How to Calculate the SEER Value on an HVAC System

SEER is an efficiency rating for your air conditioner.
SEER is an efficiency rating for your air conditioner. (Image: Jupiterimages/Comstock/Getty Images)

Home air conditioning units carry a rating called SEER – seasonal energy efficiency rating. All air conditioning units carry these ratings so homeowners can understand the efficiency of their system. You can calculate this rating yourself with a few basic pieces of information. Generally speaking, air conditioning systems with a high SEER figure are more efficient than those with lower ratings. Most air conditioning systems are electric; you will need your electricity bill to help you calculate the SEER rating for your unit.

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Locate the internal air conditioning unit in your home. The attic, basement or internal closets are the most common locations of the unit.

Remove the unit’s panel by twisting the knobs and pulling out on the panel. Look for the BTU output figure listed on the unit, usually on a small piece of paper inside the panel.

Retrieve the utility bills for the months in which you use your air conditioning unit. The total kilowatt-hours used will be on the bill.

Sum all the kilowatt hours to determine the total hours used for the warm season in your region. Divide this figure in half as this represents your home’s air conditioner power use.

Divide the air conditioners BTU output by the total kilowatts used to determine the SEER rating of your unit.


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