If you're in the market for a new air conditioning system or heat pump, you've probably noticed that they are advertised with a SEER number. But what exactly is SEER and what does it mean?

SEER stands for Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio. It relates to how much energy an air conditioning system will use in operation over the course of one year. The SEER numbering system allows homeowners to compare systems and understand at a glance which system is more efficient. As the number increases, the efficiency of the air conditioning system increases...similar to the mpg rating of automobiles. The number is determined by a testing institute known as AHRI.

picture of a piggy bank and stacks of cash

Do higher SEER air conditioning systems cost more money?

Yes, the advanced technology that goes into producing AC units with higher SEER ratings also increases their cost. Often, the higher SEER equipment also has more features and benefits including safety devices to protect the equipment.

What is the SEER of my air conditioning system right now?

The rating system started in 1992. The highest SEER equipment produced in the United States at that time was a 10. Most older ac systems purchased 10, 20, 30 years ago were rated around 10,11, or 12 SEER when they were new. Using an old air conditioning system for decades will erode those numbers yielding a functional seer that may actually be closer to 8 or 9 today.

Ready to see how much you can save? Use the Energy Savings Calculator below:

Total Potential Air Conditioning Yearly Savings
Current Estimated Annual Cost*
New Estimated Annual Cost
5-Years Savings
10-Years Savings
15-Years Savings
Customize the values below to calculate your energy savings potential!
A 'ton' of AC cooling capacity is 12,000 BTUs.
How many tons of cooling is your current system?
How do I figure out my AC system's tonnage?
Current SEER rating
New SEER rating
Average Cooling Hours
Based on the average for The Colony, TX
Average Kw hour

*Estimated current annual costs are based on approximated costs and data entered (and current equipment not being oversized to the load of your home) and as such are not guaranteed.