SEER vs EER – an Analysis

When you own a home, you will be in need of HVAC systems to remain comfortable year round. To keep your unit in check every season, you will need to have the unit maintained by a top provider of HVAC services. When you care for your system, you can rely on the unit to provide you with what you need based on temperature settings.

An energy efficient system is a must, yet many home owners do not understand the terminology associated with HVAC units. Such terms as SEER and EER are used by technicians but what do they mean? Below is a small guide to each term so you can have a better understanding as to what each term means and how it applies to your HVAC system.


The term SEER stands for Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio and is the most commonly used option for evaluating the efficiency of an air conditioning system. Central heating and cooling units will use this rating to allow you to understand how much energy is used during operation. SEER only applies to the cooing power and is a ratio of the cooling output based over the cooling season and is measured in British Thermal Units, otherwise known as BTUs. This is then divided by the energy consumed in Watt-Hours. This is an average and is calculated by the indoor temperature and varying outdoor temperature of the home.

The Energy Guide Tag of your unit, a bright yellow sticker or hang tag, will show the SEER value of the system. This can range from 8 to 30, with most units at around 15 and above. When purchasing a new system, it is important to look at this rating to make sure you are purchasing a unit that will benefit your home. You want to be using less energy and still be comfortable during the summer season.


The term EER stands for Energy Efficiency Ratio and is an older method of calculating the energy efficiency of a cooling unit. With SEER, the measurement is based on the season while with EER, the measurement is more constant. EER is an engineering style number that will be used by your technician to determine the operation value of the system. EER is usually seen more prevalently in smaller air conditioning units. This measurement uses a constant value of 95 degrees for outside and an inside temperature of 80 with humidity levels at 50% to determine the EER.

The Advantages of EER

With a SEER rating, you can have a nice estimate of the efficiency of the unit based on average temperatures, if your area is a consistent 80 degrees. However, with EER, you can use the objective value to determine how well your unit will do in varying climates. You do not have to worry about seasonal changes as your unit will provide high quality energy efficiency all the time. Many products, such as Carrier heating and cooling systems, offer such measurements so you can enjoy your new unit without worrying about varying seasonal temperatures.

To learn more about SEER and EER measurements, contact your local HVAC Company. Qualified technicians will be able to look at your existing HVAC system and alert you of the ratings and what you need in your home. If you are in need of a better unit, with higher energy efficiency levels, you can work with the company to find a unit type that will only benefit your home. Look into these ratings and how they can affect your comfort, so you can your family can be comfortable year round!

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