Table of Contents
SEER Definition: The Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio is a measure of the cooling efficiency of your air conditioner or heat pump. The higher the SEER number the better the system is at converting electricity into cooling your home. Simply put, manufacturers use it to differentiate between less efficient equipment to the more efficient equipment they sell.
Equipment is tested in a third-party laboratory and the results are certified by ARI. Furthermore, the result of the testing can be looked up in the ARI database for each of equipment if you have the model number. It should be noted that ARI uses strict testing parameters in testing HVAC equipment. Additionally, these standards are issued by ANSI or other respected organizations that issue standardization rules throughout the industry.
SEER Definition - Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio and Air Conditioners
SEER is the HVAC industry term for the efficiency of an air conditioning or heat pump (in the cooling mode) and SEER stands for Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio. The seasonal energy efficiency ratio is the amount of cooling that a heat pump (in cooling mode) or air conditioner delivers per watt of electricity used to power the heat pump or air conditioner. SEER is an acronym for Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio and measures the cooling efficiency of an air conditioner.
The higher the SEER, the greater the energy efficiency for the air conditioner or heat pumps. SEER ratings are determined in a laboratory where an exact set of indoor and outdoor conditions are specified by the standards. Because each piece of cooling equipment is evaluated using the exact same conditions, the SEER rating can be used in comparing the performance of equipment from different air conditioning and heating manufacturers.
SEER is the total heat removed from the conditioned space during the annual cooling season, expressed in Btu, divided by the total electrical energy consumed by the air conditioner or heat pump during the same season, expressed in watt-hours.
SEER Testing Standards and Variables
The tests are typically performed on matched systems provided by the manufacturer. This means if you don’t match the systems when installed, you likely will not get the best SEER rating out of the equipment. An example of this would be: a compressor goes bad and the homeowner decides to replace only the condensing unit. Selecting a higher SEER condenser will do no good unless the indoor system is matched to the condensing unit. Therefore, either replace the indoor unit when replacing the outdoor unit or don’t count on an improved SEER rating from a condenser only change-out.
Additionally, humidity is a high factor in the amount of energy the air conditioner or heat pump consumes, In high humidity conditions the air conditioner or heat pump will consume more power. This will change the SEER calculation. Furthermore, because of advances in technology SEER ratings are not exactly correct. The standard for testing has not changed for years while the industry is producing more and more complex equipment.
An example of this is the VRV or VRF systems available for purchase now. VRV is Variable Refrigerant Flow and VRV is Variable Refrigerant Volume. Finally, both these types of systems are modulating systems and operate at a specific capacity based on specific demand inputs.
SEER Definition - SEER Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio and EER - The Difference
Energy Efficiency Ratio EER Room air conditioners generally range from 5,500 Btu per hour to 14,000 Btu per hour. EER is calculated by dividing the cooling capacity in Btu/h by a chiller’s or room air conditioner’s power input in watts. The higher the EER, the more efficient the unit is at converting electricity into cooling your home.
SEER is used with central air conditioners and EER is used with room air conditioners. For new central systems, SEER ratings above 13 or more are generally considered high-efficiency units. SEER (seasonal energy efficiency ratio) and IPLV (integrated part-load value) are similar to EER, but weigh performance only during the cooling season.
Additionally, COP or Coefficient of Performance is the heating capacity (in Btu/h) at standard heating conditions divided by its electrical input (also in Btu/h).
SEER Definition - Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio and HSPF | SEER Vs HSPF
The HSPF Heating Seasonal Performance Factor is a measure of the heating efficiency of a heat pump. The higher the HSPF number the better the heat pump converts electricity to heat for heating your home. Heating Seasonal Performance Factor or HSPF and a higher number are better. Lastly, HSPF is a measure of a heat pump’s energy efficiency over one heating season. Heat pump industry minimum is HSPF 7.7 for Heat Pumps.
HSPF is the total space heating required in region IV during the space heating season, expressed in Btu, divided by the total electrical energy consumed by the heat pump system during the same season, expressed in watt-hours.
SEER Definition - Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio and AFUE
AFUE or Annual Fuel Utilization Efficiency – AFUE tells you how efficiently the furnace converts fuel (gas or oil) into heat. An AFUE of 80% means that 80% of the fuel is used to heat your home while 20% is wasted. AFUE is limited in that it only refers to the unit’s fuel usage and not its electrical consumption.
Furnaces and air conditioners both come in energy-efficient models. Annual Fuel Utilization Efficiency (AFUE) ratings apply to furnaces and are a direct measure of the furnace’s fuel efficiency. AFUE ratings of up to 96.7 are the most efficient furnace in the industry.
It is important to understand efficiency ratings. Especially when you are shopping for a new air conditioner, heat pump, or gas furnace. The more efficient the system the lower your utility bills will be. All AFUE, SEER, EER, and HSPF ratings are derived from standard tests. Lastly, these standards are issued by the ANSI and come from industry professional organizations.
In conclusion, we strive to keep up with the latest SEER ratings for various manufacturers. Furthermore, see our Air Conditioner Reviews Category or the Heat Pump Reviews Category for top SEER ratings for various manufacturers.
SEER Definition - Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio | Air Conditioning