What's a Good Air Conditioner SEER Rating

What’s a Good Air Conditioner SEER Rating?

You may be overwhelmed when you are on the market for a good air conditioner. There are so many options, reviews and opinions everywhere you look. Talking to someone in the store may make you feel even more confused. Especially when you come across acronyms, like SEER, which don’t help much unless you know what they stand for. So with a bit of help from my local commercial HVAC contractors in Houston TX, Superior HVAC, we’ll help you make the right choice.

So, what’s a good air conditioner seer rating? SEER stands for Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio. That basically means that the conditioners are rated on how much energy they save throughout the year. A higher score means it will run more efficiently year-round and save you more money in the long run. However, the machines will cost more.  

Using a SEER score to assess your next air conditioner to make sure you are getting the most efficient machine to run well throughout the year as well as save you money. It’s important to keep this in mind when you’re shopping. A better quality machine may be tough to buy upfront, but it will be less money that you spend over time.

The SEER Rating Scale 

The minimum number on the rating scale an air conditioner can have is 13. This number stands for the least efficient system. Which isn’t always a bad thing. A less efficient machine can be great for a smaller home or updated ductwork throughout the house. It will also most likely be cheaper, a great financial choice for those unable to afford more.

The maximum number on the rating scale an air conditioner can have is 22. This essentially means that the machine is the most efficient that an air conditioner can be. This would be a great fit for a large home or building. It would also be great if your ductwork is aged, but doesn’t need to be updated just yet. These will also be more expensive.

Most machines range from 14.5 to 21 at general stores or online. This is the most normal range you will see when shopping for an air conditioner. As long as you remember that more means more efficient, you will be well on your way to buying a fine machine. Make sure you are taking the size of your home and state of your ductwork in mind as well!

How Is SEER Measured?

SEER is a maximum efficiency rating, similar to miles per gallon on a car. Similar to cars, air conditioners run on different efficiencies. The higher the rating the more efficient the machine. However, you don’t always need the highest-rated air conditioner, similar to how you don’t need the fastest car on the market. A mid score machine will work fine, too!

It is measured by the cooling output of the season divided by the energy input during the same time frame. Electricians and those that build the machines measure these items before putting the SEER rating score on it. The higher the rating the more efficient the machine will run during various seasons. It will also do better in larger homes or buildings.

The highest SEER air conditioner may not work as well with other factors. You may buy the most efficient air conditioner, but if the ductwork isn’t up-to-date or your house is too large, it won’t be as efficient. You must take these factors into consideration when buying an air conditioner, since it may not be the sole answer to your conditioning woes.

Things to Consider 

A higher SEER score also means it has more features. A higher SEER score machine typically has more features that will help with comfort during varying months of the year. Such as different speeds to help cool down your house quicker and even cooling/heating. A lower score usually only has one speed and will leave cold/hot spots throughout the house.

Look for tax credit or manufacturer’s rebates to help with the cost. It can be daunting to purchase a high SEER scored air conditioner due to the cost. However, if you search for tax credit or rebates, it can help bring down some of that cost so that you can have a more efficient machine in your home. This will make the search a lot easier and less stressful.

The minimum SEER score does not mean you are getting a less efficient machine. Most older units are at an 8 or 9 SEER score, so even if you get a 13 you are still getting an upgrade. It will also work more efficiently than your old system, so you will notice a more comforting and financial different when you get the new machine. You’ll be happy you did!


We’ve discussed what a good air conditioner SEER rating can be. Hopefully, this article will help you with your search for a new and more efficient air conditioner!