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14 SEER vs. 13 SEER (Difference Explained)

14 SEER vs. 13 SEER (Difference Explained)

S.E.E.R is short for “seasonal energy efficiency ratio”. Basically, this is the rating that air conditioning units use to convey their usage cost. Seer ratings help measure not only the air conditioning but also the heat pumping cooling efficiencies.

There are many different seer ratings. Namely, 14 Seer and 13 Seer which differences lie in their efficiency.

If you’re curious to know what the differences between these ratings are, then you’ve come to the right place. In this article, I’ll be providing a detailed account of the differences between a 14 seer and a 13 seer rating in an air conditioning unit.

So let’s get right to it!

Is there a difference between 14 SEER vs 13 SEER?

There are many different seer ratings in an air conditioning unit. The main difference between a 14 SEER and a 13 SEER is in their energy efficiency. The air conditioning systems with 13 SEER are less energy-efficient than their 14 seer counterpart.

A seasonal energy efficiency ratio is a system that allows a person to determine the energy efficiency of an air conditioner. The seer ratio is calculated by dividing the energy used during summer by cooling output during summer.

The 14 SEER air conditioning models are in higher demand than the 13 SEER models because of their higher efficiency. This seer rating provides better energy efficiency than AC models with 9, 8, or 13 seer ratings.

Well, there’s a reason behind 14 SEER being more energy-efficient. This is because the higher the seer is in general, the less electricity an air conditioner would consume to be able to run. This makes it more energy-efficient and a good option for people.

Moreover, there’s a notable difference in terms of sizes as well. A 14 SEER system is about 10 to 25 percent larger and heavier in size. Whereas, a 13 SEER air conditioning system is lighter and smaller in weight.

Although, installing a 14 SEER unit might be more complex than installing a 13 seer unit.

Here’s a table differentiating between 13 SEER and 14 SEER:

Categories13 SEER14 SEER
Efficiency Less efficient than 14 SEER.
28-30% more efficient than other seers.
More efficient than 13 and previous seers.
Electricity ConsumptionConsumes fairly less electricity overall.Consumes even lesser energy than a 13 SEER.
Power Usage Requires more power than a 14 SEER.7.2 percent less power to run.
Running TimeLifespan of 7 to 8 years.Lifespan of 10 to 15 years.
Hope this helps for clarity!

Is 14 SEER good enough?

14 Seer is more than good enough! Going from a 13 to 14 Seer unit saves you about 7.2 percent in power costs. It’s believed that anything over 13 is great.

This is because, if you replace your old seer system with a higher-rated seer unit, you could significantly reduce the cost of cooling your home.

14 Seer units are incredibly energy efficient. They’re about 20 to 30 percent more efficient than air conditioning systems from 15 years ago. Currently, the national minimum seer rating requirement is 13.

The 14 Seer AC models are single-stage compressors. Many countries have made it mandatory to install air conditioning units with a 14 Seer rating. This would maintain greater efficiency and also help protect the environment.

Furthermore, the 14 Seer is the most common type of air conditioning system. The outer unit includes the condenser coils and compressor. Whereas, the inner unit includes the fan and evaporating coils.

These air conditioning models with 14 Seer are mainly installed in business offices and houses. A 14 Seer unit is about 15 to 30 percent more energy efficient than an average HV AC unit which was used years ago.

The shift from 13 SEER to 14 SEER will eventually prove to be a great one. It’ll also be more convenient for our environment as it’s more efficient.

Is it worth paying for a higher SEER?

As you know, the higher the seer rating, the more efficient an AC unit will run. This would greatly reduce the cost of energy bills. This is why it’s worth paying for a higher seer.

For instance, a 20 SEER AC unit compared to a 10 SEER unit will be twice as efficient. As it won’t need much energy or power to run, it’ll lower the electricity bill.

So, you may think of this as an initial investment for a greater outcome. By paying more once for a higher seer unit, you’ll be saving so much in the future.

Although buying the highest seer-rated air conditioner for your homes isn’t a necessity. However, it should be noted that the lower seer models can cost you excessive energy bills. Even if they’re cheaper to buy, you’ll be paying way more in energy costs!

