Air Conditioning Installation, High Efficiency vs. Low Efficiency Systems

With the heat waves of Denver fast approaching, you may want to consider a new air conditioning system being installed in your home.  We highly recommend replacing any AC system older than 15 years, even if it seems to work just fine.  The problem with older air conditioning systems is operating cost.  They are simply inefficient.

By today’s standards, inefficiency wastes so much energy and new industry standards implemented just 10 years ago applicable to an AC system SEER rating or Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio rating have improved significantly.

Think of SEER ratings the same way MPG ratings for cars, but instead think of BTU’s per watt. 

Back 10 years ago, new AC systems minimum SEER rating was increased to 13 SEER on all manufactured AC products.  A huge increase from the 10 SEER rating previously implemented.  To break that down and really know what we are talking about we will use a 3 ton or 36,000 BTU system with a 15 SEER rating.

First, we divide BTU’s produced by the stated SEER rating. IE: 36,000 (3 tons) divided by 15 SEER = 2400 (watts).  We must then convert watts to the figure used by your energy company by then dividing that number by 1000 = 2.4 Kwh (2.4 one thousand-watt units). You see this noted on your Xcel Energy bill.

Then, determining the number of annual hours used by the operation of your air conditioner based on your geographical region.  Using Colorado for example, air conditioning systems operate on average 2500 hours annually.  So, then multiply the Kwh X 2500 hours = 6000 Kwh annual consumption.  Our studies show that Xcel customers pay 12.7 cents per Kwh, including taxes/fees.

6000 Kwh consumed annually X 12.7 cents per Kwh = $762 (enter in your calculator as 6000 X .127 to avoid confusing decimals and zeros). So annual cost is $762 for operation for a 3-ton, 15 SEER air conditioners.

A quick formula for each SEER option offered is as follows:

  • 13 SEER = $879
  • 14 SEER = $816
  • 16 SEER = $714
  • 23 SEER = $497

Now, just for grins (or cringes, depending on what your system SEER rating is) …what about an older 8 SEER air conditioning system annual operating cost, based on the average consumption?

36,000 divided by 8 = 4500 divided by 1000 = 4.5 Kwh X 2500 hours = 11,500 X .127 =

$1428.75 = 8 SEER Annual Operating Cost

Call TOBIN today and have us out for a free in-home air conditioning system replacement estimate.