What’s a Better Value: 18-SEER or 14-SEER Air Conditioning System?

When shopping for a new central conditioning system for your home, you want to get the best bang for your buck – and we don’t blame you. There are many factors to consider to keep your home comfortable while saving your hard-earned money. One feature that customers often have a tricky time deciding on is the SEER rating.

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What Does SEER Mean?

SEER stands for Seasonal Energy Efficient Ratio. There’s a complicated formula to get to the number, but basically, the higher the rating, the higher the maximum efficiency you can expect from the air conditioning system.

Today’s ACs come in a range of SEER ratings, but two of the more popular options are 14-SEER and 18-SEER. One question that we often get is: is it worth it to pay a little more for an 18-SEER air conditioning? To answer that question, you have to understand what you get with an 18-SEER system.

In general, 18-SEER air conditioning systems are more efficient and provide better overall comfort than 14-SEER units. When considering the price difference, you should also consider the long-term energy savings that 18-SEER units offer.  

Advantages of 18-SEER vs. 14-SEER

  • Two-stage compressor – 18-SEER ACs have a more advanced compressor with two levels of operation – high and low. In comparison, a 14-SEER unit will likely have a single-stage compressor that is either all the way on or all the way off.
  • Variable-speed blower – An 18-SEER AC usually comes with a variable-speed blower, which can adjust the blower speed based on the conditions inside the home. 
  • Consistent cooling – The combination of the two-stage compressor and variable-speed blower allows the 18-SEER AC to provide more even cooling throughout the home. You’ll also notice that the unit doesn’t run as long to cool the space.
  • Enhanced humidity control – 18-SEER ACs are usually better at removing indoor humidity, making the home feel more comfortable at the same temperature. 
  • Reduced energy costs – By operating more efficiently, 18-SEER air conditioning systems can save you money on your monthly energy bills. 

What to Consider Before Choosing Between 18-SEER And 14-SEER Air Conditioning System

While an 18-SEER air conditioning system can offer a much better value than a 14-SEER unit, there are some other factors that you should consider. For example, the cost of installing an 18-SEER AC may be more expensive than its 14-SEER counterpart. If your home isn’t properly insulated, adding insulation to help maximize your energy savings is a good idea. Additionally, the size of your home and local climate are two important factors to consider when selecting between 18-SEER and 14-SEER ACs.

The size of your home

If you live in a smaller home, a 14-SEER system may be adequate for your needs. However, if you have a larger, two-story house with multiple rooms, an 18-SEER AC may be the better choice.

How much cooling do you need?

If you live in a warmer climate, you’ll likely need to run your AC more often. In this case, an 18-SEER system may be the better option since it will help reduce energy costs over time.

What is your budget?

The size of your budget will be an important factor when deciding between 14-SEER and 18-SEER ACs. Make sure to speak with your HVAC contractor about the different options available in your price range so that you can make an informed decision. In general, 18-SEER systems are more expensive to purchase and install but offer greater energy savings and comfort over time. 

What Are The Benefits of a New Air Conditioner?

A new air conditioner is a great investment into your home that can provide several benefits. With the right model, you will be able to enjoy cooler temperatures and improved air quality, as well as energy savings. By upgrading to a newer, more efficient air conditioning system, you will benefit from reduced monthly energy bills and improved comfort.

A new air conditioner is also quieter, with more advanced technology that significantly reduces the noise levels. This can help to make your home more peaceful and comfortable, and reduce disruption from the AC unit.

The improved air quality provided by the new model will be much better for you and your family’s health as well. Many of the newer air conditioning systems use multi-stage filtration to remove dust, pollen, and other particles from the air. This helps to keep your home free of allergens and other airborne pollutants that can make people sick.

Finally, a new air conditioner will increase the value of your home should you ever decide to sell it. An energy-efficient system that is well-maintained can provide a great selling point. Prospective buyers may be more inclined to make an offer if they know that the home’s cooling system is up-to-date and efficient.

The Bottom Line – is 18-SEER Worth it?

In general, an 18-SEER air conditioning system will be slightly more expensive than a 14-SEER model. But as you can see, you get several additional features and benefits, which can make the upgrade a good value and smart investment.

If you’re in the market for a new air conditioning system, contact the knowledgeable team at Baylor Heating & Air Conditioning, Inc. We’ll help you weigh your option and crunch the numbers to make the best decision for your home. To schedule an appointment and estimate, call 812.425.8435.

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