California Air Conditioning: What Is a SEER?


What is a SEER? The answer to this question depends on who you ask.

If you walk into Madame Marie’s fortune-telling shop and you ask the question, she’s going to say “You’re looking at one.”

On the other hand, if you ask the same question to a Sherlock California Air Conditioning technician you’re going to get an entirely different answer.


SEER Rating


In the world of air conditioning, the acronym SEER stands for Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio. This is something to look for when you are shopping for a central air conditioning system.

Energy efficiency is very important when you are using your air conditioner. Many people here in southern California and around the world are very much interested in protecting the environment.

It is important to act intelligently for the well-being of our children and grandchildren so that they can have the natural resources that they need to thrive.

Aside from environmental concerns, the efficiency of your air conditioning system is going to determine how large your monthly electric bill will be.

When you are running your air conditioner around-the-clock during certain parts of the year the bills can really be astronomical if you don’t have an efficient system installed in a home that is well insulated.

The way that the Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio is calculated involves measuring the cooling output during a given season by the unit in question in comparison to the total energy input that was required to provide this output of air conditioning.

This calculation is reduced to a numerical value. According to the United States Department of Energy website, the minimum SEER rating that is allowable today for central air conditioners is 13. Back in the day there were systems routinely utilized that had Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratios of 6 or lower.

One very easy way to see if the central air conditioning system that you are considering meets the standard is to look for the ENERGY STAR® symbol.

While a 13 SEER rating is the minimum allowable by law for units manufactured after January 26th of 2006 there is no reason why you cannot look for a system that is considerably more efficient than those with ratings that are just meeting the standard.

Remember, while you may pay more in the first place you’re going to be running the air conditioner for years, and month after month you will realize savings if you go with a system that has a higher SEER rating. For example, the Lennox XC21 boasts a Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio of up to 21.20.


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