(205) 289-3413 Emergency Services Available Request Service

AC 101: What’s SEER?

May 23, 2023 | Blog

SEER stands for Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio, and designates the ratio of cool air output to energy usage. In simpler terms, the less energy your AC uses to cool your home properly, the higher the SEER rating will be.

So you’re probably wondering, what does this mean for you as a homeowner? Skelton’s Heating, Cooling & Plumbing is here to walk you through your SEER rating and what it means for your AC efficiency.

Understanding SEER

As mentioned before, your SEER rating is higher when your AC uses less energy. This rating is calculated by dividing the cooling output in a cooling season by the energy used in watt-hours. Instead of doing this calculation yourself, you can usually find your system’s rating by:

  • Looking at the EnergyGuide sticker on your outdoor unit.
  • Checking the sheet of paper attached to the indoor unit.
  • Contacting the manufacturer with your unit’s model and serial number.

Your AC’s SEER rating can vary based on its age. This is because the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) has raised the efficiency standards within the past decade for all newer systems. These new standards allow homeowners with newer systems to save energy and money without sacrificing comfort, with the added bonus of being more environmentally friendly.

Since some air conditioning units can last up to 15 years, an older system that was installed before the updated regulations may fall below these new standards. For older air conditioners around 10 to 15 years old, the SEER rating ranges from eight to 10 on average. For newer units, the DOE requires a minimum rating of 13.

The Most Efficient AC For Your Home

When looking for the most efficient system, choosing a unit with the highest SEER may seem like the logical choice. However, air conditioners aren’t a one-size-fits-all solution for every home. These are the main factors that determine the ideal rating for your air conditioning system:

  • The size of your home
  • The condition of your insulation and ductwork
  • The region you live in

All of these factors impact the amount of energy your AC will use to maintain the set temperature. A large home with poor insulation and older ductwork in a region with extreme weather will use up a lot more energy than a smaller home that’s been well-maintained or built recently.

For homes in the Birmingham area, your unit should have a minimum rating of 14.3 for both air conditioning and heat pumps. Since the condition of your home plays a large part in determining the right SEER rating for your system, it’s always best to have an experienced HVAC technician evaluate your home for the most accurate recommended rating.

Birmingham’s Trusted AC Service Provider!

Whether you’re in the market for a newer, higher-SEER system or you’re looking to repair your current AC unit, Skelton’s Heating, Cooling & Plumbing has got you covered. Contact us today to see how we can help you with professional AC installation, maintenance, repair and more!

Why Choose Us?

We stand by our 100% customer satisfaction guarantee

Learn More
BBB Accredited Business
We have been fully accredited by the BBB for many years.
Professional Staff
Our highly trained and certified AC technicians are dedicated to offer 5-star AC service every time.
Award Winning Service
We're humbled to be considered one of the top air conditioning companies in the Birmingham area.
We worry so that you don't have to. We offer stress-free service calls and AC installations.

What Our Customers Are Saying

We had a great experience with Skelton’s!

We had a great experience with Skelton’s! Our dog damaged the wiring on our A/C condenser, and it stopped working while the highs were still in the 80’s. Skelton’s came out the next day and got our condenser working again. Would recommend them and use them again!

Mary B.

Very Professional and Responsive

Skelton’s Heating, Cooling & Plumbing is very professional and responsive. I was able to request service via an online service request form one evening and was called promptly the next morning. I was subsequently able to have service performed within 2 hours. When your AC is not working this is like finding gold! I highly recommend them.

Robert Q.

Prompt and Courteous Team

Outstanding service. Professional installers with attention to detail. Prompt and courteous team that showed up on time and worked quickly and efficiently. My new unit was shown to me completely and they helped me set up my wireless/smart thermostat. I would highly recommend. Reasonably priced top notch installation and cleaning.

Mike D.