14 SEER vs 20 SEER Energy Savings Calculator + Chart

The energy efficiency of 14 SEER vs 20 SEER mini split is substantial. If you have got some quotes, you always realize that 20 SEER unit is more expensive. Can the higher cost of 20 SEER unit over 14 SEER unit be justified by the electricity savings in the next 10 or 20 years?

We will show you exactly how to do the math. To make things easier for everybody, we have also created these 2 easy-to-use resources:

  • 14 SEER vs 20 SEER Energy Saving Calculator. Here you just insert AC tonnage and electricity rates, and you will automatically get 1-year, 10-year, and 20-year energy savings.
  • 14 SEER vs 20 SEER Saving Chart. We did the math for you and calculated 1-year, 10-year, and 20-year energy savings for 1-8 ton AC units at $0.15/kWh electricity rates. All the results are summarized in a colorful chart below.

Now, the key thing to remember is that 20 SEER units are 42.86% more energy efficient than 14 SEER units.

20 seer unit is by more than 40 percent more energy efficient than a 14 seer unit
Because a 20 SEER unit is by more than 40% more efficient than a 14 SEER unit, you will very likely save more than $100/year by opting for a 20 SEER unit.

To illustrate how to calculate the energy savings and financial viability of 14 vs 20 SEER units, let’s look at this example with 2 quotes:

  • We have the 1st $5,210 quote for a 3 ton 14 SEER unit.
  • We have the 2nd $6,630 quote for a 3 ton 20 SEER unit.

The upfront cost difference is $1,420 ($6,630 – $5,210 = $1,420). Can the energy savings justify the higher price of the 20 SEER unit? Let’s use the SEER rating to calculate the average running costs:

  • 3 ton 14 SEER unit runs on 2,571 watts (average). It will consume 2.571 kWh of electricity per hour, and 2,571 kWh per year (1,000 running hours). At the electricity cost of $0.15/kWh, we will have a $385.71 running cost per year. That’s $3,857.14 in 10 years, and $7,714.29 in 20 years.
  • 3 ton 20 SEER unit runs on 1,800 watts (average). It will consume 1.8 kWh of electricity per hour, and 1,800 kWh per year (1,000 running hours). At the electricity cost of $0.15/kWh, we will have a $270 running cost per year. That’s $2,700 in 10 years, and $5,400 in 20 years.

By opting for 20 SEER instead of 14 SEER AC unit, we are saving $115.71 per year. That is $1,157.14 savings in 10 years, and $2,314.29 savings in 20 years.

Under these conditions, the financially more viable option is a 20 SEER unit since 20-year savings ($2,314.29) are much higher than the initial cost difference ($1,420). If the cost difference would be much higher (say $2,800), it would be smarter to opt for a cheaper 14 SEER unit, since the energy savings don’t pay back the initial cost difference.

These calculations are quite lengthy. To help you do the math, you can use the 14 SEER vs 20 SEER energy savings calculator. Just insert AC tonnage and electricity rates, and you will get 1-year, 10-year, and 20-year savings immediately.

Below the calculator, you can also find a calculated-for-you savings chart that will tell you how much you will save (in 1, 10, and 20 years) by opting for 20 SEER unit over 14 SEER unit (for 1-8 ton AC units). Let’s use the calculator first:

14 SEER Vs 20 SEER Calculator

 

To illustrate how this calculator works, let’s solve 1 example:

Let’s say you are looking for a 2.5-ton mini split and are deciding between 14 SEER and 20 SEER unit. Electricity rates in your area are $0.16/kWh. To calculate the savings, just slide the 1st tonnage slider to ‘2.5’ and the 2nd electricity rates slider to ‘0.16’. Here is the result:

By choosing 20 SEER unit over 14 SEER unit, you are saving $102.86 per year. That will result in $1,028.57 savings in the next 10 years, and $2,057.14 savings in the next 20 years.

Now, if the 20 SEER unit costs, say, $1,200 more than a 14 SEER unit, it makes sense to opt for a 20 SEER unit since the 20-year savings ($2,057.14) will cover the initial cost difference. If, however, the initial cost difference is higher (say $3,000), the financially more viable choice is a 14 SEER unit since the energy savings don’t justify the cost difference.

Here is the full calculated-for-you savings chart for a 1-8 ton AC unit at $0.15/kWh electricity rates:

14 SEER Vs 20 SEER Chart For 1-8 Ton Air Conditioners And Heat Pumps

Unit Size (Tonnage): 1-Year Savings ($): 10-Year Savings ($): 20-Year Savings ($):
1 Ton $38.57 Savings Per Year $385.70 Per 10 Years $771.40 Per 20 Years
1.5 Ton $57.86 Savings Per Year $578.60 Per 10 Years $1,157.10 Per 20 Years
2 Ton $77.14 Savings Per Year $771.40 Per 10 Years $1,542.90 Per 20 Years
2.5 Ton $96.43 Savings Per Year $964.30 Per 10 Years $1,928.60 Per 20 Years
3 Ton $115.71 Savings Per Year $1,157.10 Per 10 Years $2,314.30 Per 20 Years
3.5 Ton $135.00 Savings Per Year $1,350.00 Per 10 Years $2,700.00 Per 20 Years
4 Ton $154.29 Savings Per Year $1,542.90 Per 10 Years $3,085.70 Per 20 Years
5 Ton $192.86 Savings Per Year $1,928.60 Per 10 Years $3,857.20 Per 20 Years
6 Ton $231.43 Savings Per Year $2,314.30 Per 10 Years $4,628.60 Per 20 Years
7 Ton $270.00 Savings Per Year $2,700.00 Per 10 Years $5,400.00 Per 20 Years
8 Ton $308.57 Savings Per Year $3,085.70 Per 10 Years $6,171.40 Per 20 Years

We can see that 14 SEER vs 20 SEER energy savings are quite substantial. Namely, you are looking at:

  •  $38.57 to $308.57 savings per year.
  • $385.70 to $3,085.70 savings in 10 years.
  • $771.40 to $6,171.40 savings in 20 years.

With these calculations and the online 14 SEER vs 20 SEER calculator, you are now well equipped to make the financially right decision. If you need a bit of help, you can use the comment section below, give us some numbers, and we can make some calculations for you.

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