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 Stan's Greener Savings Blog 
Thursday, July 02 2015

Find Your Air Conditioner's S.E.E.R.

The chart below traces the history of the S.E.E.R. for residential air conditioners:

The History of S.E.E.R.
Seasonal Energy Efficiency Rating

Before 1980

6 or less

1980 to 1985

7 or less

1986 to 1991

8 or less

1992 to 2005

10 to 12

2006 to 2014

13 or more

2015 to present

14* or more

**Minimum U.S. allowable for Southeast Region including Delaware (DE) and Maryland (MD) effective January 1, 2015.
NOTE: If you're not sure when yours was installed, find the model number on the nameplate of your unit, and give us a call at 800-227-8667. 

As the number increases, your energy use for the same level of cooling decreases proportionally. That means that today's minimum allowable standard 14 S.E.E.R. unit installed today will use half the energy of a 7 S.E.E.R. unit installed in the 1980s. A new 16 S.E.E.R. unit installed today will be 60% more efficient than a 10 S.E.E.R. system from the early 1990s.

Find Your Savings.

This next chart illustrates the savings owners can expect from a high efficiency replacement in a typical 2,000 sq. ft. Delaware, Maryland or Pennsylvania home.

Estimated Seasonal Energy Savings When
Upgrading Your Cooling System

Your Current AC

8 S.E.E.R.

10 S.E.E.R.

12 S.E.E.R..

Estimated Seasonal Cost with An Aging AC or Heat Pump




14 S.E.E.R.

$360 estimated annual energy cost for cooling.

Your Seasonal Savings







15 S.E.E.R.

$336 estimated annual energy cost for cooling.

Your Seasonal Savings







16 S.E.E.R.

$315 estimated annual energy cost for cooling.
Your Seasonal Savings



18 S.E.E.R.

$280 estimated annual energy cost for cooling.

Your Seasonal Savings



Source: PECO Energy ( based on costs of cooling a typical 2,000 sq. ft. home to 70°F from May through early September at June 2015 rate of $0.09 per kWh. Based on 30 year average weather in greater Philadelphia area.

In fact, your real savings are actually likely to be even higher than these estimates. Here’s why:

The estimates assume:

  • That the system you are replacing was installed properly. The U.S. Department of Energy estimates that “nearly half of all heating and cooling in the U.S. never performs to its advertised capacity due to incorrect installation.”
  • That it has been maintained regularly. A neglected system typically loses between 3% and 10% efficiency per year.
  • That your ductwork is properly designed and not leaking due to poor installation, aging seals or foundation settlement. The U.S. Department of Energy warns that such leaks rather than the equipment itself are “the real source of (energy efficiency) problems.”

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Posted by: Stan Perkoski AT 11:30 am   |  Permalink   |  0 Comments  |  Email

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