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What Does SEER Stand For?

Kitchen Plumbing - Westland HVAC + Plumbing

If you’ve examined your air conditioner, you may have noticed a label detailing its SEER rating, and wondered what it means. The term stands for Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio, and it’s a way of measuring the system’s efficiency. That can have a huge impact on your system, especially with our hot summers here in Westlake, OH. If you’re in the market for a new air conditioner, it pays to understand what the SEER rating means and why it matters so much to you.


Efficiency is much different than raw power. Your air conditioner can generate huge amounts of cool air but if it uses equally huge amounts of energy to do it, then it’s not being very efficient. A small air conditioner that makes better use of its energy would have a higher SEER rating than a big one that wastes its energy. Once you’ve determined the right sized air conditioner for your needs, look for the one with the highest SEER rating.

How Do They Find the Number?

The SEER rating is actually a pretty simple ratio. It represents the number of British Thermal Units (BTUs) it can produce in cooling power for each watt-hour it consumes in energy. A SEER rating of 13 produces 13 BTUs for one watt-hour consumed, while a SEER rating of 15 produces 2 BTUs more. It’s not hard to see how a higher SEER rating can help you. According to U.S. law all central air conditioners need a minimum SEER rating of 13, and ENERGY STAR stickers are used to denote units that have a SEER rating of 14.5 or above. (Those stickers can make a handy “cheat sheet” if you’re not entirely sure what to look for.)

The experts at Westland Heating and Air can help find an efficient air conditioner, then install it with care. Contact us today and let us show you what we can do for you!

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