AC Efficiency Ratings

In order to help consumers select the right HVAC system for their home or just needing informative information relative to what AC service in Clearwater will yield the most efficient results; we thought it important to understand how HVAC systems are rated for efficiency. The U.S. Department of Energy wanted to enable consumers to make the wisest choice when it came to purchasing and or replacing HVAC systems. Knowing HVAC equipment uses the most energy of any appliance in your home, they set minimum standards that must be met to help reduce the demand for energy including terms that would indicating the energy efficiency of the individual parts of the system. The three terms that apply to cooling systems include SEER (seasonal energy efficiency ratio), EER (energy efficiency ratio) and COP (coefficient of performance).


SEER indicates how well the central heat pump or air conditioner performs over a cooling season. It’s measured under controlled testing conditions where the outdoor air temperature is held at 82 degrees F. Engineers measure how much electricity it uses to keep an interior space at 80 degrees with a humidity level of 50 percent. The minimum SEER rating is 13, with an increase to 14 slated for 2015. Each single digit increase in the SEER indicates the system uses 10 percent less energy for the same amount of cooling.


EER will tell you how efficient the system is when temperatures are held at 95 degrees instead of 82. A system with a higher EER, especially in our climate where temperatures are often in the 90s daily, will cut your cooling bills. The minimum EER currently stands at 9.7, and these A/C efficiency ratings apply to window, portable and central cooling systems.


The coefficient of performance applies to both heating and cooling systems. It’s calculated by dividing the EER by 3.41. This term describes how much heat the system removes from your home per unit of energy it uses, in the case of air conditioning. Most central cooling systems have a COP between 2 and 4, and higher is better in terms of efficiency ratings.

The information provided as to efficiency ratings are a benchmark that can be relied upon if your system is maintained and serviced properly but a failure to do so will make the printed and labeled ratings for efficiency merely as representation of what the equipment was capable of when new! Make no mistake, the operating efficiency of the system will be compromised if not properly maintained and serviced. Simply put it will not live up to expectations!

If you would like to learn more about AC service in Clearwater that will improve the efficiency and performance of your system please contact D&W Heating & Air Conditioning at (941) 202-0420.

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