SEER stands for Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio. The higher the SEER, the more efficient the unit, and the more energy savings is available.
The minimum SEER currently allowed is 13. Use the tool on the link below to compare energy savings for various SEERs. For instance, in our area, we have about 584 cooling hours per year. A standard 1800 square foot house would take a 3 ton air conditioner. At a cost of 11.5 cents/Killowat Hour, an old 10 SEER air conditioner would cost about $104 more per year to operate. Use this type of thinking for savings on replacing old equipment.
If you want to compare the energy savings for two different SEERs of new equipment, put in the same 584 cooling hours and correct size equipment (say 3 tons) then add 13 to the Standard Equipment box and 15 to the High Efficiency box and click compare. You will see you can save $40 per year. A 13 SEER to a 21 SEER saves $87 per year.
This will give you the energy savings, so you can see if it is worth it to you to spend more on the equipment. For instance, if the 21 SEER cost $1500 more than the 13 SEER air conditioner and saved $87 per year, it would take 17 years (probably longer than the air conditioner would last) to save enough in electric bills to pay for the cost difference on the equipment.
After you figure out what you might want to install for SEER, give us a call for pricing on various brands and SEERs of air conditioners. Unlike most contractors, we offer a wide variety of manufacturers and models to choose from.
When using the SEER Comparison link below, be sure to use correct fuel costs. Our area November 2008 costs were $0.115 per KwH for electric and $0.98 per therm for natural gas. For a better comparison for heating, or if you use propane or oil, see our Furnace Efficiency tab for heating comparisons.
When you are done with your research, contact us at 262-534-7330 or
Click Here To Schedule a Free Estimate.
Note: You should not use the "Flint" web site from our other links for comparing air conditioner SEERs as their site compares Heat Pumps, which are much more expensive to purchase and will not provide as much savings as an efficient furnace and air conditioner. Their site only compares heat pumps used year round, not heat pumps to furnace and air conditioner usage, so the results are not accurate.