One of the most common questions we hear from customers when they’re looking into installing a new HVAC system is the meaning of the acronym SEER. It’s displayed on heat pumps and air conditioners, and most people know that the higher the SEER number, the better. So a heat pump with 16 SEER is apparently better than a 14 SEER heat pump.
However, it isn’t strictly true that a higher SEER system will do a better job for your home. Let’s look at what SEER stands for and what it means—and how that translates into making a good choice for a heat pump or AC.
SEER stands for “Seasonal Energy Efficiency Rating”
In the HVAC industry, SEER is a way of measuring how efficiently an air conditioning unit converts electrical power into cooling power. Heat pumps also have SEER ratings, even though they also work at providing heat. Heat pumps have a second rating, HSPF (heating seasonal performance factor) to gauge how efficient they are at heating… and it works in much the same way as SEER, so we’ll consider them together.
SEER/HSPF is a ratio of how much cooling or heating power a system outputs (measured in BTUs, British Thermal Units) to its electrical power consumption (measured in watt-hours) as gauged over a full season of work, either summer or winter. The higher this number, the more efficiently the unit works at using its electrical power.
On average, if you’re currently shopping for a heat pump to care for your home’s comfort, look for a unit with at least 14.5 SEER and an HSPF higher than 10. Check to see that the unit has ENERGY STAR certification, which shows that it passed the U.S. Department of Energy’s requirements for energy-saving performance.
A high SEER/HSPF rating doesn’t necessarily mean that a particular heat pump or AC is the ideal one for your home, so we advise you call our technicians early in the process of a new installation or replacement. We’ll help you make the best choice for the new comfort system.
Contact Kilowatt Heating, Air Conditioning and Electrical for service in Burbank, CA.