S.E.E.R. is an efficiency rating, much like how miles per gallon (MPG) is used to rate automobile efficiency. We all understand that if you drive 300 miles and consume exactly 20 gallons of gas, then your vehicle's fuel efficiency (MPG) is 15 miles per gallon (300 miles divided by 20 gallons). A vehicle that gets 18 MPG would be more efficient (less costly) to operate, and a 12 MPG vehicle is less efficient (more costly) to operate. For HVAC, S.E.E.R. follows the same rationale.
- The performance of your cooling and heating system is determined in a large part by your HVAC equipment’s operating efficiency.
- Each “matched system” – an outdoor compressor bearing unit that matches with an indoor unit – is tested and awarded an Energy Efficiency Rating, sort of like a miles per gallon (mpg) rating for your car.
- The more cooling/heating a system puts out for each unit of energy it consumes, the higher rating it will receive. The higher the efficiency rating of your system, the less energy it will consume…that means lower utility bills and less of an impact on the environment.
- Also, utility companies will often compensate homeowners to the tune of hundreds of dollars to install high-efficiency systems. Use our Rebate Finder to see what rebates are available to you when you install a high efficiency system.
Air Conditioning Efficiency-SEER Rating
For air conditioners, this metric is called a SEER rating, Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio. Higher the SEER ratings mean greater efficiency.
As of January 2015, the federal government mandates that all new central air conditioning equipment be at least SEER-14, but there is equipment available rated as high as SEER-18 and even SEER-23 .
CR Custom Services urges you to install an air conditioning system that is at least SEER-16, especially if you live in the Phoenix,AZ areas where air conditioning systems run most often.
Use the Cooling Calculator below to see the impact on your wallet and your environmental footprint that higher SEER air conditioning can have for you.
For example, a homeowner in Florida who installs an 16 SEER system can save $2,070 in operating costs over the lifespan of their system and will prevent nearly 30,000 pounds of Green House Gases from being released into the atmosphere, the equivalent of removing 3 cars from the road each year or planting 4 acres of forest.