14 SEER vs 16 SEER: Comparison Energy Efficiency Cost For Long Term

14 SEER vs 16 SEER

SEER stands for the Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio. It is a measurement of your air conditioner’s energy efficiency and its consumption of power through the operation.

If you plan to buy a new central air conditioner/heat pump or upgrade an existing unit, you should properly understand SEER and the difference between different ratings.

To help you with the search, we will explain SEER and in-depth analysis of 14 SEER & 16 SEER with cost and other factors.

What is Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio?

SEER denotes the unit’s energy efficiency through the ratio of power consumption during operation and cooling output in a given period. The US Department of Energy has fixed SEER rating requirements to follow HVAC manufacturers according to climate and local factors in each state.

Comparison between SEER 14 and SEER 16

Energy Consumption

Generally, 16 SEER air conditioning systems consume around 13 percent lesser energy than SEER 14. It means if you spend 100 dollars on an HVAC product with 14 SEER, you need to spend 87 dollars on SEER 16 rated unit. When accumulated for years, this thirteen percent savings on energy saves a lot of power and bills in the unit’s lifetime.


SEER 16 comes with a higher range of heating and cooling product with advanced features such as a two-stage compressor, temperature adjustment according to weather fluctuations, dehumidifiers, etc. These units are comparatively noise-free and cost-efficient than SEER 14 products.

Three Significant Factors to Decide the Best SEER 

  • Electricity cost of your area. States decide their cost per unit of power consumption individually. So, it would help if you had higher ratings on SEER for efficient and durable performance
  • The size of the air conditioner and the place where you installed it
  • Run-time according to cooling and heating requirements

Determine BTU decide Required SEER for your AC and Heat pump

An indicative list of BTU requirements according to tonnage of air conditioners;

  • 1.5 Ton AC: 18,000 BTUs
  • 2 Ton AC: 24,000 BTUs
  • 2.5 Ton AC: 30,000 BTUs
  • 3 Ton AC: 36,000 BTU
  • 3.5 Ton AC: 42,000 BTU
  • 4 Ton AC: 48,000 BTU
  • 5 Ton AC: 60,000 BTU

If you know the BTU of the machine, it will be easier to understand the required SEER ratings for the machine. You should refer company’s product manual, website or ask your local supplier to know the BTU and SEER of your desired product for comparison.

Current Trends about SEER Ratings

Companies are improving their HVAC product’s efficiency level, and by all means, in a couple of years, the debate will be about SEER 16 and 18. Department of Energy is also planning to hike the minimum required SEER for ACs and Heat pumps from 13 in the North and 14 in the South of the country.

Industry experts opine that SEER 13 and 14 rated units will be things of the past by 2025, with consumer demand for higher efficiency and long-term affordability. Climate change is the most important determiner for increased SEER rating requirements in North America and across the world.

Some of the leading brands have already stopped SEER 14 and 13 HVAC products; 

  • Lennox is going to phase out SEER 13 units, and their next best unit comes with SEER 16
  • American Standard and Trane Furnaces offers entry-level models with 14.5 SEER
  • Ruud and Rheem Furnaces provides entry-level products with SEER 15.5

Companies still manufacturing SEER 14 units include Carrier and Bryant, Armstrong, AirEase, Ducane, Maytag, Luxaire, Coleman, and a few others.

Comparison Of 14 SEER Vs 16 SEER AC Energy Saving Cost:

So With A 16 SEER Air Conditioner, You can save 13% more than the 14 SEER AC:

That means with 16 SEER AC you’ll save (including energy rate at the national average):

  • 5-years saving $145.
  • 10-years saving $290
  • 15-years saving $435

You can check energy saving for your state Here


We hope this comparison between SEER 14 and 16 will help you make the right decision while searching for the HVAC product for your home. Go through the blog, research the web, compare and make an informed decision. Consider climate factors, long-term cost on electricity, AC run-time, and of course, your budget. It is also advisable to read product details online before making the final purchase. 

Related Articles You May Like:

Scroll to Top