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  • Writer's pictureMichael Martell

14 and 16 Seer Ratings

What Does SEER Mean?

SEER stands for Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio. The SEER rating of an HVAC unit is determined by dividing the total amount of cooling it produces in a season by the total amount of electricity needed for that cooling. The higher the rating, the more energy efficient the unit is.

Is a 14 SEER Unit Energy Efficient?

Today, the federal government mandates that all new air conditioners must be at least 14 SEER, making that the current baseline for energy efficiency. However, that doesn’t mean that 14 SEER units aren’t energy efficient. In fact, today’s basic 14 SEER unit is about 20-30% more energy efficient than average HVAC units sold fifteen years ago.

In other words, if you’re replacing an older, less-efficient HVAC system, you could see a significant decrease in your energy bills with a 14 SEER unit. But it is possible to see even bigger reductions if you go with an even more efficient unit.

Potential Energy Savings with a 16 SEER Unit

So how much difference is there between the efficiency of a 14 SEER unit and the efficiency of a 16 SEER unit? According to the Kobie SEER Energy Savings Calculator, a 16 SEER unit uses about 13% less energy to produce the same amount of cooling as a 14 SEER unit of the same size. That means that for every $100 you’d pay to run your 14 SEER unit, you could save $13 by upgrading to a 16 SEER unit. How much savings that adds up to in actual dollars depends on several factors.

What size unit does your home need? A 3-ton HVAC unit uses less energy than a 5-ton unit, so the amount of money you could potentially save on your monthly bills will be greater with a larger unit. However, the cost of upgrading to a 16 SEER may be more with a larger unit as well.

How much cooling do you use each year? Households in hotter climates and those that keep their thermostats set lower will use more cooling. The more cooling you use, the more money you could save every month by upgrading to a 16 SEER unit. Here in Eastern Oklahoma, this is certainly a factor worth considering.

Other Differences Between 14 SEER and 16 SEER Units

In addition to the potential energy savings, there are other common differences in features between 14 SEER and 16 SEER units. However, these features do vary depending on the specific model, so check out the details of the units you’re deciding between.

One difference that you may find between 14 SEER and 16 SEER units is that the 14 SEER units generally have a single-stage compressor while the 16 SEER units often have a two-stage compressor. Having a two-stage compressor allows the higher SEER unit to adapt to the conditions in your home, while a single-stage compressor either has to run at full speed or shut off completely. Not only does the two-stage compressor make your HVAC unit more energy-efficient, it also allows for longer run-times. That keeps the temperature in your home more consistent, improving your comfort. Longer run-times also have the major benefit of better reducing humidity in your home. Reduced humidity in the summer months will make you more comfortable and help to protect your home from mold and moisture damage. In addition to the two-stage compressor, some 16 SEER units also have two-speed condensing fans and blower motors. Having two-speed fans adds to the benefits of the two-stage compressor. These units are often quieter than units with single-stage compressors and single-speed fans because the compressors and fans don’t make as much noise when they’re running at a lower speed.

Contact Martell Heating and Air LLC today for a free estimate on a new, Higher Efficiency air conditioning or heat pump system. We also service all brands of Heating and Cooling equipment including RUUD, our number one choice of equipment. #airconditioning #martellair1 #airconditionerrepair #heaterrepair #furnacerepair 405-215-8210

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