SEER Savings Calculator – Is High SEER Really Worth the Money?

How to Get your Savings Results

The three slide bars are adjustable. Click on the right size/SEER or grab and slide the button to it.

  1. Set the AC Size using the sliding button

Size can be determined using the Model # on plate on the unit. An 18 in the model number means it is 1.5 tons. 24=2 tons, 30=tons, 36=3 tons, 42=4 tons and 60=5 tons. For example, the Lennox ML14SCI-036 is a 3-ton AC.

  1. Set the SEER of the old unit

SEER is more difficult to determine if you don’t know it. Typing the brand and model # into a search engine is your best bet.

  1. Choose the SEER of models you’re considering

You can raise or lower the new AC SEER bar to see what your costs savings would be and whether it’s worth the extra cost! If the savings really add up, they will pay for the higher cost of the more efficient AC. If they don’t amount to much, then a very efficient AC might not be cost-effective.

SEER Savings Calculator

This size is typically for a 750 to 1000 Sqft house.
AC Size by Tonnage:
SEER of Old Air Conditioner:
SEER of New Air Conditioner:
old air conditioner Old AC Consume $405 / Year
new air conditioner New AC Consume $192 / Year

Your Electricity Savings

$100/1 Year
$1065/5 Years
$2131/10 Years
$3196/15 Years

Based on cents/kWh for (updated in June 2018).

Based on yearly cooling hours typical for (by the EPA in 2002).

How to Avoid Being Ripped Off and Get a Fair Price

In the HVAC industry, the markup for profit is 35% to 50% among contractors with a good reputation.

Busy companies usually add 70% to 100% profit. This often happens in the worst heat of summer when overburdened ACs and heat pumps quit. Unqualified companies usually bid lower but sacrifice the installation quality. This often leads to premature failure or efficiency loss of your HVAC system.

To help our readers avoid being ripped-off or scammed. We developed this Free Local Estimate Tool (supported by Networx). This estimate has already filtered unqualified contractors and busy companies who want to overcharge you.

Once you chose the right contractor, remember to use the tactics from this guide: Homeowners Tactics When Negotiating with HVAC Dealer to get a better price.

31 comments… add one
  • I got a price for a 14 Seer 3 ton for a Goodman for 3900 for everything is this a good price.

    • Yeah, it looks like a fair price.

  • Bryant 14 SEER A/C with electric heat. $4600.- dollar is this a good price? And is this a efficient? My house is 2040 square feet. Florida

    • Hi Rene,

      I have a 22 year old Trane 3 Ton. The coil is bad and I am spending too much money in occasional repairs. Have just decided to finally change the entire unit; my contractor (licensed and insured) is suggesting either a Payne or Bryant 3.5 tom, 15 SEER both. I went to back to him asking for a 16 SEER and if there is a price difference and how much IS THIS WORTH IT?).
      He is also cleaning and sanitizing the air ducts, changing the plywood where the unit sits, changing copper lines, seal and insulate the plenums, new float switch, insulation, tie downs and has quoted me between $4500 and $4900. Is this reasonable? Also I read between Payne and Bryant, the last brand is a better one versus Payne which I read is a BUDGET brand. Is this accurate? IS the price right?
      thank you so much, I appreciate your help in making a wise decision !

  • Is it customary for an HVAC company to only give a total estimate and not show me what my product will looks like or how much the air conditioning unit cost without labor?. El Cajon, CA

    • Absolutely not. Avoid this contractor.

  • My air conditioner is now 25 years old so I need to replace it, I live in an all elelctric house and the current one which is a Trane is a heat pump. I’m trying to get estimates for replace the old A/C and Furnace, maybe update the ducts if needed I want it to have a good warranty and be one of these good brands. I don’t know how to select the SEER but caaan you give me a rought estimate of how much the purchase of a new A/C, heat-pump furnace the right size for 900 square feet.

    • Hi Barbara

      Have you ever used our free estimate tool?

  • I’ve had 2 estimates for a 1.5 ton 14 seer for $5,985. and $6,785 (both may come down another ($500). The higher quote also offered a 1.5, 15 seer unit for $8,674 (lowering to $8,274). It’s a 650’ apt. Are these prices high?

    • What’s your brand and location? By the way, for the 650 apt, mini-split system is a good option. Have you got bid of the mini-split system?

  • Received a quote for 2 (2.5 ton) Ruud 14 seer ac units, plus heater/blower unit replacements for $13,500. Fair? Destin, FL (32541)

    • Hi Dan

      Did you get at least 3 estimates? The project includes new ductwork?

