SEER vs. SEER 2 Cost Savings Calculator

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As of January 1, 2023, the SEER2 standard has become the new benchmark for air conditioning unit efficiency in the United States. This updated standard requires new air conditioning units to have a minimum SEER2 rating of 14. Older units with lower SEER ratings may cost you more money than you realize.

Suppose you are still using an older air conditioning unit with a low SEER rating. In that case, it’s time to start considering the costs of upgrading to a newer, more energy-efficient unit with a higher SEER2 rating.

In this blog post, I’ll look at the differences between SEER and SEER2 ratings and how upgrading to a higher SEER2-rated air conditioning unit can save you money on your energy bills in the long run.

SEER Energy Saving Calculator

How to use the Energy Savings Calculator:

  • Select the size of your current unit 1.5 Tons – 5 Tons
  • Enter the SEER Rating of your existing unit. This will be found on the Yellow EnergyGuide Sticker on your condenser unit.
  • Enter the new SEER2 rating of a unit you may want to upgrade to.
  • Enter your local cost of electricity in cents per kWh. This is found on your Electric bill.
  • Enter your estimated hours per year.
  • The default numbers are based on usage in Southeast USA.





Why SEER 2 is the Future of Energy Efficiency in Air Conditioning

Key Takeaways:

  • SEER is a rating system used to measure the energy efficiency of air conditioning units.
  • SEER is being phased out and replaced with a new standard, SEER 2, which considers the unit’s performance at different temperatures, making it a more reliable measure of a unit’s performance.
  • SEER ratings range from 13 to 23, while SEER 2 ratings range from 14 to 25.
  • SEER ratings have limitations, as they only measure energy efficiency at one specific temperature and may not reflect real-world usage.
  • All new air conditioning units must meet the SEER 2 standard as of January 1, 2023, making it the new standard for energy efficiency in air conditioning.
  • Upgrading to a higher SEER 2-rated air conditioning unit can lead to long-term cost savings on energy bills.

If you’ve ever bought or installed an air conditioning unit, you’ve probably come across the term “SEER”. SEER stands for Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio and is a rating system used to measure the energy efficiency of air conditioning units.

However, SEER is being phased out and replaced with a new standard, SEER 2. In this article, we’ll explain why SEER is outdated and why SEER 2 is the future of energy efficiency in air conditioning.

What is SEER, and why is it being phased out?

SEER is a rating system used to measure the energy efficiency of air conditioning units. The higher the SEER rating, the more energy efficient the unit is. SEER ratings range from 13 to 23, with higher ratings indicating better energy efficiency.

However, SEER has limitations. It only measures energy efficiency at one specific temperature, so it doesn’t account for the unit’s performance at different temperatures. Additionally, SEER ratings are often calculated based on laboratory conditions, which may not reflect real-world usage.

These limitations have led to the development a new standard, SEER 2.

What is SEER 2, and why is it the new standard?

SEER 2 is the new standard for measuring the energy efficiency of air conditioning units. Unlike SEER, SEER 2 considers the unit’s performance at different temperatures, reflecting real-world usage better. SEER 2 also uses more accurate testing methods to determine the unit’s energy efficiency, which makes it a more reliable measure of a unit’s performance.

SEER 2 ratings range from 14 to 25, with higher ratings indicating better energy efficiency. As of January 1, 2023, all new air conditioning units must meet the SEER 2 standard, making it the new standard for energy efficiency in air conditioning.

SEER vs. SEER 2: Technical Differences

Key Takeaways:

  • SEER 2 units are the new standard for air conditioning energy efficiency and offer several technical differences compared to SEER units.
  • SEER 2 units are more energy-efficient than SEER units, with higher EER and COP ratings.
  • SEER 2 units use more advanced technologies, such as two-stage or variable-speed compressors and variable-speed fans, resulting in more efficient and precise cooling.
  • SEER 2 units are more environmentally friendly, using only R-410A refrigerant and enhanced aluminum or stainless steel heat exchangers.
  • SEER 2 units are more durable and reliable, with advanced components such as microchannel or enhanced aluminum condenser coils.
  • SEER 2 units have lower noise levels compared to SEER units, due to the use of advanced technologies.
  • Consumers should consider the technical differences when choosing an air conditioning unit, as they can affect energy efficiency, performance and comfort, durability and reliability, and compatibility and installation.

When choosing an air conditioning unit, homeowners want the most advanced and efficient technology. SEER 2 units are the new standard for air conditioning energy efficiency, but what are the technical differences between SEER and SEER 2?

EER (Energy Efficiency Ratio)

The Energy Efficiency Ratio (EER) measures how efficiently an air conditioning unit can cool a space. SEER units typically have an EER of up to 16, while SEER 2 units can have an EER of up to 27. This means that SEER 2 units are more energy-efficient than SEER units, resulting in lower energy bills and a reduced environmental impact.

