What SEER Ratings Mean For Your HVAC System

What Does SEER Rating Mean for Your HVAC System?

Is your home in need of an HVAC upgrade?

Your HVAC system is a vital part of making sure that your home stays:

  • Cool in the summer 🧊
  • Warm in the winter 🔥
  • Moisture and mold-free 🚫
  • Free of irritating airborne allergens 🤧

If your current system isn’t helping you do this, it may be time to consider purchasing a new one. But with so many makes and models to choose from, how do you know which one is right for you? We’ll give you a hint, it all comes down to one little money-saving, eco-friendly trick.

Energy efficiency.

These days, energy efficiency is measured through something called a “SEER rating.” But what is SEER rating? And why is it so important? Keep reading to find out!

What Is a SEER Rating?

Ac unit on the wall of the modern living room

“SEER” stands for seasonal energy efficiency ratio. It was developed by the U.S. Department of Energy in partnership with the Air Conditioning, Heating, & Refrigeration Institute in order to come up with a tangible way to measure the energy efficiency of your heating and cooling system.

SEER ratings are calculated by dividing an air conditioner’s cooling output by its electrical energy input. A high number qualified as an efficient AC unit.

As energy standards for appliances change around the country, looking for new units with a high SEER rating can make sure that your home is up-to-date and ready to go.


Many homeowners get confused when researching SEER ratings, as they come across two distinct terms: SEER and SEER 2. So, what’s the difference?

SEER 2 refers to the updated energy standards that have replaced the old SEER ratings as of 2023. While the formula is the same, SEER 2 involves slightly more rigorous testing that typically gives a lower score than the older SEER model.

What Are Today’s Energy Efficiency Standards?

In an attempt to continue to reduce our carbon footprint on the planet, the U.S. Department of Energy is slowly becoming stricter when it comes to energy-efficient appliances. Unfortunately, the average homeowner isn’t always up to date on what that entails or what they should be looking for as they invest in new HVAC systems.

In 2023, the Department of Energy requires all new air conditioner units to have a SEER rating of no less than 14 in the northern part of the country and 15 in the southern half. The hope is that by making this switch, between 2.5 and 12.2 billion dollars will be saved on energy bills nationwide.

Reasons to Choose Appliances With a High SEER Rating

The unfortunate truth is that buying an air conditioner that fits current SEER 2 standards means that you will likely have to purchase a brand-new model. That inevitably comes with a higher price tag than an air conditioning system that may be even 1-2 years older.

Because of this, many homeowners are reluctant to take the leap. But there are many benefits that come with investing in an air conditioning unit with a high SEER rating, including:

  • Save Money 💰- As previously mentioned, an energy-efficient air conditioner can help to keep cooling costs low, which will save you money in the long run.
  • Resale Value🏡 – Updated HVAC work will help you to increase your home’s resale value if you are planning on selling in the near future.
  • Less Maintenance 🔨 – It can be tempting to stick with your old air conditioner, even when it is past its prime. But you may end up paying more for repairs and maintenance than you would to simply invest in a new air conditioner.
  • Financial Incentives 💵 – Many national programs offer rebates and other incentives to switch to an energy-efficient HVAC system.
  • Eco Friendly 🌎 – There’s no home for us without a thriving planet. Taking steps to reduce your carbon footprint by investing in energy-efficient systems betters your life and everyone around you.
  • Reduce Humidity 💧- A new air conditioning unit can more effectively remove moisture from the air, which can reduce the chance of mildew and mold forming, as well as make your home more comfortable.

How Much Does a New HVAC System Cost?

Hvac unit next to the house

So, we’ve convinced you. But we’re willing to bet that you still have one very important question.

How much will an air conditioner with a good SEER rating cost?

The answer will vary, depending on the size of your home, your existing setup, and which model you choose. In general, central air conditioners cost between $1,800-$3,500. The most efficient options, unsurprisingly, will likely sit at the higher end of that spectrum.

The good news? Most air conditioner units will last between 15 to 20 years, meaning that your investment will be ready to go for a long time!

HVAC Maintenance Tips

Want to keep your new purchase running smoothly for years to come? Here are some of our top maintenance tips:

  • Remove Debris – As the seasons change, it is easy for things like leaves, twigs, and vegetation to gather around your air conditioner. In order to keep it safe, we recommend regularly clearing the area.
  • Clean Your Ducts – Your air ducts and vents can become clogged with dust and dirt without you even knowing it! Regularly cleaning your air ducts will help your system work efficiently.
  • Change the Filter – Air filters are great at trapping dust and other irritants that can trigger allergies. However, it is also easy to forget about. Changing the air filter a few times a year can help promote optimal airflow and keep the air you are breathing fresh.

Consult With an HVAC Pro

Ready to make the switch? The team at Aquarius Home Services can help! We’re experts on a wide range of HVAC systems and can help you choose one that fits your goals and budget. Contact us today to set up your appointment!

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