Cost of Air Conditioning by :
Boris Sherman
In a nutshell, a SEER rating tells you how much heat (BTU) an air conditioner can remove from a house with 1 watt of electricity. Comparing heat and electricity may seem like comparing apples and oranges, and that is why a "raw" SEER is mostly used to compare two air conditioners  the bigger the SEER, the better (more efficient) the unit. To calculate anything else, math has to be used. At the bottom of this article there is a link to a page with a spreadsheet, which will handle all the math. How to use the spreadsheet. It's really very simple. Just enter how much heat you'd like to remove with the air conditioner and press "Enter." That's it! The spreadsheet will tell you how much it would cost to remove the heat using three different air conditioners, from an old 8SEER unit to the topoftheline 16SEER unit. The numbers account for one hour of cooling, and the electricity cost is assumed to be 6 cents per kw. The spreadsheet does not take all the factors into account, but gives you a ballpark estimate of the electricity costs for air conditioning needs. There are three examples in the page, just follow them. One of the examples deals with cooling down a party  play with the numbers yourself and enjoy! Now there's no more guesswork. You know your air conditioning needs, and with this spreadsheet you can tell if savings will make up for a higher price tag on a more efficient unit.
