There are plenty of 16 SEER-ish Air Conditioning systems in the world. Some cheap and others not so cheap. The difference between the cheap and “not-so” groupings typically revolves around speed of operation. The XR17 trane system is the perfect example of how NOT all 16 SEER systems are created equal.
There are 16 SEER systems and then there are 16 SEER systems. The XR17 has a single compressor with two stages for running. This is a step down from inverter driven compressors but is a definite step up from single stage compressors. Compared to single speed compressors this allows for lower energy consumption, longer run times (at a lower speed) allowing for better humidity removal and quieter operation. Hugely necessary in Houston’s humid climate.