Knd870Knd870 Solar Expert Posts: 32
I've been doing some internet searching on the cost/benefit of going to a higher SEER A/C, and what I've discovered is that unless the cost difference between the 2 units is quite small it doesn't make economical sense to go with the higher SEER unit (this is for A/C).

I've been unable to find any analysis on how the economics work for ASHP's. I beleive that higher SEER units will have higher HSPF (and COP) values, so economically the math may work better, since you are now saving during heating and cooling. There may be some benefit to a higher rated unit (as well as 2 stage) that may support the upgrade decision, but right now just interested in the cost differences and the payback scenario.

Can someone help?


  • LucManLucMan Solar Expert Posts: 223 ✭✭✭
    Re: ASHP SEER and COP

    The only thing that was making the jump to an energy star rated system worthwhile was the federal tax credit. The credit brings the cost of the equipment to the same level as non energy star.
    The energy pay back without the credit would take beyond the projected life of the unit.
  • BB.BB. Super Moderators, Administrators Posts: 32,027 admin
    Re: ASHP SEER and COP

    It also depends on what you think power rates will do in the future...

    In California, the more power you use, the higher rates you pay. In my area, for power use over ~1,000 kWH per month, it is possible to pay $0.40-$0.60 per kWH.

    In parts of Canada, the government has feed-in tariffs for solar RE producers of something like $0.85 per kWH.

    Look at your power bill and think what you would do if you had 5x larger power bills. Then what would make sense?

    Today, it may not make economic sense to install high SEER/COP/install tons of insulation/etc.--But if/when you are ever in the market for a remodel or new heating/cooling system, planning for a future of increasing power costs (basically the intent of our government's policies)--This can help reduce the sticker shock of power in the future.

    Near San Francisco California: 3.5kWatt Grid Tied Solar power system+small backup genset
  • russruss Solar Expert Posts: 593 ✭✭
    Re: ASHP SEER and COP

    Bill is 100% correct - you are buying something for the future more so than for today.

    At a dollar per kWh how important will it be?

    At 2 dollars per kWh how important will it be?

    If the cost of power goes down and you spent extra then you received bad advice and just screwed yourself.:confused:

  • westbranchwestbranch Solar Expert Posts: 5,183 ✭✭✭✭
    Re: ASHP SEER and COP

    Here in a province with lots of Hydro power being produced and sold to Calif et al , the Utility (who owns the generation capacity) has announced that they are applying for a rate increase of 10% per year for the next 3 years. this is just for the Hydro potion of the total price and does not include the transmission, delivery and other charges...

    Don't bet on a decrease in rates...

    With the Gov debt out there someone has to pay it off... it all comes back to the consumer.
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