I live on a Tropical Island next to the ocean. The maximum temperature is 95, below 82 we turn the air conditioning off. It never goes below 75. Last year my Trane 14 SEER ran 750 hours total, about 4 hours per day, on less than 200 days. The Trane condensing unit is pretty corroded after 6 years and a few salt water baths in storm season, but the other brands rusted away in 2-3 years.
It seems like we are more subject to EER than SEER, It looks from the literature like 18-21 SEER is actually only 14 EER, and 14 SEER is 11 EER with little real power savings for the large cost differential under our weather conditions, or am I missing something (especially since it will rust out in a few years).
The air handler is fine but the dealer is saying to get better SEER he needs to change it when he changes the condenser, but if I understand what i've been reading for all the money over just putting on a new condenser I may only save a small amount on the electricity cost. The comfort and dehumidification are fine.
One more question, the Trane airhandler is three speeds and cools fine on any of them but is a little noisier on high. Is any speed likely to produce better EER than another?