of the first things to consider is on that big yellow sticker that says “Energy Guide.” This guide spells out the essential information you need, including one of the most critical pieces of information: The SEER Rating.

Woman with magnifying glass investigating SEER before buying HVAC

Firstly, what does SEER mean? It stands for Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio. This measures how much cooling an air conditioner does during the summer usage season divided by the Watt-Hours energy usage, calculating a constant indoor temperature against a range of outside temperatures (from 60 degrees to 100 degrees) to simulate what an entire season might be. The SEER number on the Energy Guide is when your air conditioning runs at optimal levels with no variables interfering with its running. 

What does SEER mean? It stands for Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio.

According to the US Department of Energy (USEIA.gov), the current minimum SEER standard is 14 to 23.5, 23.5 SEER is one of the most energy-efficient residential HVAC units. A higher SEER offers the most comfort with two key components: a 2-stage or variable-speed compressor and a variable-speed blower. These address different temperatures in your home and how to balance out the comfort level, so there aren’t the hot and cold spots that happen in a single blower and one-speed air conditioner with a lower SEER rating. One-speed air conditioners also don’t remove humidity, along with uneven cooling and a higher SEER unit.

The current minimum SEER standard is 14 to 23.5; 23.5 SEER is one of the most energy-efficient residential HVAC units.

A perk of buying a unit with a higher SEER is the monthly energy savings and tax credits. A higher SEER reduces your monthly energy bill because of its energy efficiency. This efficiency also helps the environment by releasing fewer greenhouse gases and reducing your carbon footprint.

Icons showing HVAC SEER leads to lower energy use and higher savings and tax credits

A higher SEER air conditioner/HVAC cost may be more than a lower one, but the energy and cost efficiencies over the long term use outweigh the initial cost. Home comfort and energy efficiency are the two most important attribute