Shopping for a new HVAC system is daunting. We know. There are so many options when it comes to brands, special features, and even size. All of those are fairly easy to understand on your own. But one element you may not be familiar with is the SEER Rating listed on your unit.

This is one of the most important things to take into consideration when choosing your new unit. It will not only determine how well your machine functions, but also how much you’re paying for your energy bill each month.

We’ve put together this quick guide to understanding the SEER Rating and picking the unit that is best for you.

What is the SEER Rating?

If you have ever been shopping for a new HVAC Unit, you may have noticed the bright yellow tag with the Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio (SEER) listed. This is a number that indicates the amount of cooling or heating a HVAC system gives for each unit of energy used.

According to the U.S. Department of Energy, this number is calculated by finding “the ratio of the total heat removed from the conditioned space during the annual cooling season divided by the total electrical energy consumed by the air conditioner during the same season”

What is a good SEER rating?

A higher SEER Rating means that the HVAC Unit is more efficient and that you will save more money on your energy bills.

On average, modern units have a rating between 13 -21, with 25 being the highest possible rating. It is important to note that, in 2015, the minimum rating was set to 13 SEER country-wide.  However, it is not a standard across all states. 

Below is a map of the three main divisions for the minimum SEER Rating requirements. The U.S. Department of Energy divides these into the North, Southeast, and Southwest based on the climate.


North – 13 SEER for air conditioning, but 14 SEER for heat pumps
Southwest – 14 SEER with 12.2 EER for air conditioning, 14 SEER for heat pumps
Southeast -14 SEER for both air conditioning and heat pumps

Picking the Best Unit for You

While it is true that systems with higher SEER Ratings function more efficiently, there are other factors that you should take into consideration before making a purchase.

These include:

  • Your budget – since higher-rated machines will be more expensive
  • The size of your home – smaller homes require less energy to heat and cool
  • The climate where you live – warm climates will require stronger air conditioners while cooler will require stronger heating
  • Added Features – ask if you want variable speed controls, don’t require ducts, or are compatible with smart thermostats
  • Warranty – ensure that your system has the best warranty to cover you in any situation

Explore your options

If you have a unit that is older than ten years or you are experiencing efficiency issues, it may be time to look into purchasing a new unit.

Twin Air LLC can help decide which SEER Rating and additional features are best for you. Contact us today to get started.


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