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How does SEER rating affect your HVAC efficiency?

Air conditioners are special household appliances, especially in the summer. Providing you with a pleasant temperature to work and manage your daily home chores. 

Nothing more can add to your happiness than chilling at your home after a hot sunny day, but what if I tell you that substantial utility bills might back all these pleasures up? Typically, if you have a low SEER unit.

You might blame other electronic devices for those double or triple figures in your bill paper, but the actual suspect could be your AC. Having an ideal SEER unit installed at your house can increase your cooling efficiency and downgrade your utility bills.

So, what does SEER even mean? How does SEER rating affect your HVAC efficiency?​

SEER in HVAC technology

SEER stands for Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio. Mathematically speaking, SEER is the ratio of your air conditioner's cooling output for a particular cooling season divided by the energy used in what's by your system.

In plain English, the Cooling efficiency of your AC in a particular cooling season, like in summer for working 8 hours a day when divided by the energy used by your air conditioner, gives the SEER value.

SEER rating matters a lot regarding your cooling efficiency, and it contributes a positive role in analyzing your electric costs. The higher the SEER, the more the efficiency and reduced utility bills.

Configuring the ideal SEER number should be your priority when installing a new air conditioner.

What is a good SEER rating?

Different models of air conditioners come up with various SEER ratings. In 1992, legislation demanded a minimum of 10 SEER ratings for the United States. 

And in January 2006, the US Department of Energy revised its data, and a minimum of 13 SEER ratings was made mandatory. The United States ordered those residential societies built after 2005 to operate their air conditioning with a minimum of 13 SEER.

Energy star units were given a 1.5 SEER bonus, which means the minimum SEER rating for energy star units becomes 14.5

Higher SEER units are more energy-efficient and cost a reduction in electric bills. Choosing a SEER rating between 13 and 21 is best for you if you live in the United States. (These values may contradict each other.)

If we go into the 90s, the minimum SEER rating was around 9 and 10. So installing the latest and the lowest 13 SEER unit is far better than the golden ages, and it will provide you with much-increased energy efficiency than a vintage AC installed.

Note: There is not a single product on this planet that claims to offer a 100% performance thanks to the efficiency law, which states that

Nothing can possess 100% efficiency; there is some waste of energy during the mechanical process. If you drill a hole in the wall, there will be a waste of energy as friction uses energy against the wall. 

So if the company claims their units can provide up to 16 SEER, that physically means that you will get 1 or 2 figures less efficiency.

How Does SEER rating affect your cooling efficiency?

As discussed above, a higher SEER value directly relates to the cooling efficiency—the higher the SEER, the better the efficiency and economy.

Modern Air condition units with a good SEER value do not automatically turn off to maintain a pleasant temperature. 

Previously, the old units were subjected to on and off themselves to maintain the correct temperature. But the drawback of this system was that it resulted in uneven cooling.

The modern units with a higher SEER value supply constant fresh air that guarantees you an even cooling in all areas of your home. Continuous maintenance of temperature is how SEER rating affects your cooling efficiency.

Effect of SEER ratings on your utility bills

A unit with a higher SEER value will provide you with a reduced amount of utility bills because higher SEER units offer a constant and increased efficiency. 

An 8 SEER might need 2 hours to cool your home, while a modern 16 SEER might do the same job in an hour or less. 

So upgrading to a higher SEER unit will ultimately reduce the load on your A/C, and that will surely cut off the extra figures in your bill.

How much will I save by upgrading to a high SEER unit?

How much will you save? It will depend on several factors except for SEER alone.

  1. Home size: If your home size is large and you have installed a much smaller AC unit, it does not matter if you have a high or low SEER unit. Your conditioning system must work more, and your billing cost will escalate.
  2. Lack of maintenance: You should maintain your unit and check for any duct leaks. Duct leaks can hinder your cooling efficiency and draw extra bucks from your pocket.
  3. Analyzing thermostat settings: The higher the thermostat settings, the lower the energy consumed by your AC. It's better to use a constant thermostat technology throughout the cooling season to reduce your billing cost.
  4. Old unit: Finally, if you have an old unit installed with a lower SEER value, your billing cost can also escalate, so try buying a Higher SEER unit to minimize the billing costs. Moreover, Old AC units do not contain modern technology. They turn on and off to maintain the temperature. Contrary to this, modern AC units offer constant temperature regulation to ensure low energy consumption.


The application of higher SEER units has helped cut down the electricity costs. They are much more efficient and deliver even cooling throughout your home. If you plan to install a new air conditioning system, switching to a greater SEER is not bad.