COP (Coefficient of Performance)

The Coefficient of Performance (COP) measures how much cooling or heating a unit can provide per unit of energy consumed. SEER units typically have a COP of up to 4.5, while SEER 2 units can have a COP of up to 5. This means that SEER 2 units can provide more cooling or heating per unit of energy consumed than SEER units.

Refrigerant

Refrigerant is the substance that circulates through the air conditioning unit and removes heat from the air. SEER units can use either R-22 or R-410A refrigerant, while SEER 2 units use only R-410A refrigerant. R-410A is more environmentally friendly than R-22, which is being phased out due to its harmful impact on the ozone layer.

Compressor Type

The compressor is the part of the air conditioning unit that compresses the refrigerant and circulates it through the system. SEER units can have either a single-stage or two-stage compressor, while SEER 2 units can have a two-stage or variable-speed compressor. Two-stage and variable-speed compressors can adjust their output to match the home’s cooling needs, resulting in more efficient and precise cooling.

Fan Type

The fan is part of the air conditioning unit that blows air over the evaporator coil to distribute cool air throughout the home. SEER units typically have a fixed-speed fan, while SEER 2 units have a variable-speed fan. Variable-speed fans can operate at lower speeds, lowering noise levels and increasing efficiency.

Condenser Coil

The condenser coil is the part of the air conditioning unit that releases heat from the refrigerant into the outside air. SEER units typically have a copper or aluminum condenser coil, while SEER 2 units can have a microchannel or enhanced aluminum condenser coil. Microchannel and enhanced aluminum condenser coils are more efficient than standard copper or aluminum coils, resulting in improved cooling efficiency.

Heat Exchanger

The heat exchanger is the part of the air conditioning unit that transfers heat from the inside of the home to the outside. SEER units typically have a standard or enhanced copper heat exchanger, while SEER 2 units can have an enhanced aluminum or stainless steel heat exchanger. Enhanced aluminum and stainless steel heat exchangers are more efficient than standard copper heat exchangers, resulting in increased durability and improved cooling efficiency.

Noise Level

SEER units typically have a noise level of 70 decibels (dB) or higher, while SEER 2 units typically have a noise level of 55 dB or lower. This is due to the use of variable-speed fans and other advanced technologies in SEER 2 units.

Why Home Owners Should Care About the Technical Differences

While technical differences may seem complex and difficult to understand, they are important consumer considerations when choosing an air conditioning unit. Here’s why consumers should care about the technical differences between SEER and SEER 2:

Energy Efficiency

One of the main benefits of SEER 2 units is their increased energy efficiency compared to SEER units. By choosing a SEER 2 unit with a high EER and COP, consumers can significantly reduce their energy bills and reduce their environmental impact.

Performance and Comfort

SEER 2 units are designed to provide improved performance and comfort compared to SEER units. Consumers can enjoy more precise temperature control and more efficient cooling by choosing a SEER 2 unit with a two-stage or variable-speed compressor. Additionally, using variable-speed fans and other advanced technologies in SEER 2 units can result in lower noise levels, providing a more comfortable and peaceful environment in the home.

Durability and Reliability

Using advanced technologies and components in SEER 2 units, such as microchannel or enhanced aluminum condenser coils and enhanced aluminum or stainless steel heat exchangers, can increase durability and reliability compared to SEER units. This means that consumers can expect a longer lifespan and fewer maintenance issues with SEER 2 units, which can ultimately result in long-term cost savings.

Compatibility and Installation

Consumers should also consider the compatibility of the unit they are considering with their existing HVAC system and the required installation process. SEER 2 units may not be compatible with all HVAC systems, and may require more specialized installation than SEER units. By considering these factors, consumers can ensure that they choose a unit that is compatible with their existing system and that can be installed without any issues.

What Consumers Should Consider When Shopping for a SEER2 System

When shopping for an air conditioning unit, consumers should be looking for a SEER 2 unit with a high EER and COP, as well as a two-stage or variable-speed compressor, a variable-speed fan, and advanced technologies such as microchannel or enhanced aluminum condenser coils and enhanced aluminum or stainless steel heat exchangers.

Additionally, consumers should ensure that the unit they are considering is compatible with their existing HVAC system and that the required installation process is feasible for their home.

