Air Conditioner Seer – Homeowners Must Know
What is seer?
An air conditioner seer rating is a Seasonal Energy Efficiency Rating for central air conditioner unit. Seers rating only apply to cooling power for central air conditioner unit and Heat Pump (cooling mode).
Air conditioner seer describes how well central air conditioner converts electricity to cool power on specific cost of electricity. A seer rating doesn’t tell how well central air conditioner units cool. Most people believe that higher seer rating will cool better. That is not true.
Seer rating explains how much it cost for central air conditioner to cool. Central air conditioner unit with higher seer cost less to cool. What I meant by this statement is higher seer rating will used less energy and produce more cooling power.
Who came up with air conditioning efficiency?
Air conditioner seer was developed by the Department of Energy in 1979 as measurement to rates air conditioner equipment.
Seer ratings explained how efficient central Ac unit convert electricity to cooling power.
Seer rating is universal standard of measurement to determine the energy efficiency of central air conditioner unit and Heat Pump.
It was designed to improved AC unit energy efficiency. The Air Conditioning and Refrigeration Institute (ARI) also adapted this measurement to their standard.
Hvac seer defines as the total supply cooling of an air conditioner Btu you get out; during its normal usage periods and compared it to electricity energy the central air conditioners consumed (watt/hr) in that same cooling season.
How air conditioner seer ratings determine?
Air conditioner manufacturer build a central air conditioner unit, then send the ac unit to laboratory to determine its seer rating.
The laboratory tests the air conditioner under peak performing to find out the maximum seer rating of the ac unit.
Air conditioner seer rating refers to the performance of the condenser and the evaporator coils. They did this test in laboratory to find the efficiency of the condenser and evaporator.
Air conditioner seer is determined from the efficiency of the air conditioner condenser and the evaporator by calculate the speed of ac compressor and the speed of indoor fan.
Seers rating are determining from:
Single speed compressor with a variable speed indoor fan
- Single speed compressor with fixed speed indoor fan
Let’s said the air conditioner unit is single speed compressor with a variable speed indoor fan. The single speed compressor with variable speed indoor fan formula are use to determine the efficiency of the central air conditioner seer ratings.
Accordant to the AHRI 2008 Standard 210/240, the air conditioner are test under 67°F, 72°F, 77°F, 82°F, 87°F, 92°F and 102°F ambient temperature (outdoor temps).
Air conditioner seer value came from:
21.4 percent of seer rating came from 67°F
- 23.1 percent of seer ratings came from 72°F
- 21.6 percent of seer ratings came from 77°F
As you can see in seer value above 21.4 percent of seer value came from 67°F. Who operate their air conditioner unit at 67°F? In science laboratories perhaps. However, I doubt most homeowners operate air conditioner at 67°F outdoor temperature.
Okay, 66.1 percent value of air conditioner seer came from lower ambient temperature. This means that seer value favor cold outdoor temperature.
You could said 66.1 percent of seer rating only apply to cold outdoor temperature and 20 air conditioner unit are more efficiency on low outdoor temperature.
This is the other Ac seer value came from:
16.1 percent of seer rating came from 82°F
- 10.4 percent of seer ratings came from 87°F
- 5.2 percent of seer ratings came from 92°F
- 1.8 percent of seer ratings came from 97°F
- .4 percent of seer ratings came from 102°F
Nowadays, outdoor temperature is in 110°F or 115°F and only .4 percent of seer value favor 102°F. This means that if you have 20 seer air conditioner unit and you’re operating it at 102°F.
You only get 0.4 percent out 100 percent of seer value. Even though 20 seer ac units is efficiency, but it’s not efficiency in hot outdoor temperature.
33.9 seer values came from high outdoor temperature. 0.4 percent of seer value came from 102°F. I understand most technician don’t like seer.
There are more to it. This information is just basic and easy to understand. The information to determined seer ratings from single speed compressor with fixed or variable speed indoor fan come with formula.
If you’re interesting in read more on air conditioner seer. Check the AHRI 2008 Standard 210/240 PDF books. All the central air conditioner seer formula is found on AHRI 2008 Standard 210/240.
Air conditioner seer rating– What does Ac seer mean for homeowners
Great deal of homeowners understands that Seer rating is important in selecting or buys air conditioner units. However, having a higher seer rating or Energy Star air conditioner does not mean your Ac units will be more efficiency!
Air conditioner seer ratings came from laboratory test. In laboratory all the components are in prefect conditioner. The building structure is in good shape. There is no unwanted air leaking in and the duct is tight.
In residential, everything is not plan out. The duct might have a hole and the air may leak into the house. The grille may be blocking the air. The seer rating value comes from these factors.
Air conditioner seer rating on HVAC equipment represents the best energy efficiency you could have from that ac unit. This seer value is not from residential performance, it’s from laboratory test.
Seer rating value does not come from real world performance. When an air conditioner unit is rating at 20 Seer. It doesn’t mean you will get 20 Seer. The 20 seer rating is just the maximum Ac seer, the ac units could product. By the way, 20 Seer = 20 Btu/watt-hour
The misconceptions people have about seer rating is this: The higher seer ratings the more energy you save. This is not true for all people.
Here different perspective. The higher seer ratings the hvac equipment had, the less energy it uses. However, if you place the hvac unit with the higher seer in bad structure, it will use more energy. Why?
The seer rating on the central air conditioner just the ac unit itself. The ac seer rating does not take in account the bad house structure, different environment and other situation.
That why most homeowners with 20 seer rating equipment does not get 20 seer equipment. Don’t worry; I will go unto detail how to get the maximum seer rating the ac unit has.
Get maximum seer ratings
To get the air conditioner unit maximum see ratings you have to consider charge, installation, how tight the duct, maintenance, indoor blower and other factors.
Hvac seer is an overall performing of the entire AC unit. It’s not just the condenser and the evaporator. If one air conditioner part perform badly. Then it will affect the entire system.
You may buy air conditioner with 22 seers rating. If the air conditioner is not properly install and the duct leak. You might as well have 10 or 9 seer ratings unit.
Seer rating value is not just from the air conditioner unit itself. It’s overall performing of the entire air conditioner unit. I love repeating that!
Ac Seer Part 2
Return to Central Air Conditioner and refrigeration cycle from air conditioner seer
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Air Conditioner Condenser | Air Conditioner Expansion Valve | Air Conditioner Evaporator | Air Conditioner Compressors