When your HVAC system is getting older, it’s important to consider the financial benefits you gain by upgrading to a high SEER HVAC system. When central air conditioning has a high SEER rating, you gain a number of benefits. Before considering them, it’s important to understand what SEER is.
What Is SEER and Why Is It Important?
SEER stands for “seasonal energy efficiency ratio.” It’s a measurement of how energy efficient an air conditioning system is. In simple terms, the equation is cooling output during the season divided by energy used in that period.
As SEER isn’t exact because it uses a lab setting rather than your home, SEER2 was established. SEER2 tests a system’s efficiency with different external static pressures to get a better measurement of efficiency in different settings. It’s more realistic and became the requirement on January 1, 2023.
You also have EER, which stands for “energy efficiency ratio.” It’s the ratio of output cooling divided by the energy used at the testing time and not during an entire season.
With the change to SEER2, Florida air conditioning systems that are below 45,000 BTU must have a SEER2 rating of 14.3., which was SEER 15. Central air systems that are 45,000 BTU or higher must be at 13.8 SEER2 (14.5 SEER).
These are the minimum requirements. Choose a system with a higher SEER2 rating, and while it will cost more money upfront, the savings are going to be tremendous.
What Are the Financial Benefits of Upgrading to a High SEER HVAC System?
Now that you understand a little more about EER, SEER, and the newer SEER2, how does the higher SEER2 rating save money?
- It Uses Less Energy
The biggest financial benefit is that a high SEER AC system will use less energy. When you’re using less power, you save money on your utility bills. How much will you save? Here are a few estimated comparisons on the savings for people in South Florida assuming you have a three-ton (36,000 BTU) system that currently has a SEER of 13.
- Increase to the minimum SEER2 14.3 – Saves about $221 per year or around 15%
- Increase to 15 – Saves about $287 per year or around 21%
- Increase to 16 – Saves about $373 per year or around 29%
- Increase to 17 – Saves about $448 per year or around 37%
- Increase to 18 – Saves about $515 per year or around 45%
- Increase to 20 – Saves about $628 per year or around 61%
- Increase to 22 – Saves about $721 per year or around 77%
- Increase to 24 – Saves about $799 per year or around 93%
- Increase to 26 – Saves about $864 per year or around 109%
- Increase to 28 – Saves about $921 per year or around 126%
If you can afford to go to one of the highest SEER2 ratings, it will cost more, but look at the yearly savings. Savings of $921 per month would be $9,210 after ten years, which means it will quickly pay for itself over time.
- Your Home’s Value Increases
Buyers look for homes that are energy-efficient with lower electricity bills. An efficient AC system will make your home more appealing to buyers, so you’ll get higher offers when it’s time to sell. Realtor.com estimates that a home with a high-efficiency AC system adds about 10% to your home’s value. If your home has a high SEER HVAC system, you could get $330,000 instead of $300,000.
- You Avoid Costly Home Repairs
When an air conditioning system is no longer efficient, it can fail to draw the humidity that’s in the home or circulate the air properly. A humid home is more likely to develop mold and mildew issues. If your home develops a mold issue, mold abatement can be extremely expensive.
The average cost of mold remediation in the U.S. is around $2,250. It can be much higher at up to $30,000 for an entire house. The amount of mold and spread of the mold spores plays a big part in how much it will cost. If mold is in drywall or an HVAC system, the cost for mold remediation is going to be higher than if it’s just in a basement.
If you have mold and mildew building up in your central air ductwork, you also face bills for cleaning and sanitizing your AC ducts, the replacement or repair of any rust holes that have appeared on ducts, and the cleaning and sanitizing any furniture, curtains, or carpets that has a musty smell.
- Your Allergies Are Reduced
An efficient system is going to cool and condition the air correctly and quickly. If you experience allergies or asthma, a home that’s too warm, humid, or mildewy may have you needing more medications. If you had an asthma attack and required a trip to urgent care, those medical bills drive up medical bills that could have been avoided.
- You Save Extra Cash Through Tax Incentives and Rebates
A high SEER2 air conditioning system qualifies for tax incentives and rebates as long as you have a qualified Florida AC installer to sell and install the system for you.
An ENERGY STAR-certified AC system with a SEER2 of 16 or greater awards a tax incentive of up to $600 or 30% of the installation cost, whichever is greater. If you pair that with other home improvements that help boost efficiency, such as attic insulation or new windows, you can get up to $3,200 in tax credits each year.
If your AC unit is over 10 years old or needs frequent repairs, you should have a new AC system installed. Florida Power and Light partners with certain independent contractors to offer instant rebates on the installation of a new energy-efficient AC system. You’ll qualify for an instant rebate of $150. Paired with the federal tax credit, you’ll get a $750 discount on a new central AC system.
Work With an FPL Participating Contractor For Even Greater Savings
When you upgrade to a high SEER air conditioning system, you’ll save money and boost your home’s value. But, you need to work with a specialist in high SEER air conditioners to maximize those financial benefits. All Year Cooling is a specialist in Florida AC installations and repairs.
Not only are we fully licensed and insured, but we’re also an FPL participating contractor and are a state-certified OIR warranty provider. You can choose our AC installation services and extended warranty offers while gaining substantial rebates and tax incentives when you choose a high SEER HVAC system in Miami and South Florida. Email All Year Cooling, fill out the contact us form, or call us. We make it easy to get in touch.