How Much More Efficient Are Air Conditioners Now
This is an interesting question but it is very relevant.
Is a new air conditioner that much more efficient now than an older model? If so how much more efficient are they?
Central air conditioners calculate their cooling rate using something called SEER (Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio) which we have talked about in depth and describes the efficiency increase in central air conditioners over time.
This measure of air conditioner energy efficiency is calculated over the cooling season. It represents the total cooling of a central air conditioner during the normal cooling season as compared to the total electricity energy input (in Watt-Hours) consumed during the same period. The higher the SEER, the better the energy performance and thus the more money you save. In other words a system with a SEER of 16.00 will cost half as much to operate as a system with a SEER of 8.00… Simple as that
The minimum SEER for new Cooling Systems here in Ontario is 13.00, systems between 5–10 years old would likely have a SEER ratings in the range of 10.00 to 13.00 , units over 10 years old will likely have SEER ratings of 7.00 to 10.00. Now if your air conditioner is over 15 years old it will likely have SEER ratings of 7 or less.
I went through my electrical bill the other day and worked out the actual cost of electricity here in the Greater T0ronto Area. My bill was over $65 and I only received 299 kWh for that price. When I worked it out I am paying 22 cents per kWh with the debt retirement, taxes, delivery, and other assorted charges added on.
In the summer months we can easily see an central air conditioner eat up 20, 40, 60, 100 kWh worth of electricity. Running that system quickly becomes quite expensive.
Upgrading to a new air conditioner may very well cut your air conditioners electricity bill in half of your old system had a SEER rating bellow 10.