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What is a SEER (Seasonal Energy-Efficient Ratio) and Why Does it Matter?

August 12 2019


It’s time to replace the air conditioner in your home. You’re not sure where to begin but you’ve heard that a Seasonal Energy-Efficient Ratio (SEER) number is a critical consideration when purchasing a new HVAC unit. Only one problem now – you don’t know what the heck a SEER rating is or why it matters. Let Rescue Your Air & Drain help you out with a little background information about SEER ratings, and we’ll tell you why they matter, especially when it comes to a little thing called energy efficiency.

These days we are all more energy conscious. Energy Efficiency is defined as a measure of how efficiently an appliance, building, organization or country uses energy. The Department of Energy has created energy efficiency standards that include home appliances like heating and cooling systems. An energy-efficient appliance uses less energy and is therefore better for the environment and better for your bottom line.

Think about your cooling system purchase like any new refrigerator purchase for your home. If you were buying a new refrigerator, you’d want one with the government-backed  ENERGY STAR® symbol certifying energy efficiency, right? The same is true for your air conditioner – the SEER ratings indicate a standard of energy efficiency.


#1 What do the Actual SEER Numbers Mean?

In the case of SEER rating, the higher the number the greater the efficiency. That doesn’t mean that you should go out and buy the air conditioning unit with the largest SEER number to get the greatest efficiency. Instead ask a professional for a recommendation based on your home’s cooling needs and requirements for your geographic region. The Seasonal Energy-Efficient Ratio ratings start at 13 for air conditioners and go up to 21 or 22 for some manufacturer brands.


#2 How is SEER Measured?

The Seasonal Energy-Efficient Ratio is a calculated efficiency ratio. It is the ratio of the cooling output of an air conditioner over a typical cooling season, divided by the energy it consumed in watt-hours (electrical energy) over the same time period.


#3 What’s a Good SEER Rating in Arkansas or Tennessee?

Where you live in the country makes a difference in the SEER rating for your new air conditioner. The U.S. Department of Energy enforces minimum SEER requirements that differ by geographical region. In the southeast, we need better efficiency and higher SEER ratings because we use our air conditioners more often – it’s hot in the south! The minimum SEER rating is 14 for air conditioners in this region.


#4 What SEER Rating Should I Buy?

The SEER rating of your next purchase should be determined after consultation with your trusted AC repair company professional or HVAC pro dealer. A pro can help you determine the SEER rating according to DOE standards for your region and also factor in the individual variables of your home. Reputable HVAC dealers will only sell AC systems with SEER ratings appropriate to their customer’s region and climate.



For a free consultation or to find out about one of our summer specials on new SEER rated air-conditioning systems, call your HVAC & plumbing heroes at Rescue Your Air & Drain. Our phone number is 870-735-1588. Or, you can schedule an appointment online to speak with one of our experts in person.



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