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What SEER Rating Should I Buy for My Michigan Home?

In the market for a new air conditioner?

If so, you’ve probably heard of SEER ratings, and are wondering what rating you should go with.

Here’s our general recommendation:

  • If you’re on a tight budget, we suggest sticking to a 13-SEER AC
  • If you can afford to purchase an AC with higher efficiency (higher SEER), speak to a professional to see if a higher SEER AC makes sense for you

We’ll go into more depth about each of those points below. But first, we’ll give a quick refresher on SEER ratings.

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What is SEER?

SEER (Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio) is a measurement that shows how energy-efficient an AC system is. For residential AC systems, SEER ratings range from 13 to 24+. The higher the SEER rating, the more energy-efficient the air conditioner. This means if you purchase a high-SEER unit, hypothetically you’ll have lower monthly energy bills. However, high-SEER air conditioners also come with a higher price tag. So the question you need to ask yourself is this: Is a higher-SEER AC worth the higher upfront cost? Now that you had a quick crash-course in SEER, let’s look at the recommendations we provided above in more detail.

If you’re on a tight budget, go with a 13-SEER AC


13-SEER is the current minimum requirement for our area, according to federal SEER standards. This SEER rating will cool your Michigan home just fine during the summers.

Plus, if you’re replacing an older air conditioner (15+ years old), you’ll see significant savings with a 13-SEER unit because many older models were 10-SEER or under.

Willing to spend a little more? Have a professional do the math

If you’re interested in getting an AC unit that’s rated 14+ SEER, you should consult with a professional.

High-SEER units can potentially cut down your monthly electric bills, but how much money you’ll actually save depends on factors such as:

  • The condition of your home’s ductwork
  • The insulation levels of your home
  • The temperature you want your home to be
  • How often you plan on maintaining your AC

A professional can take into account all of these factors to help you know how much money a high-SEER air conditioner will actually save you every month. Together you can determine if the energy savings of a high-SEER AC justifies its higher upfront install cost.

Need help from a Michigan HVAC professional?

Choosing a new air conditioner is a big decision. Our trained pros make the decision as painless as possible for you by explaining every option in detail. Plus, we always give upfront pricing so you can plan and budget accordingly.

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