What Does an A/C SEER Rating Actually Mean?

seer rating

Acronyms. They are everywhere. Take sports for example. Baseball has RBI (runs batted in) and OPS (on-base plus slugging). NFL stands for National Football League and NBA is the acronym for National Basketball Association. Many of us probably know what those acronyms stand for but there are plenty that we may not. For instance, how many of you know that the candy M&M’s stands for Mars & Murrie’s, in reference to founders Forrest Mars, Sr. and Bruce Murrie. Or that the ZIP in the United States Postal Service’s zip code is short for Zone Improvement Plan? Our industry is no different and all of your friends here at Armstrong Plumbing, Air & Electric use acronyms all the time. HVAC is much easier to say than heating, ventilation and air conditioning, right? 


Another acronym that is thrown around a lot in the HVAC industry is one whose meaning may not be as widely known: SEER. SEER stands for Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio, a term which applies to how efficient your air conditioner is. But what does it actually mean? Well, when your home air conditioner is working efficiently, it consumes less energy that when it is not. A SEER rating helps you determine just how efficient your AC is. The SEER rating itself is the ratio determined when the cooling output during a normal demographic area cooling-season is divided by the total electric energy consumed during the same period. The higher the SEER rating, the more efficient your AC is at turning energy into actual cooling. 

Energy efficiency ratings for HVAC systems is a relatively recent development. In 1992, the U.S. government established minimum standards for air conditioning units manufactured in the U.S. At that time, SEER ratings of 8-9 were commonplace. The Energy Policy Act of 2005 revised the minimum standard to 13 SEER. Each state, however, has the authority to mandate a SEER minimum as long as it is not below 13; many states’ standard is 14.


Armstrong Plumbing, Air & Electric has helped countless residential and business customers in the Lubbock, TX area with their AC needs since 1934. That includes guiding them through an AC replacement process. One of the great benefits of investing in a new air conditioner is the afore-mentioned SEER ratings, which will save you money on energy bills over time. Armstrong is a proud factory authorized dealer of Mitsubishi and Lennox equipment, and we also service all other makes and models in both residential and commercial applications. We also offer complete electrical and plumbing services. Better Call Armstrong today and don’t forget to visit us on social media!