In my quest to reduce my energy usage I was thinking about replacing my almost 10 year old air conditioner. So, what is SEER mean?

A S.E.E.R. (Seasonal Energy Efficiency Rating) is the rating and performance standards that have been developed by the U.S. government and equipment manufacturer’s to produce an energy consumption rating that is easy to understand by consumers. It has a universal formula and conditioning that can be applied to all units and compensates for varying weather conditions.

In a nut shell, the lower the SEER number the more energy you use to cool your house. I think I have a SEER 10 AC unit. What does the 10 mean? A SEER 10 AC unit makes 10 BTU/hour of cooling per watt of electricity.

The minimum SEER value changed on January 23, 2006 to a SEER of 13. It was 10 before that. This means that newer units are 30% more efficient then older SEER 10 units.

Rebates and incentives: I have three going for me right now. One federal, one State and one local. They can be found for your location by looking here. (At least in the USA) Federal is worth $1500, State $100, and Local is $200. I need to purchase at least a SEER 15 unit. (Edit: The Federal Tax Credit is worth 30% of the total installed cost! Up to $1500)

Just think, a SEER 15 unit is 50% more efficient then my old unit. And since I will be getting a new furnace too. I bet the air handler will be that much better then the old unit to boot.

Note: While searching the internet I found this cool site. I could save $130 a year by changing from my current SEER 10 to a SEER 15.