When you go to buy an HVAC system for your home, you will come across different terminology that you won’t find in your dictionary. These terms can be some advanced features we are not familiar with or a name of the product line. But most of the time you will come across these two terms – SEER, HSFP. I don’t blame if you don’t didn’t know what they are because honestly, even some people directly related to these HVAC systems don’t know what they are. People act as if they are one of those things you hear and memorize and don’t require any explanation. But as a consumer, you should know what they signify and what are the numbers accompanying. Knowing about SEER and HSFP will give you an upper hand in choosing an HVAC system as well as in AC installation, AC replacement and AC repair.
What does SEER & HSFP mean?
In simple terms, SEER and HSFP are the ratings that HVAC companies use to indicate the efficiency of their furnace, heat pump, central ac unit, etc.
The SEER rating is the Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio and HSFP rating is the Heating Seasonal Performance Factor. These two ratings are the most commonly used to explain how efficient the HVAC system is with comparison ton its fuel intake.
Why do we need these ratings on our HVAC equipment?
First of all, the SEER ratings and HSFP rating are very important for people who are not aware of the technical parts of their HVAC system. These ratings help them compare air conditioning units with each other.
As I have mentioned, SEER is short for Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio.
All heat pumps and air conditioners sold in the US are rated with the SEER rating. This rating signifies the cooling efficiency of an air conditioning unit.
As heat pumps are capable of both heating and cooling, it has SEER rating along with an AFUE rating. While SEER rating signifies how efficient the cooling cycle is, the AFUE rating tells you how efficient the heating cycle is. On a side note, unlike the SEER rating, AFUE is a percentage and I will talk about it more some other day.
If you didn’t know already, the efficiency of any machine is computed by the input and output. So, for any machine, the efficiency will be the ratio of input energy, power or resources by the output. As a formula, it would look like this –
Efficiency = Output / Input
For SEER rating’s case, the efficiency of an air conditioner is calculated by taking total cooling power (which is the output) and dividing it with the total used energy for 1 year (which is the input here).
So, the formula here is –
SEER rating = total cooling power/total used energy for 1 year
Note that, this formula is not absolute, there are other factors and adjustments to be made to determine an air conditioner’s SEER rating. This SEER figure, the seasonal ratio, also takes into account multiple temperature variation. Also, an air conditioning unit’s efficiency will vary depending on how hard the air conditioner has to work to keep the home cool.
In the US, there are certain rules and regulation incorporating SEER rating and the legality of using an air conditioner in your home. In the US, the modern heat pumps and air conditioner must have at least 14 SEER rating for it being suitable for residential and commercial use. This rating varies depends on the type of air conditioner or heat pump you own. But for the older units, the SEER rating can be as low as 8.
Heating Seasonal Performance Factor is the full form for HSFP rating. Where SEER is the rating for cooling efficiency, the HSFP is the rating signifies the heating efficiency. Similar to SEER, HSFP is also seasonal. As for the calculation, it is very similar to the SEER rating calculation. The efficiency of a heating system is calculated by taking total heating power (which is the output) and dividing it with the total used energy for 1 year (which is the input here).
So, the formula here is –
HSFP rating = total heating power/total used energy for 1 year
Note that, HSFP rating takes the shoulder seasons (spring & fall) into account when the heating units are not operating at their highest. These days, a heating unit stars with 7 or 8 rating and varies depending on the type and power source.
Now that you know what these SEER ratings and HSFP ratings mean, you can make a wiser decision when it comes to AC replacing and AC repair. Use this knowledge to determine what HVAC unit is suitable for your need.
In short, for AC installation, AC replacement, AC repair situations, it is helpful to know what the SEER rating & HSFP rating means for your HVAC system.
Looking for an HVAC system for your home?
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