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What does SEER mean and what is the best SEER to buy?

SEER (Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio) is the most commonly used energy efficiency rating for residential heat pumps and air conditioners. SEER is actually a measure of the BTUs (British Thermal Units) a system can produce while consuming 1 watt of electricity. An easier way to relate the ratings is to compare it to miles per gallon on a car. The higher the MPG, the less gas the car will use. With SEER, the higher the number, the less electricity the system will consume. Don’t get confused though, purchasing a higher SEER rated unit does not mean it will blow colder, it means it will deliver the same cooling for less money.Currently, a 13-SEER system is the minimum efficiency allowed. Most customers in our region and climate realize their best return on investment between a 14-SEER and a 16-SEER but SEER ratings for split system air conditioners and heat pumps range well into the 20+ range.There is not a “best” SEER rating for everybody, your individual operating habits, size of your home, condition of you duct work and your savings goals will determine your best investment.

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