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Even if you’re new to the HVAC world, you’ve almost certainly come across the acronym SEER. It’s thrown around frequently, but how is it defined? And what does SEER2 mean for your AC system?

If you’re new to this terminology, don’t fret. In today’s blog, we’ll cover the basics of SEER and SEER2, the technology behind them, and what they mean for you as a consumer. 

The Nitty Gritty 

One thing is sure: SEER is not just off putting industry jargon; it involves stringent quality protocols that impact our country’s HVAC standards. In a previous article, we covered the basics of SEER, but some of them are worth refreshing here. 

For starters, SEER stands for Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio. It is an efficiency-testing method that determines the ratio between the cooling system output in BTUs (British Thermal Units) and the amount of electricity a unit consumes in a given period. 

The lower the number, the more energy a unit consumes. Conversely, the higher the number, the less energy it uses. 

Now, let’s cover some more SEER basics:

  • The U.S. Department of Energy regulates SEER and mandates minimum requirements for new air conditioning systems.
  • 2023 ratings range from 14 (northern U.S.) and 15 (southern U.S.) to over 25; higher ratings indicate higher efficiency.
  • Higher-rated system can be pricier initially but often provides substantial energy savings over time. 
  • Climate, usage, system maintenance, and other factors can influence a unit’s actual energy efficiency.

SEER2—Differences & Definitions

Like SEER, SEER2 is a government mandate from the Department of Energy. All new AC units produced and introduced to the market must abide by this. Some of the technical requirements are as follows:

  • In the northern US, all types of air conditioners must have a SEER2 of 13.4 or higher.
  • Air conditioner type and capacity determine SEER2 ratings in the Southeast and Southwest. Split systems in these regions must have a SEER2 rating of 14.3 or higher if their capacity is less than 45k BTU. With a capacity greater than 45k BTU, they must have a 13.8 or higher SEER2 rating. 

Moreover, the M1 Blower Testing Procedure is another of SEER2’s significant distinctions.

According to the official SEER2 site, this testing more closely replicates the real-world conditions HVAC units work in. Laboratories achieve these conditions by increasing static pressure from 0.1” WG (water gauge) to 0.5” WG. 

What It Means for You


Now that we’ve covered the nuts and bolts, what does SEER2 mean for your AC system as a consumer? 

First, as we’ve mentioned, SEER2 usually costs more upfront. But the trade-off, dear consumer, is more comfort and lower monthly energy costs. 

If financial benefits don’t entirely sway you, there are also serious environmental considerations. SEER2 reduces your home’s carbon footprint so you can take part in shaping a more sustainable planet. 

You could also be eligible for substantial tax credits in specific situations.


Get in Touch Today

As our industry adapts to this new regulation, finding a reputable, licensed, and insured technician to install your new AC unit is paramount. 

So why not choose Cooper Mechanical Services? We’re the Grand Strand’s preferred HVAC technicians, and we’re here to bring efficient comfort to your home and family. 

Call us at 843-626-3689 to get started today!