SEER stands for Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio, and it is a rating system used to measure the efficiency of an air conditioning or heat pump system. The SEER rating indicates how effectively the system converts electricity into cooling or heating output over a typical cooling season.
The SEER rating is calculated by dividing the cooling output of a system (in British Thermal Units or BTUs) by the electrical energy input (in watt-hours) during the same period. The higher the SEER rating, the more energy-efficient the system is.
In the United States, the minimum SEER rating for newly manufactured residential air conditioning systems is regulated by the Department of Energy (DOE) and varies depending on the region or climate zone. As of January 1, 2015, the minimum SEER rating for split system air conditioners ranges from 13 to 14, while for heat pump systems it ranges from 14 to 15.
Choosing an air conditioning or heat pump system with a higher SEER rating typically means greater energy efficiency and lower operating costs. However, higher SEER-rated systems often come with a higher initial purchase cost. It's important to consider factors such as your climate, usage patterns, and budget when selecting the appropriate SEER rating for your specific needs.
It's worth noting that SEER is one of several factors to consider when evaluating the overall efficiency and performance of an HVAC system. Other factors include the Energy Efficiency Ratio (EER), which measures efficiency at a specific outdoor temperature, and the Heating Seasonal Performance Factor (HSPF), which is used to rate the efficiency of heat pumps in heating mode.
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