Advantages of SEER2 over SEER

ParameterSEERSEER 2
EER (Energy Efficiency Ratio)Up to 16Up to 27
COP (Coefficient of Performance)Up to 4.5Up to 5
RefrigerantR-22 or R-410AR-410A
Compressor TypeSingle-stage or two-stageTwo-stage or variable-speed
Fan TypeFixed-speedVariable-speed
Condenser CoilCopper or aluminumMicrochannel or enhanced aluminum
Heat ExchangerStandard or enhanced copperEnhanced aluminum or stainless steel
Noise LevelTypically 70 dB or higherTypically 55 dB or lower
  • SEER 2 units have a higher EER and COP than SEER units, making them more energy-efficient. They also use R-410A refrigerant, which is more environmentally friendly than the R-22 or R-410A used by SEER units.
  • SEER 2 units use two-stage or variable-speed compressors, which can adjust their output to match the home’s cooling needs, resulting in more precise temperature control and higher efficiency. They also have variable-speed fans, which can operate at lower speeds, resulting in lower noise levels.
  • SEER 2 units typically use microchannel or enhanced aluminum condenser coils and enhanced aluminum or stainless steel heat exchangers, which are more efficient than the standard copper components used in SEER units. This results in improved cooling efficiency and increased durability.

Other SEER 2 advantages over SEER:

Higher energy savings

SEER 2 units are more energy efficient than SEER units, meaning they use less energy to achieve the same level of cooling. This translates to lower energy bills and long-term cost savings.

More efficient cooling

SEER 2 units are designed to provide more efficient cooling than SEER units. They use advanced technologies to provide better temperature control and more precise cooling, which improves overall comfort levels.

More precise temperature control

SEER 2 units are designed to provide more precise temperature control than SEER units. They use advanced sensors and control systems to maintain a consistent temperature throughout your home, which improves overall comfort levels.

Quieter operation

SEER 2 units are designed to operate more quietly than SEER units. They use advanced technologies to reduce noise levels, making them more comfortable and convenient.

Reduced environmental impact

SEER 2 units are more energy efficient than SEER units, producing fewer greenhouse gas emissions. This makes them a more environmentally friendly choice.

Long-term cost savings

While SEER 2 units may have a higher upfront cost than SEER units, they offer long-term cost savings due to their improved energy efficiency. This means that they are a more cost-effective choice in the long run.

Disadvantages of SEER 2

SEER 2 also has some disadvantages, including:

Higher upfront cost

SEER 2 units have a higher upfront cost than SEER units. This may make them less accessible to homeowners on a tight budget.

Requires specialized installation

SEER 2 units require specialized installation, so you may need to hire a professional HVAC contractor to install the unit. This can add to the overall cost of the unit.

Not compatible with all HVAC systems

SEER 2 units may not be compatible with all HVAC systems, so you may need to upgrade your system before installing a SEER 2 unit. This can add to the overall cost of the unit.

SEER vs. SEER2: Cost Comparison

One of the biggest concerns for homeowners when choosing an air conditioning unit is the cost. SEER 2 units have a higher upfront cost than SEER units but offer long-term cost savings due to their improved energy efficiency. Here’s a comparison of the costs of SEER and SEER 2 units:

Upfront costs

SEER units typically cost between $2,500 and $7,500 to install, while SEER 2 units usually cost between $3,500 and $8,500 to install. This means that SEER 2 units have a higher upfront cost.

Long-term cost savings

SEER 2 units offer long-term cost savings due to their improved energy efficiency. According to the Department of Energy, upgrading from a SEER 9 to a SEER 14 unit can save homeowners up to $300 per year on their energy bills. Upgrading to a SEER 20 unit can save homeowners up to $650 per year on their energy bills.

Calculation of payback period

The payback period for a SEER 2 unit depends on various factors, including the upfront cost of the unit, the energy savings it provides, and the cost of electricity in your area—generally, the higher the SEER rating of the unit, the shorter the payback period.

Analysis of ROI

Over the unit’s lifetime, SEER 2 units offer a higher ROI than SEER units due to their improved energy efficiency.

Factors to Consider When Choosing SEER 2

When choosing a SEER 2 unit, there are several factors that you should consider, including:

Climate

The climate in your area can affect the performance of your air conditioning unit. If you live in a hot and humid climate, you may want to choose a SEER 2 unit with a higher rating to ensure that it can provide adequate cooling.

Frequency of use

If you use your air conditioning unit frequently, you may choose a SEER 2 unit with a higher rating to ensure that it can provide efficient cooling while keeping your energy bills low.

Home size

The size of your home can affect the size and type of air conditioning unit you need. If you have a larger home, you may need a SEER 2 unit with a higher rating to ensure that it can provide adequate cooling.

Budget

SEER 2 units have a higher upfront cost than SEER units, so you must consider your budget when choosing a unit. However, it’s important to remember that SEER 2 units offer long-term cost savings due to their improved energy efficiency.

Installation Considerations for SEER 2

SEER 2 units require specialized installation, so you may need to hire a professional HVAC contractor to install the unit. Here are some installation considerations for SEER 2 units:

Installation requirements

SEER 2 units require specialized installation, so you’ll need to hire a professional HVAC contractor to install the unit. The contractor must have experience installing SEER 2 units to ensure that the unit is installed correctly.

