You will NOT earn back your money on an 18 or 20+ SEER Air Conditioner. See the differences between the 14 vs 16 SEER.
What is the ROI when upgrading your Air Conditioning Efficiency to 16 or 18 SEER? Will you earn back your money?
This is a topic that I'm hoping the industry chimes in on. I'm not sure why very little has been said about this publicly perhaps it is a "dirty little secret" that those who sell HVAC equipment hope to hide from there consumers. Maybe ....
Now for some background and clarification before the masses jumps me on this - SEER and EER are the dominating efficiency standards of the HVAC industry. In laymen's terms EER is like City MPGs (Miles Per Gallon) whereas SEER is like Highway MPGs. The higher these respective numbers are then the more efficient an Air Conditioning system is and the less it should cost to operate during its life span.
Through this discussion especially in the video I am comparing efficiencies between 16 vs 18 SEER as in which of those two should I buy based on one single question, "Does upgrading to higher efficiency A/C system ultimately reduce my electrical bill enough to cost less in the long run?"
Now, It should be said that there will be a large leap in home efficiency when you are replacing systems that are 6 or 9 SEER however this discussion is not about comparing your old system to a new one but comparing two options that you may choose from.
To show that I did my homework on the subject attached is an excel comparing total cost of ownership for specific HVAC systems that we sell at Mission - I've attached the condensing unit model number to this. We then booked in the average annual cooling cost based on a home in Houston Texas that utilizes a 4 ton system. The math was very simple. Cooling cost + Up front cost = Total Cost of ownership each year.
The Least Expensive Total Lifetime cost system was the 14AJM system matched with a 2 stage furnace allowing it to reach 16 SEER.
What is the best product for you based on ROI?
Depends on how long you will keep your system. More than likely a 14 or 16 SEER.
There is more to purchasing an HVAC system than just ROI - Warranty, Quality of installation, Manufacturer reliability, comfort. Think in terms of total picture when buying a new air conditioning system. All elements are important. Be sure to find someone who can educate you properly on what to expect.