How To Look At A House
McGarry and Madsen's home inspection blog for buyers of
site-built, mobile/manfuactured and modular homes
What is a good SEER rating?
Saturday, September 10, 2022
Defining a good SEER rating is a moving target. As HVAC technology and the minimum SEER requirement of the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) push the number steadily higher, what was once a good SEER becomes just average or even low. If you define it as a number that is a little above the current minimum, then a good SEER today is in the 16 to 18 range. The minimum for new systems today is 14, and will be bumped up to 15 on January 1, 2023.
Here’s a chart showing the history of SEER ratings. The first three entries show the average SEER of the earlier eras before the DOE started establishing minimum requirements.
When considering whether or not it’s time to replace your old air conditioner or heat pump, be sure to factor in the electricity savings with a new higher-SEER system. For example, going from 12 to 16 SEER gives you a 25% reduction in the portion of your bill for cooling. Go to our article How much will I save on my energy bill if I get a new higher SEER air conditioner? for a calculator to figure out your exact savings.
Also, see our blog post How can I find out the SEER of my air conditioner?
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To learn more about heating and air conditioning systems, see these other blog posts:
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