What SEER should you use when it is time to buy a new air conditioner?
You cant talk about SEER without talking about power bills. For that reason there is no simple answer ton this question. You should know that 14 SEER units are typically used today to replace older 8 to 10 SEER air conditioners on homes.
The first thing to consider is do you need a new air conditioner on your home. It is simply not cost effective to replace a properly functioning ac unit as you will not save enough in 6 months of use to offset the thousands of dollars spent on a new unit. If you need to replace your air conditioner because yours isn’t working and you want to upgrade consider these facts. Higher SEER AC units cost substantially more money. Upwards of 50% more. Perhaps before you spend the extra money on an upgraded air conditioning system you might consider other improvements first. 14 SEER air conditioning units blows air at the same temperature as a 14, 15, 16 and 20. So your home will not be colder or cool down faster. The thermal rating of your house determines how often your HVAC will cycle on, not the SEER rating. I am for upgrading the air conditioning SEER to at least a 15 but only if your home has a high thermal rating.
Before you buy a new air conditioner with a greater than 14 SEER rating to attempt to lower your utility consumption consider other improvements, resealing and double insulating your ducts.
1. Low E windows
2. Solar screens
3. Attic exhaust fans
4. Radiant barrier for the roof
5. Double insulation in the ceiling
Even one of these will improve your utility bills as well as cool your home faster, stay cool longer, kick on fewer times and in the end improve your utility consumption by much more than a high SEER air conditioner.
All of the following manufacturers make a 15 SEER Air conditioner: Trane, Rinnai, Lennox, Comfortmaker, Bryant, Rinnai, Amana, Carrier, Ruud, York, Goodman Rheem and American Standard
16 to 20 SEER air conditioning systems.