Providing Gold Star HVAC Services at an Honest Price

Schedule Service Today
June 4, 2014

How Do I Choose the Right SEER Air Conditioner for My Home?

What Are SEER Ratings And How Do I Choose the Right SEER Air Conditioner for My Home?

Are you looking into air conditioning replacement for your Delaware home and beginning to realize that the choices out there are a bit confusing. Well you are not alone. Gold Star Services offers professional air conditioning installation and can help you make sense of it all!


What Type of SEER Rating Should I Consider When Replacing My Air Conditioner?


This is a question many of my clientele have struggled with when it comes time to replace their air conditioning unit. The federal minimum is now 13 SEER , but the options run up to 25SEER and the price greatly escalates the higher the rating. Sometimes by fifty percent!


What Exactly Does SEER Ratings Mean?


The SEER Rating (Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio) is an efficiency rating taking into account the typical cooling output divided by the total electric energy input. The higher an air conditioner unit’s SEER rating, the more efficient it is.

However, there a number of factors to take into account when determining whether to replace your current air conditioner with a higher SEER rated AC unit.


What SEER rating should I replace my inefficient air conditioning unit with to save money in energy bills?


Unfortunately, this is not a simple answer. There are other determining factors when making this decision. Typically a 13 SEER is used to replace an 8 to 10 SEER air conditioner. Higher SEER AC units cost upwards of 50% more and do not always deliver the energy savings to make it cost effective. A 13 SEER AC unit will keep your home at the same temperature as a higher rated unit, such as a 16 SEER AC unit. It is actually the thermal rating on you home that can play a much bigger part in lowering utility consumption.



Consider making the following improvements on your home to improve the thermal rating.


5 Ways to Improve Your Homes Thermal Rating:


  1. Reseal and Double Insulate Your Ducts
  2. Install Low E Windows & Solar Screens
  3. Install Attic Exhaust Fan
  4. Use a Radiant Barrier for the Roof
  5. Double Insulation in the Ceiling



While a higher SEER AC Unit will save you money over years, doing the math is often the best way to determine which is best for your situation. How long do you plan staying in your current home? If it is less than 5 years, getting a return on your investment in a higher SEER air conditioner may not likely.

Do the math. Take the BTUs divided by the SEER and then divide that by 1000 to see how many Kwh consumed each hour. Then multiply that by hours of operation annually and finally by cost of Kwh for that particular unit. Below we have done the math for a 13SEER AC Unit versus a 16SEER Unit.






36000 BTU ÷ 13 SEER = 2769 Watts | 2769 ÷ 1000 = 2.8Kwh | 2500Hours x 2.8Kwh = 7000Kwh | 7000Kwh x .147 (cost of Kwh) = $1029/ annual


36000 BTU ÷ 16 SEER = 2250 Watts| 2250 ÷ 1000 = 2.25Kwh | 2500Hours x 2.25 Kwh = 5625 Kwh | 5625 x .147 (cost of Kwh) = $ 827/ annual


$1029 – $827 = $202


For comparison purposes, let’s assume the cost of the 13SEER air conditioner is $4200 and the16 SEER air conditioner is $6000.


$6000 – $4200 = $1800


$1800 ÷ $202 = 8.9/ years

In this particular situation, it would take almost 9 years to recoup your investment on the higher SEER rating.

So while the higher SEER units are more efficient and deliver energy savings, determine the right SEER AC unit for your situation simply comes down to determining how long before you see the savings versus the initial cost.


If you need help determining which SEER Air Conditioner replacement is right for your Delaware home, get in touch with Gold Star Services. We offer full-service air conditioning installation and replacement to help keep you cool this summer.


Contact Us

"*" indicates required fields

This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.