Energy Efficiency Ratings

Shopping for a new HVAC system or heat pump can be confusing and overwhelming with all the technical lingo and acronyms. There are many factors to consider before spending money on the most important appliance in your home or business. One being energy efficiency ratings. So, what exactly is the difference between the SEER rating and the EER and HSPF ratings? 

In general, a heating and cooling system’s performance is measured by a higher seasonal energy efficiency ratio (SEER) and energy efficiency ratio (EER). Higher ratings mean lower operating costs, but they also mean higher price tags. Let’s look at what each one means, and how they measure energy efficiency. 

What Does SEER Rating Mean?

The SEER rating is the standard measure of efficiency for air conditioning systems. The SEER rating shows the electrical input required to run the cooling and heating system over one average season, compared to how much cooling the system generates. The rating is determined by an overall average.

It’s important to note when shopping for a new central heat and air unit that the efficiency rating is a useful benchmark for comparing products. However, the climate and usage pattern affects the efficiency of how your unit will operate within the home or business. Today, many central HVAC systems have SEER rating that ranges between 13 and 18. Overall, the higher the SEER rating, the more energy efficient it is. 

What Does EER Rating Mean?

While the SEER rating will give insight into how well your residential AC unit will perform over the course of a summer, the EER is more like calculating “highway miles” of the cooling system. If you want to know how well the air conditioner performs under max cooling load, pay attention to this rating. The EER indicates how well the system navigates temperature 95 degrees and higher. It also takes into account the humidity removal.

Knowing how to navigate both the SEER ratings and the EER ratings helps shed light on how it will function in multiple conditions such as mild, warm days and hot, humid days.

What Does HSFP Rating Mean?

Heating Seasonal Performance Factor (HSPF) rates the efficiency rating for heat pumps much like the SEER rating. Like the SEER rating and EER rating, the higher the rating, the more efficient the heat pump.

In the United States, split-system heat pumps manufactured in 2015 or later must have an HSFP of at least 8.2. Single package units must have a rating of at least 8. The most efficient systems max out around 12 HSPF. 

While these ratings are important when preparing for heating and cooling installation, other factors may determine your decision of what is best for your space.

Enlist a Professional

To ensure you make a fully informed decision, contact your local AC installation company for an evaluation. If you need any assistance with an air quality evaluation, HVAC or furnace maintenance, or installation services, Advantage Air & Service professionals are happy to help you with all your heating and cooling needs.