What is the difference between SEER and EER & What Are Their Significance?

What do they mean? SEER and EER.

Anytime that you are in the market for an HVAC air conditioning system you will have a few key words pop up everywhere. SEER and EER are two words that are often spoken about when referring to anything HVAC related. But what do these words mean, and what are their significance that you constantly see them thrown around? Well, these two words are essentially the way that efficiency is measured in air conditioners. Let’s dive into some more information on SEER and EER, so that way when you’re in the market you are already and Expert!


Is this a real word? Kind of, it’s an acronym for “Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio.”  This just means that when calculating then number of the annual output is divided by the total energy intake (Watts-hours). In 1992, the government established a 13 minimum SEER ratings as standard for air conditioning systems. SEER ratings from back then would average a rating of 8 or 9. Compared to now, SEER rating range from 13-21. We’ve definitely came a long way when it comes to energy saving heating and air conditioning systems. The minimum rating as of now is 13. Here at HVAC Experts, our customers on average get anywhere between 14-16 SEER units. It all comes down to your wants and needs at the end of the day.

What does it mean?

In asm-air.com blog post titled “What’s a Good SEER Rating? The truth About High SEER Air Conditioners.”, they made the perfect analogy. “Think of SEER as being kind of like Miles Per Gallon (MPG) for your car.” We couldn’t think of a more perfect way to say it! You can buy the car with the best miles per gallon out there, but if you keep accelerating rapidly and stopping constantly, you won’t get your correct MPG. The same thing goes for your HVAC unit. The “SEER value is that unit’s maximum potential.” So, if you’re not using the unit correctly, it will not be able to reach its full potential. This means that if you constantly turn it off and on it’s going to lag to keep up the temperature difference, causing it to work harder.


EER stands for Energy Efficiency Ratio. This is calculated by the input of electricity divided by the cooling it creates. The only difference between the two ratings (SEER and EER) is that EER is calculated under one set of conditions. SEER is tested in different, sometimes extreme, climates. EER is the efficiency at “peak times” as servicechampions.com would say. In other words, in the “peak” of summer is the most accurate measure given for EER.

Why should I consider this when buying a new one?

Yes, a higher SEER rating is great, but we really need to consider:

  • the size of your home
  • budget
  • our climate here in West Texas
  • EER ratings

There are other things to consider but you also need to express any concerns to your comfort adviser. They are there to answer any questions that you would have. At the end of the day we want what is best for you. Whether it’s a higher SEER or lower, they all have their highs and lows. SEER lets us know how energy efficient these units are and when wanting to save money, going with a higher rated unit is recommend.



What is the Difference Between EER and SEER?

What Your A/C SEER Rating Actually Means

If you want to know the difference between 13 and 16 SEER, want more details on what SEER and EER ratings mean, or simply want to know more, call us. We’d be happy to help you with terminology and educate you on what is needed for your home’s air conditioning system.

For questions and concerns give us a call at (432) 217-1245! Why call anyone else, when you can call the Experts?