Want to know how much you could save by switching to a higher efficiency air conditioner? Every HVAC unit has a SEER rating, designated by its efficiency. The higher the SEER number you see, the LESS energy it uses - a bit counter intuitive, but really useful to know!
The SEER calculator works by answering the following questions:
14 SEER VS 25 SEER - what is the energy cost difference in these air conditioners?
How is my current air conditioner performing? What am I paying now?
SEER stands for Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio.
Want to know more? Okay! Remember, our calculator is designed to help you compare cooling costs between different SEER ratings. We will show you estimated savings over the years - over the entire expected life span of your HVAC unit.
We look at four factors to determine this information:
Current AC's SEER rating and size (its called tons)
the cost of your electricity
how often an AC unit is typically run in your area (note: a lot here in the South!).
We then compare that with the same parameters from a higher efficiency unit. You might be surprised how big the savings are - especially compounded over 15 years!
Getting Your Info Together
First, find your current HVACs SEER rating. Hopefully, there is a yellow Energy Guide label on your unit. It'll be on the outside part - called the condenser unit.
If there's no sticker, or you can't read it, look next at your air handler which is likely inside the house. It might be in your attic, garage, or basement. There may be a sticker there too. Remember, we are looking for the SEER rating and the tonnage.
Finally, if you can't find it anywhere else, you can always turn to the internet. You should be able to find the manufacturer, model and serial number. A search or call to the company will find your answers!
Tonnage is a squirrely to find out. It measure the cooling capacity of the unit. Another way to describe it is how much heat it can remove in an hour. For instance, a one ton air conditioner can remove 12,000 Btu’s of heat from your house over an hour. A two ton air conditioner moves 24,000 Btu’s, etc. A Btu is British thermal unit and measures a unit of heat in the industry. Btu is calculated as equivalent to the amount of heat it takes to raise the temperature of one pound of water by one degree Fahrenheit.
Underestimating tonnage is a bad mistake and depends on a few factors. Occupants, square footage, and windows all play into it.
Here's a basic chart to give you an idea of what tonnage you may need. When in doubt size up - but be careful not to overdo it or you'll pay more than necessary and negate your SEER savings!
750 to 1,000
1,450 to 1,700
1,950 to 2,200
If your home is off the chart large (literally), you'll need multiple AC units. Larger units aren't available for residential use. Multiple units will perform better anyway and give you more control over the temperature of your home. It's all for the best.