In Philadelphia, where summer days can be sweltering, an efficient air conditioning system isn't just a comfort—it's a necessity. However, the high energy bills from older, less efficient systems can dampen the cool relief they provide. Today, advanced cooling systems with high SEER (Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio) ratings offer a solution to cut down on those hefty bills.

Understanding SEER Ratings

The SEER rating of an air conditioner measures its efficiency by calculating the amount of cooling produced (BTU) per unit of electricity (watts) used. The higher the SEER rating, the more efficient the system. Older systems often operate with a SEER rating of 10 or below, whereas modern air conditioners can boast ratings as high as 23. Since 2005, new residential systems in the U.S. must have a minimum SEER rating of 13, excluding window units which remain around SEER 10.

The Savings of Upgrading

Imagine upgrading from an older system with a SEER of 9 to a new system with a SEER of 13. Such an upgrade can reduce your energy consumption by about 28%, potentially saving you up to $300 annually, depending on your specific usage and local electricity costs. This reduction not only benefits your wallet but also contributes to environmental sustainability by consuming less energy.

How Much Can You Save?

The potential savings increase dramatically with higher SEER ratings:

  • Upgrading from 6 SEER to 13 SEER can reduce electricity use by 49%.
  • From 7 SEER to 13 SEER, you can achieve a 42% reduction.
  • Even a modest increase from 9 SEER to 13 SEER offers a 28% decrease in energy use.

These figures demonstrate the significant benefits of opting for a system with a better SEER rating.

Finding the Right SEER Rating for You

While it might be tempting to choose the air conditioner with the highest SEER rating, it's crucial to consider that the listed SEER ratings represent the peak efficiency under ideal conditions. Over half of an air conditioning system’s efficiency relies on being the right size for your space and being installed correctly.

For those in Philadelphia, seeking guidance from a local HVAC professional, like those at McCorry Comfort, can ensure that you select the right equipment. They can conduct an in-home energy analysis, which not only helps determine the most efficient system for your home but also ensures it is sized and installed correctly for optimal performance.


By choosing an air conditioner with a high SEER rating and ensuring it's properly installed and sized, you can enjoy lower energy bills, enhanced comfort, and environmental benefits. Upgrading isn't just about staying cool—it's about being smart and efficient in managing your home's climate control needs.