air conditioner analysis


Seer Air Conditioners


Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio or SEER is a unit used to rate the efficiency of air conditioners. Effectively the SEER rating of a unit is directly proportional to its energy efficiency, ie a higher SEER rating implies higher energy efficiency.

Calculation of Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio or SEER

SEER is the total number of BTU’s of heat removed divided by each watt-hour of electricity used. It calculates the efficiency of a cooling system over an entire season.

Consider the following example:

BTU/h = 6000

SEER = 10

Hours operational per day = 10

Days operational per year = 100

Total usage per year will be = 6000 BTU/h X 10 h/day X 100 days = 6,000,000 BTU

Since the SEER is 10, the annual electricity usage = 600,000 watt-hours

Average power usage = 6000 / 10 = 600 W

Now assuming that the electricity cost is 20 cents / kW-h, the total cost will be

0.6 kW X 20 cents kW-h = 12 cents / hour

Now if the air conditioner of 10 SEER is replaced by one of 20 SEER, the results are dramatic to say the least.

Average power usage = 6000 / 20 = 300 W

Total cost = 0.3 kW X 20 cents kW-h = 6 cents / hour

Effectively the energy cost has gone down by 50%!

Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio or SEER standards as set by US Government

Overall system efficiency is extremely accurately depicted by SEER ratings. With effect from January 2006, all air conditioners except window units, sold in US should have a minimum SEER rating of 13. The amount of energy saving is substantial and by upgrading an air conditioner to SEER 13 from SEER 9, the power consumption drops by 30%. This subsequently results in a huge energy saving.


Major Brands and SEER Ratings

Haier Air Conditioners – Haier Air Conditioners like ESA3059, ESA 3069, ESA 3089, ESA 3109, ESA 3125, ESA 3159, ESA 3186, ESA 3189 and ESA 3259 are available with ratings of 14 SEER and above.

Sanyo Air Conditioners – Sanyo’s air conditioners like 09KS71, 09KLS71, 12KS71, 12KLS71, 26KS72R are available with a 16 SEER Rating.

Bryant Air Conditioners – The Preferred Series Central Air Conditioners with models 165A and 163A come with a 15 SEER Rating. The Preferred Series Side Discharge Air Conditioners including model 538A also comes with a 15 SEER Rating. 14 SEER Rating is also available in Legacy Series Central Air Conditioners.


SEER to ERR to COP

These three are used continuously whenever air conditioners are mentioned. EER or Energy Efficiency Output and COP or Coefficient of Performance are just as important when a decision of which air conditioner to buy is to be made. The following three equations explain the relationship between these ratios:

  • SEER = ERR divided by 0.9

  • SEER = COP multiplied by 3.792

  • ERR = COP multiplied by 3.413


    Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio or SEER is hence the most important single factor to be considered when an air conditioner is to be bought. Not only does it directly impact the energy consumption hence reducing the energy bills but also does its bit for the environment by reducing greenhouse emissions. Therefore we should all try to buy air conditioners with the highest SEER possible to reduce the energy bills and also leave a greener and better environment for our children.


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