Not only that, but a higher seer rating is also generally better for the environment. The switch from 13 Seer to 14 Seer becoming mandatory for some countries has done well.

By consuming less energy, you’re technically lowering the carbon footprint. It’s also putting less strain on the environment.

A higher seer rating is much more efficient than a lower one. In short, the more efficient your cooling system is, the less energy it’ll consume to cool your place.

Here’s a list summarizing a few benefits of a higher efficiency system:

  • Lower utility bills
    They use less energy which means you’ll spend lesser money on bills.
  • Incentives and manufacturer’s rebates
    While they can be expensive, there are many government incentives or rebates that can help you get a good price.
  • Environmental Impact
    As they use less energy, they contribute to fewer greenhouse gas emissions. Less electricity also helps minimize the use of fossil fuels.
  • Humidity
    Not only do they maintain a preferred air temperature, but they also effectively remove moisture from the air.

Take a look at this video explaining seer ratings:

It’s pretty informative!

Are 13 SEER air conditioners being phased out?

If your AC has a seer lower than 14, then you need to immediately replace it with a greater seer rating. 13 Seer had been the national minimum seer rating for an air conditioning unit. But not anymore!

In the United States, you can no longer install an air conditioner with a seer rating of 13 or less. The new federal regulation has made it compulsory that all new ACs being installed should have a seer rating of at least 14 or higher.

However, if you’re in the north region, you can continue to install 13 Seer AC systems. This is specified by the Department of Energy (DOE). There’s no specific date yet for phasing out these units.

If you’re looking to buy an air conditioner for your home, then opting for a unit with a seer rating between 15 and 18 might be a good choice. This would balance out your spending cost for the unit and the amount you save on utility costs.

Although 15 to 16 seer ratings are typically recommended, the best systems for you depend on your specific needs. All air conditioners help cool your home to set a temperature regardless of their seer rating. So, you should know which one’s the best for you!

What is the difference between 14 SEER and 16 SEER?

The main difference is that 16 Seer is a bit more efficient than a 14 Seer AC unit. 14 Seer however is the new standard or base level.

Although 16 Seer might be more efficient, this increased efficiency comes at a cost. It would cost around 10 to 15 percent more.

However, after continued use, you’ll be able to save way more in energy costs. Lower electricity bills will make your purchase so much worth it!

16 seer and 14 Seer are very similar. Therefore, it can be quite confusing which one of these would be more suitable to go with. From a price point of view, a 14 Seer AC is more affordable than a 16 Seer unit.

However, a 16 Seer unit is much more energy-efficient than a 14 Seer one.

16 seer unit uses exactly 13 percent less energy to produce the same amount of cooling as a 14 seer unit. Basically, for every 100 dollars, you spend to cool your home with a 14 Seer unit, you can save 13 dollars in bills by just upgrading to a 16 Seer AC unit.

So, the choice is yours! If you’re looking for something pocket friendly, then go for the 14 Seer one. It was a couple of hundred dollars cheaper.

But, if you can manage to invest in a 16 Seer one, then you’ll be able to save more on electricity bills in the future. 16 seer would provide you with long-term savings and it makes more sense to buy it.

find the seer rating
You can find the SEER rating on this unit!

Final Thoughts

To summarize, the main difference between a 13 seer and 14 seer air conditioning unit is in their energy efficiency. A 14 Seer unit is much more energy-efficient than a 13 Seer one. It consumes less energy and in turn, it’ll lower your electricity bills as well.

14 Seer unit is also good for the environment. As it reduces energy consumption, it lowers greenhouse gas emissions as well. This is true for all AC models with higher seer ratings.

Although, it can be a bit expensive to buy a higher seer rating, think of it as an investment.

While 13 Seer unit has been the national seer rating for a few years, it’s now changing. So, according to new regulations, any unit with a rating below 14 Seer can’t be installed. Many countries have also made it mandatory for 14 Seer units to be installed as it’s good for the environment.

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