If you’re shopping around for a new air conditioner for your California home, you may have noticed that models are often sorted by their SEER rating—a number usually between 14 and 25. But what does SEER mean? And how important should that rating be to your decision-making process? Let’s take a look at what is being rated, how that rating is determined, and what number makes the most sense for the air conditioner in your home.

SEER = Energy Efficiency

SEER (or Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio) is calculated by dividing an air conditioner’s cooling power by how much electricity it uses. In other words, the SEER value of an AC unit reveals, at its maximum, how efficiently it operates.

A high SEER rating can bring you:
  • Increased efficiency
  • Higher energy savings
  • Indoor comfort

Keep in mind that this rating system establishes a unit’s maximum efficiency. Just like a car’s mpg (miles per gallon), any air conditioning system’s cooling output performance will fluctuate depending on variables like the temperature or the weather.

If you’re curious about the SEER rating of your current air conditioning unit, look for a yellow Energy Guide sticker. You can also find the unit’s model number—the beginning digits of that number are usually the unit’s SEER rating.

What Is a Good SEER Rating?

New central air conditioning units have a SEER rating ranging from 13 (in California, the legal minimum is actually 14) all the way up to 25 SEER or more. Any unit with an ENERGY STAR sticker has at least a 15 SEER. Window air conditioners are exempt from those legal requirements, and their ratings are often lower.

Does this mean that a SEER rating in the low teens runs inefficiently? Not quite. The older your current AC unit is, the more likely that the rating is in the single digits—an 8 or a 9, for example. By comparison then, upgrading to a 13 SEER would still save you money. And since the higher the SEER, the higher the cost, you’ll need to balance the cost of equipment and installation with the projected cost savings of the life of the unit. The right heating and cooling technician can work with you to look at your energy consumption and costs to find the best system for your home, including mini split ductless air conditioning.

Take Advantage of Greiner Heating, Air, and Electric‘s Maintenance Value Plan

Getting the most out of your air conditioner doesn’t end with the purchase of an AC unit. Ensuring that your unit runs at its top potential will require proper installation. Ongoing maintenance should be scheduled so your air conditioner will continue performing as it should for years to come.

At Greiner Heating, Air, and Electric, our Maintenance Value Plan takes any uncertainty out of the equation, so you can sit back and enjoy the comfort and peace of mind. Your air conditioner will be inspected and adjusted annually by one of our technicians, and your plan membership guarantees you priority service appointments if you need them—within 48 hours, rain, snow, or sunshine. Plus, you’ll get discounts on all future house calls and repairs.

Don’t get overwhelmed trying to find the right SEER rating for your air conditioner. Call or contact us for expert advice.

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