In this infographic we take a look at the amount of energy consumed by heating and cooling systems and how investing in a new air conditioner can help lower your electric bill. The latest data reports that energy consumption from heating and cooling is no longer the top energy consuming item in U.S. homes. In fact, energy consumption decreased in 2009 to represent 48% of total energy use. This decrease can be attributed to the following factors:
- Better home insulation
- More efficient windows
- More people moving to warmer climates
- Adoption of more energy efficient equipment
Some more interesting facts that we came across were:
- 2/3 of all homes in the United States have air conditioners
- Air conditioners consume 5% of all electricity produced
- Running an air conditioner costs U.S. homeowners $11 billion annually
How Much Can You Save By Upgrading?
So with these amazing facts on heating and cooling energy consumption, how can homeowners save money and energy with a new air conditioning system? The typical lifespan of an air conditioner is between 15 and 20 years. By replacing a 10 year old system homeowners can save between 20 and 40% on their energy bills. This is due to how energy efficient air conditioning systems are today. So even if your air conditioner is not at the end of it’s life, you still can upgrade and recover part of the installation cost with the additional energy savings each month.
So how should you calculate the savings when deciding to upgrade? Look at the SEER rating of the unit. This tells you the measurement of cooling efficiency of the system. Here is a quick chart on annual operating costs to help you decide which rating is going to benefit you for the life of the system. Today, the minimum standard is 13 SEER.
- Investing in a 13 SEER air conditioner can cost you $805.00 a year to run
- Investing in a 14 SEER air conditioner can cost you $747.50 a year to run
- Investing in a 15 SEER air conditioner can cost you $690.00 a year to run
- Investing in a 16 SEER air conditioner can cost you $632.50 a year to run
- Investing in a 23 SEER air conditioner can cost you $448.50 a year to run
(Assumption: 3 Ton Unit / 6000 Kwh consumed annually @ 11.5 cents per Kwh)