SEER rating information

I recently performed an inspection of a new home here in the Houston area. The buyer inquired as to the SEER rating posted on the air conditioner condenser…it showed as a 14 SEER. The builder is telling the buyer that in combination with the furnace (which is NOT a high-efficiency model at 80%) it is actually a 16 SEER system. Anyone encounter this before?

I don’t believe than a product listed/labeled for 14 SEER can perform at a 16 SEER rating.

Not built/tested for such in my view.

Also … seldom does an HVAC system reach the super-high SEER ratings as there are many elements involved to make that happen.

Biggest loss is the duct-work and related installation. It is the worst part of any HVAC system. All the elements have to be working together to get any SEER rating and equipment will only perform at what they are rated for.

Remember that those SEER ratings are stamped on equipment that has been tested in a lab or assembly line situation where there are far better controls for all the pieces/parts. Testing in a lab is one thing … reality in the field is a whole 'nother animal.


Tell buyer to give equipment info to a dealer or manufacturer and ask them. Its beyond your capability

My understanding is that SEER applies only to matched systems which have been lab tested and subsequently listed for compatibility by AHRI, which I think anyone can check at AHRI’s certification directory. Could the builder’s saying that the condenser’s SEER is increased mean that some over-sized, cased indoor a/c coil was stuck on top of that furnace? If so, might that prematurely burn up the compressor with too hot return vapor rather than increase the fixed SEER of the condenser? I hope you’ll post the answer to this interesting question.

So the builder has supplied an AHRI certification, and assuming the actual model numbers match up to the certificate, the system appears to be rated SEER 16. Again the condenser says SEER 14.

This is really outside our scope, but I’m trying to help out a client. AHRI certification.pdf (138.9 KB)

Yes. You can read the SEER rating of the unit from the label, however the SEER rating of the system depends on the combination of all the components and is not on any label. Be sure to explain that to your clients when they ask you about unit SEER ratings.

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Thanks Chuck…and all.