Understanding Air Conditioner Ratings

Understanding Air Conditioner Ratings



Capacity is one of the most basic specifications that emergency HVAC service companies in Tampa provide. The range of cooling capacity in ductless split can range from 9.000 Btu/h to an excess of 20,000 Btu/h. The cooling requirements will be taken into account in order to determine the capacity of the air conditioner that works best for the area.


Coefficient of Performance (COP)


The COP is the ratio of the cooling capacity compared to consumption, measured in watts. In general, the higher the COP, the higher the effectiveness of the air conditioning system. The value will usually range from 2-4. However, in recent years, the coefficient has gone higher than 4 thanks to the use of inverter compressors. The formula for COP (COP = Cooling Capacity(W) / Power Consumption(W) can also be used for the heat pump system.


Energy Efficient Ratio (EER)


The EER was established in 1975 by the Air Conditioning and Refrigeration Institute (ARI) in order to allow manufacturers to rate their materials so that consultants and consumers can determine the cooling efficiency of the air conditioning unit simply by examining the provided specifications. The rating is the result of the division of cooling capacity with power input. In general, the larger EER value, the more effective the air conditioning system is. Customers are advise to stick to the larger EER when comparing two similarly-priced pieces of equipment. The EER does come with a limitation: it is only measured when the air conditioning unit is in steady-state condition. Essentially, the shutdown and startup cycles are not taken into account in the calculation. Thus, the rating does not provide a complete sense of the unit’s efficiency. In most cases, seasonal energy efficiency ratio (SEER) provides a better efficiency ratio.


Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio (SEER)


This ratio is considered to be more accurate than EER, since it factors in non steady state conditions such as the startup and shutdown cycles of the air conditioning system. Effective January 23, 2006, all central split-cooling systems made in the US must have this ratio clearly outlined. A minimum SEER of 13 has been established in order to ensure the efficiency of manufactured air conditioning units. There is an exception to this rule for window air conditioning units, coming with a minimum SEER of 10. Customers should always seek the highest SEER possible, since higher ratios indicate more reliable and efficient systems. However, customers should note the main tradeoff in choosing a high SEER, which is essentially a higher price tag for the system as a whole. The SEER ratio is determined by dividing the total seasonal cooling output of the system over the total energy it will consume in Watt-hours.

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