The key to buying the most energy efficient HVAC systems lies in understanding all the efficiency ratings used in the industry. There are basically five efficiency ratings that every consumer needs to understand before making a decision to purchase any type of HVAC equipment. They are:
Energy Efficiency Ratio (EER)
The EER is a measure of the cooling power of an air conditioning system per unit of power consumed. It is calculated by dividing the cooling power provided by an AC per hour by the number of watts of electricity consumed. The measurements obtained during the hottest day of the season are normally used to calculate the EER of an air conditioner. Simply put, EER is meant to give consumers an idea of the cooling power to expect from an AC for every dollar spent on electricity.
Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio (SEER)
While the EER only measures the energy efficiency of the AC on the hottest day of the season, SEER gives the average efficiency for the whole season, so it is a more reliable efficiency rating for air conditioners. It is obtained by dividing the output power of an AC (in BTUs) throughout the season by the total energy consumed by the machine throughout the season. Air conditioners can have SEER ratings ranging from 13 to 22, the latter being the most energy efficient device.
This is a popular efficiency rating devised by the EPA. Tests are normally done to determine the performance and energy efficiency of Energy Star-rated HVAC equipment to determine if they can give consumers great value for money while contributing to nationwide energy savings. While these devices are a little bit more expensive than their inefficient counterparts, the price difference can easily be recovered in energy savings realized over time.
Heating Seasonal Factor Performance (HSFP)
This rating measures the efficiency of the heating element of a heat pump. It is obtained by dividing output heating power by the input electrical energy.
Minimum Efficiency Reporting Value (MERV)
This is a rating for air filters in HVAC equipment. Filters with smaller holes are deemed to be more efficient. MERV rating starts from 1 to 16, with the latter being the highest efficiency.
For more information on how we can help you with energy efficiency; check out our Energy Savings Guide & Maintenance Plans!