Experts in advanced refrigeration and air-conditioning

Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio (SEER)

The term SEER is specified on the data sheet of many air conditioners. However, it is a value that most users are either unaware of or find confusing. The following is a definition of this concept, its uses and usefulness.

What is SEER (Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio) and what is it for?

First of all, it should be explained what SEER is before knowing how to calculate it. The SEER for energy efficiency can be defined by either stating the meaning of its acronym (Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio) or by saying that it is a standard that expresses the performance that a dedicated cooling appliance might have. It applies, for example, to air-conditioning systems and appliances, and thanks to the SEER it is possible to know the consumption of an appliance when it is cold. Therefore, as it is a value that expresses energy efficiency, the higher the SEER, the more energy efficient the appliance will be, although naturally the cost will also be higher. It is therefore essential to know what SEER means in the field of air conditioning, as an appliance with a low SEER will end up being more expensive in the long run, even if it is initially cheaper.

How is the consumption of equipment calculated?

First of all, the power of an air conditioning or climate control unit must be observed. You then have to divide the heat output of that appliance expressed in kilowatts by the SEER number assigned to it. The result will correspond to the electrical power that an appliance will consume in one hour.

An air conditioner with a heat output of X kW and a SEER of Y can be taken as an example. What you have to do is to divide X by Y to find out the electrical power consumed in one hour. This result will therefore be expressed in kWh. It should be noted, therefore, that appliances with a lower rating (where A is the highest and D is the lowest) might cost more than double in the electricity bill.

These energy efficiency values are represented by simple numerical values that any consumer can understand and compare. The higher the numerical values, the higher the efficiency of a device will be. These values are therefore proportional, meaning that twice the value corresponds to twice the efficiency. The SEER / SCOP level is represented by labels which express the seasonal performance. This point is important, as performance can vary greatly from season to season. As mentioned above, SEER stands for Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio, while SCOP refers to Seasonal Coefficient of Performance. These values should also appear on the energy label of an air conditioning system, and indicate that the rating takes into account the variable conditions under which it operates throughout the year, which may vary according to geographical location and season. SEER / SCOP values are therefore considered more accurate and realistic.

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