Average installation costs

The average installation cost for a SEER 2 unit is between $3,500 and $8,500. However, the actual installation cost will depend on various factors, including the installation’s size and complexity, the unit’s location, and the labor cost in your area.

Maintenance Considerations for SEER 2

Like all air conditioning units, SEER 2 units require regular maintenance to continue functioning efficiently. Here are some maintenance considerations for SEER 2 units:

Maintenance requirements

SEER 2 units require regular maintenance, including cleaning the coils, replacing the air filters, and checking the refrigerant levels. Following the manufacturer’s recommended maintenance schedule ensures the unit continues functioning efficiently.

Average maintenance costs

The average maintenance cost for a SEER 2 unit is between $100 and $300 per year. However, the actual maintenance cost will depend on various factors, including the unit’s age and condition, the maintenance complexity required, and the labor cost in your area.

SEER2 Compatibility with Existing HVAC Systems

SEER 2 units may not be compatible with all HVAC systems, so you may need to upgrade your system before installing a SEER 2 unit. Here are some compatibility considerations for SEER 2 units:

Compatibility with existing systems

SEER 2 units may not be compatible with all HVAC systems. You’ll need to check with the manufacturer to ensure that the unit is compatible with your existing system.

Upgrades required for compatibility

If your existing HVAC system is incompatible with a SEER 2 unit, you may need to upgrade your system before installing the unit. This can add to the overall cost of the installation.

Customer Reviews and Satisfaction Results of SEER2 Systems

Customer reviews and satisfaction are important considerations when choosing a SEER 2 unit. Here’s a comparison of SEER and SEER 2 customer reviews and satisfaction:

Comparison of customer reviews

SEER 2 units generally have higher customer reviews than SEER units. Customers praise the improved energy efficiency and comfort provided by SEER 2 units.

Analysis of customer satisfaction

Customers who have upgraded to SEER 2 units generally report higher satisfaction with their air conditioning units. They report lower energy bills, improved comfort, and better temperature control.

Pros and cons from the customer’s perspective

Pros of SEER 2 units from the customer’s perspective include improved energy efficiency, comfort, and temperature control. Cons include the higher upfront cost and the need for specialized installation.

SEER 2 Warranties

Warranties are an important consideration when choosing a SEER 2 unit. Here’s a comparison of SEER and SEER 2 warranties:

Explanation of warranties

Warranties cover the repair or replacement of the unit in the event of a defect or malfunction. Warranties typically cover the cost of parts and labor for a certain period.

Comparison of warranties

SEER 2 units generally come with more extended warranties than SEER units. Warranties for SEER 2 units can range from 10 to 15 years, while warranties for SEER units typically range from 5 to 10 years.

What the warranties cover and do not cover

Warranties typically cover defects in the unit and malfunctions that occur under normal use. They do not cover damage caused by improper installation or maintenance.

Energy Efficiency Regulations and SEER 2

Energy efficiency regulations are an essential consideration when choosing a SEER 2 unit. Here’s an overview of federal and state energy efficiency regulations:

Federal energy efficiency regulations

The federal government has set minimum energy efficiency standards for air conditioning units. As of January 1, 2023, all new air conditioning units must meet the SEER 2 standards.

State energy efficiency regulations

Some states have energy efficiency regulations for air conditioning units. These regulations may be more stringent than federal ones, so you must check with your state’s energy department to ensure that you comply.

SEER 2 compliance with regulations

SEER 2 units meet federal energy efficiency standards and comply with most state energy efficiency regulations. However, checking with your state’s energy department is essential to ensure your chosen unit complies with local regulations.

The Future of SEER 2

SEER 2 is the future of energy efficiency in air conditioning. SEER 2 ratings will likely improve as technology advances, leading to even more significant energy savings and environmental benefits.

Conclusion

SEER 2 is the new standard for energy efficiency in air conditioning. While SEER units may be cheaper upfront, SEER 2 units offer long-term cost savings due to their improved energy efficiency. When choosing a SEER 2 unit, it’s important to consider factors such as climate, frequency of use, home size, and budget. By choosing a SEER 2 unit, you can reduce your energy bills, improve your comfort levels, and reduce your environmental impact.

FAQs

Where can I check for the SEER rating of my current AC unit?

The SEER rating of your current AC unit can usually be found on the unit itself or in the manufacturer’s documentation.

How much can I save on my energy bills with SEER 2?

The amount you can save on your energy bills with SEER 2 depends on a variety of factors, including the SEER rating of the unit, the size of your home, and the cost of electricity in your area.

Do SEER 2 units last longer than SEER units?

The lifespan of a SEER 2 unit depends on various factors, including the quality of the unit and the level of maintenance it receives. However, SEER 2 units generally have more extended warranties than SEER units.

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