SEER, short of Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio, refers to a rating system used to determine an air conditioning system’s efficiency.
The “ratio” describes the cooling output of your air conditioning system throughout a typical cooling season divided by the AC’s energy usage.
The major differences between a 16 SEER and a 14 SEER AC are the upfront costs, comfort levels, and monthly energy savings. Typically, an air conditioning unit with a 16 SEER rating provides better humidification, more uniform cooling through your home, and can more precisely achieve the set temperature than an AC with a 14 SEER rating. This is because higher SEER units come with either a two-stage or variable-speed technology. This technology enables your air conditioning system to precisely adjust its cooling output to match your cooling requirements at any particular time. They’re designed to run at lower speeds for longer, enabling them to provide higher comfort levels to your home. Running longer may seem wasteful, but it’s consuming less energy by running at much lower speeds. Besides, longer cycles allow your air conditioner to eliminate more moisture from your air and provide uniform temperatures all through your home. On the other hand, many 14-SEER air conditioning units utilize single-stage technology, which essentially means your AC can only cool under one speed; full blast. Single-stage systems are incapable of providing similar comfort levels as 16 SEER ACs as they cool your home in short bursts, resulting in uneven temperatures and less dehumidification. If you can, go for a 16 SEER AC.