SEER, Tons and Getting the Right Air Conditioning

Buying an Air Conditioning system can be confusing because of the technical terminology. To make it a little easier here are a few definitions and guidelines to consider.

AC to Meet Your Budget

If you want to skip all the AC technical mumbo jumbo Contact DS Air. We'll be happy to evaluate your home or commercial space and give you options that meet your budget and provide comfortable cooling and heating.

We offer a variety of Air Conditioner Brands including Carrier, Bryant, Ruud and others. And we can quickly design an AC system that meets your budget and take into consideration energy efficiency, reliability, and any special needs you have.

Two of the most common terms you will hear when evaluating Air Conditioners are SEER and Tons. Here are explanations that will help you the next time you need to replace your AC or install an Air Conditioning system in your house.


What does SEER Mean?

The technical definition of SEER is Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio. SEER tells you how energy efficient an Air Conditioner is. The higher the SEER rating the more cooling you get from the same amount of energy.

SEER Explained Infographic

What is the minimum SEER rating?

The minimum SEER rating for an AC system today is 14. The EPA sets minimum SEER requirements and in 2015 the minimum SEER rating requirement for the South East United States was set to 14.

This requirement applies to the common central AC systems in almost every Florida house with a unit outside called the Condensing Unit and a unit inside called the Air Handler (typically in your attic, a closet, or the garage).

Is a higher SEER rating worth the extra cost

Since higher SEER ratings are supposed to save energy the question is do they save enough to make them worth the higher cost of the AC Equipment?

What Percent of Your Electric Bill is Cooling Costs?

According to FPL (Florida Power and Light) about 50% of your electric bill is for cooling.

If you have an older AC that is 10 SEER (pre 2006) then a new 14 SEER AC system will save you about $450 a year on your electric bill and a new 16 SEER AC system will save you about $730 a year.

You can do the calculations on this FPL page

Based on the energy savings a 16 SEER system is a good investment if you plan to stay in your home for a few years. Of course DS Air can prepare a comparison of different Air Conditioners and give you the costs differences and benefits. Another AC Feature that will improve energy efficiency and provide excellent humidity control, which is a bid deal in south Florida is a variable speed or two stage compressor.

AC in Tons

How many tons of AC do I need?

The use of the phrase Tons of AC comes from a long time ago when people actually used Ice to keep cool. A Ton describes how much heat it takes to melt a ton of ice. From an Air Conditioner stand point Tons tells us how much heat the AC can remove.

Today we use Tons to select the correct size AC based on the square footage to be cooled. Another major consideration when selecting AC Tons is location. Jensen Beach and the entire treasure coast have very hot and humid weather and that is taken into consideration when sizing an Air Conditioning system.

What Tons are Air Conditioners available in

AC Systems range from 1 ton to 5 tons.

How to I calculate AC Tons for my House?

The Tons of AC you need will depend on several factors including Square Footage, how well your house is insulated and sealed and even exposure. But here are general rules for AC and Tons.

Square FeetTons of AC
12002 Tons
18003 Tons
22004 Tons
30005 Tons

These are general guidelines. Keep in mind that that having too much Air Conditioner capacity can be just as inefficient as having too little. We want to make sure your cooling capacity meets your homes requirements so you are comfortable and maintain energy efficiency.

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