  • Hi,
    I am trying to decide on a Carrier Infinity 24VNA9 3 ton air conditioner or Carrier Infinity three ton 24ANB7 air conditioner. The unit will be installed out side and above our finished basement. The price difference in Toronto with a compatible furnace is 13,700 vs 11,200 Canadian dollars. Can you help me decide?

    Thank you!

  • we need to add HVAC to our 600 s/f basement in Atlanta, GA. Recommendation is for 1.5 ton 14 seer RUUD heat pump system. Thoughts?

    • Why not try mini split for basement?

  • I have been in my home almost 6 years and my Goodman 14 seer is not maintaining temp set and increase 10 or more degrees. I had 2 techs check who advised it is compressor so I had another check yesterday and he was very thorough and says it is definitely the compressor but he do something where it might start up again and it could last 1 day or 5 yrs ($250) and if it didn’t work I would use the money toward a new RUUD 4 ton unit: 14 seer $3,000 or 16 seer $3,495 with 10 yr parts warranty, 2 yr labor warranty. What do you think about this info?

    • is your system 6 years old? if so the compressor should still be under warranty. Why can’t the warranty out the one you have?

  • Hi, anybody heard of AIRTEMP, Im getting a new house 1700 sq ft, my contract says that I should be getting a 13 seer 5 ton rheem heating/cooling ac and yesterday I was at the house when AC company delivered a 14 seer 5 ton AIRTEMP so I’m wondering if I should keep this or tell my contractor to get me what my contract says……


    • Yeah, it’s not a very popular brand, but if you can choose the right contractor, this brand is totally OK.

  • While researching, I found your website, great information. I figured I would get a second opinion on the price. The house is approx 2100 sq ft, single story
    Trane, model 4TTR6061C1, condenser, tem6A0D60H, air handler
    5 Ton 16 Seer 410A
    Variable Speed Air Handler and Condenser Unit
    Plenum-collars and dampers-drain pan-safety switch
    15 kw heat
    10 yrs warranty on parts 1 yr labor
    1 6,781.00
    SUBTOTAL TAX (8.25%)
    6,781.00 plus tax 559.43
    Question is good or bad price

  • In the North Central section of the US where summers are short and humidity is low, it appears that a 13 or 14 SEER central air conditioner is good, considering the climate. The considerably increased cost of an air conditioner with a SEER of 15+ won’t be realized in savings for approximately 15 years. Your thoughts on a 13 or 14 SEER air cond. for the region of short summers & low humidity, plz.

  • My home warranty insurance is purchasing a Carrier Payne’s py4gnab36090N for a 1,500 sq ft home in Northern California, where the summers run in the 100’s at least 3 months a year. Is the unit sufficient and will my utility bill kill me?


  • I live in Florida and my current system is a Trane XE1100 with 11 SEER. It is 20 years old and I need a new system. My house is 1650 Sq Ft.
    1) Should I go for one cycle or 2 cycle unit?
    2) Should I opt for a 3 ton or higher?
    3) In the 2 cycles, what’s the difference between the XL18i and the XR17?

    • Hi Andy

      I personally recommend 2 cycle unit. Regarding the tonnage, HVAC contractor has to go to your house to calculate with the Manual J Load.

      As far as I know, the main difference between XR17 and Xl18i is the warranty. The coils models are a little bit different but the main SEERs are the same.

  • Hello,
    I live in florida, Tampa bay area. I need a new AC, my home is 1780 sq.ft. I have a 3 ton now..but was recommended a 3.5, w/14 or 16 SEERs, 2 cycle system. Should I go with it? Since someone told me there is not much difference between the 14 and 16 SEERs. Thank you

    • 16 SEER is absolutely worth the extra money, especially for Florida.

  • Due to comfort and reliability concerns, I’m replacing my 14.5 year old hvac system. I currently have an 80% 150k btu furnace and 10 SEER Armstrong system and plan to replace it with a Trane S9V2 120k btu furnace and 5 ton XR16 AC with XL824 Thermostat. Is this appropriate for Omaha? The low bid is $10,350. Is this in the ball park for a quality job?

    • A little higher but still in Fair Range. Have you used our free estimate tool for another quote?

  • Purchased 3 ton Trane told 16 seer arrived 14 Seer contractor said it would “achieve” 16 Seer and printed a bogus AHRI cert!! Subcooling he put 26÷freon and tag called for 8+/-3….house size calls for 3.5 ton, his reply, I took 3 out i put 3 in!! Just put a level on the unit it tilts right away from the drain so it leaks water, does not cool, called and called him back never right..Trane no help they make big money on good ole boy cover up is what I see..any ideas how to get what I paid for?

  • I paid $6500.00 for a Rheem 16 seer 100,000 Btu heating and aircondtioning unit installation included


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