A new air conditioner must have a SEER of 13?


What does it mean when they say that a new air conditioner must have a SEER of 13?
Again, I'll ask my husband Smile
An air conditioner's SEER number refers to its energy efficiency rating (higher being more efficient). As of January 2006 the government (Canada and US?) ruled that any new air conditioners being manufactured must have a SEER rating of at least 13.

You could still buy an air conditioner in a store with a SEER rating less than 13 because it could be manufactured before January '06. As a consumer you have no obligation to purchase a SEER 13 air conditioner (although the retailers would love it if you did!). The law applies to manufacturers only. So, if you do find an air conditioner with SEER <13 you are still free to buy it and use it.
Steph is right on!

In 2006 all air conditioners and heat pumps have to be 30 percent more efficient. The Alliance to Save Energy says this will save consumers $3.4 billion in energy costs and avoid the construction of 150 power plants by 2020.

Increased efficiency is not free. This means today's new air conditioner may be as much as $1200 more expensive than last year's.

Carrier, one of the leading manufacturers of air conditioners, says that for every $100 you pay running an 8 SEER air conditioner, you would pay $80 with a 10 SEER; $73 with an 11 SEER; $67 with a 12 SEER; $62 with a 13 SEER; $57 with a 14 SEER; $53 with a 15 SEER; $50 with a 16 SEER;and $44 with 17 SEER. The more you use air conditioning, the bigger your savings potential.

According to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), the 30-year average annual cooling-degree days for Metro Detroit is 727. The number for Miami is 4383.

The farther South you are, the more cooling-degree days you have, and the more sense it makes to have a higher SEER air conditioner.

Larry Kaufman, the Energy Expert at DTE Energy, says that it will take Metro Detroiters about seven years to make back the additional cost of a 13 SEER air conditioner.

The lower SEER air conditioners can still be sold, but when they are gone, they are gone.

(from Glenn Hage's columns)
We upgraded to a 15 SEER last summer after our A/C died.
We have saved over $100 a month by upgrading to a a newer and more energy efficient model.
Our old A/C was also undersized for the size of the house.
So we went from a 3 ton to a 4 ton and 11 SEER to 15 SEER.
It also cools the house quicker.


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