The SEER rating is a measure of the efficiency of air conditioning equipment. SEER stands for Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio. The SEER rating was first defined by the Heating, Air Conditioning, and Refrigeration Institute in 2008. The rating is a measurement of the total cooling output of a unit divided by the energy input during the same cooling season.
As of January 2015, the Department of Energy introduced new guidelines for the SEER ratings of cooling equipment. These guidelines are specific to regions of the United States and are meant to improve the efficiency and energy consumption of equipment thereby improving the impact on the environment. In Arkansas, that means that all newly installed equipment must meet a minimum SEER rating of 14.
These minimum SEER rating requirements are applicable to new installs only. If your current system is under that number, you are fine to continue using it until a replacement becomes necessary.
As stated, the minimum rating is 14 and contractors are no longer able to sell units lower than that in the state of Arkansas. That rating is a good place to start, but why should you choose a higher rated unit? It's all about energy consumption. The higher the rating the more efficient the system. Less energy consumed means savings on your energy bills. You may notice the Energy Star Ratings on our heat pumps and other cooling equipment. In order to earn that Energy Star seal of approval, the SEER rating must be 14.5 or higher. You can calculate potential savings by visiting Energy Star air conditioning calculator.