The government's EnergyGuide SEER2 tags can be confusing, but our experts can help you make sense of it!

So, what is SEER2, anyway? Well, it’s challenging to give a quick answer here, because a good SEER2 rating depends on what your family is looking for in an HVAC system. We’ll do our best to educate our neighbors about SEER2 and why it’s important, though!

SEER and SEER2 basics

First things first – SEER stands for Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio or Rating. In the simplest terms, it’s the ratio of the cooling output of an AC unit or heat pump over an average cooling season, divided by the energy it uses in watt-hours. SEER2 is an updated calculation that uses the new M1 blower testing procedure. So, if you shopped for a new unit a while back and you’re in the market for a new one again, you’ll notice that SEER is now SEER2, which represents the new standards.

SEER2 includes the total heat removed from the living space during the annual cooling season, and the new M1 testing procedure better reflects the real-world conditions of installed equipment. Recently, the Department of Energy (DoE) changed to SEER2 to accommodate the government’s new product regulations that went into effect on January 1, 2023.

Why are energy ratings changing?

The new minimum efficiency standards in 2023 have been updated in response to new standards from the DoE that reflect more accurate testing conditions and regulatory control. Because of these updates, SEER2 is the new rating terminology.

Essentially, SEER testing conditions didn’t properly simulate real-world conditions. We won’t bore you with the scientific details. The important part to know is that the DoE determined that SEER2 better represents actual conditions, and that means you – the consumer – can more accurately see how well a cooling system works.

What are the benefits of a high SEER2 rating?

Higher energy efficiency. A high SEER2 rating provides excellent energy efficiency in certain conditions. The minimum standard SEER2 for air conditioners is 13.4, though most modern air conditioners have a SEER2 range between 14 and 21. Don’t forget, though – this rating is a maximum. Your system’s efficiency can vary based on the size of your home, its ductwork, and other influences.

Greater indoor comfort. Buying an air conditioning system with a high SEER2 means your family will be more comfortable in the summer, especially with Northeast Ohio’s sweltering humidity. High SEER2 units utilize two components that provide greater indoor comfort – a two-stage or variable-speed compressor, and a variable-speed blower. These advanced features mean that a high SEER2 unit automatically moves just the right amount of conditioned air needed to reach the target temperature.

What about low SEER2 units?

These units usually have single-stage blowers – they only run at one speed. They frequently turn on and off, and you’ll experience uneven cooling. You’ll also notice higher overall humidity levels, which makes it feel hotter than it actually is. Your AC needs to run consistently to remove humidity from your home’s air.

So what’s the correct SEER2 rating for my home?

Honestly, anything over the new minimum (13.4) is excellent. That’s because if you have an old 8-SEER system and you replace it with one that’s 15.2-SEER2, you’ll significantly reduce your monthly cooling costs. There’s no magic SEER2 number, though, and that’s where our Trane Comfort Specialist team comes in.

Hey Neighbor Heating & Cooling is your neighborhood SEER2 resource

Our experts will develop an HVAC plan customized for your home and family’s needs, complete with high SEER2 cooling equipment that will keep everyone comfortable. If you have more questions about SEER2 or want to invest in a new cooling system, Hey Neighbor Heating & Cooling will work with you to find the energy-saving option that’s the perfect fit – whether it’s for your current residence or for when you’re planning your new, energy-efficient dream home!

Neighborly tip: Don’t forget to look for tax credits and manufacturer rebates to reduce the cost of your new high SEER2 system. Who doesn’t love to save money?


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