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Your Indianapolis Licensed HVAC Contractor


Your Indianapolis Licensed HVAC Contractor


Vital Heating & Air Blog

Understanding Air Conditioning Efficiency Ratings

Are you currently looking for a new air conditioning installation in Indianapolis, IN this spring so you household is ready for the summer heat? That’s great planning: it’s always good to get ahead of the hot weather and take advantage of a slower time for HVAC technicians. 

As you begin looking into possible new air conditioning units, you’ll run across efficiency ratings. If you don’t know what these ratings mean or what counts as a “good” efficiency rating, no worries. We’re here to help. We recommend calling us before you make a choice about your AC, since we can provide you with the knowledge to find a new air conditioner that matches the specific needs of your household as well as your budget. 

Below is a short introduction to AC efficiency ratings and how they’re measured.


EER stands for energy efficiency ratio, and it’s one of the two standard efficiency ratings you’ll find on refrigerant-based air conditioners. EER is a ratio of the amount of cooling a unit produces (measured in BTUs of heat removed from the house) to the amount of electrical energy consumed (measured in watt-hours). 

To determine EER, a unit undergoes a test under a single set of conditions: 95°F outdoor heat, 80°F indoor heat, and 50% relative humidity. The higher EER, the more efficient a unit is at converting energy to cooling.


As you might guess, SEER is similar to EER. It stands for seasonal energy efficiency ratio, and it is the same ratio of cooling output-to-electrical consumption as EER. What’s different is how SEER is determined. 

Rather than test the unit under one set of conditions, the air conditioner goes through different tests at a range of temperatures and humidity levels meant to imitate a full season of cooling. Think of EER as a snapshot of cooling efficiency, while SEER is a feature-length film of it as work through the summer. SEER is always higher than EER.

What Is a Good EER/SEER Rating?

We recommend customers only purchase air conditioning equipment that meets the ENERGY STAR requirements set by the US Department of Energy. Currently, for a split-system AC to receive the ENERGY STAR label, it must have 15 SEER/12.5 EER or higher. There are units that have much higher efficiency ratings—such as SEER in the 20s—but this is a good baseline to start with. 

The Bryant Evolution™ Variable-Speed Air Conditioner

One type of air conditioning system we often recommend to our customers is the Bryant Evolution(™) Variable-Speed AC. These cooling units can have up to 19 SEER/13 EER, and they’re also among the quietest air conditioning systems on the market. Other great benefits include improved humidity control and fewer temperature fluctuations. We can determine if a Bryant Evolution unit is suited to your needs—we carry many different air conditioning system types, and we’ll make sure you end up with the right AC to cool your family for many years. We aim to see you are 100% satisfied with our services. 

Call us for your AC needs in Indianapolis, IN—because “Your Comfort Is Vital!”

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