Units For Measuring Efficiency Of Heating And Cooling Devices

A thorough understanding of various heating and cooling devices needs you to have clear idea of the units that measure their efficiency and capacities. There are quite a few measuring units for various types of heating and cooling machines that talk of their energy output against the amount of energy used. Let’s take a look at them-

Energy Efficiency Ratio, EER

The EER is used to measure the efficiency of cooling units. The equation is quite similar to calculating COP. It is the ratio of output cooling energy (in BTU) to electrical input energy (in Watt-hour). The unit of EER is BTU/Watt-hour.

Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio, SEER

The SEER is also used to measure efficiency of cooling units. It is quite similar to EER. However the SEER measures the performance of a system over a season where the outdoor temperature would continuously. Just like EER it is calculated by diving output cooling energy with electrical input energy. The unit of SEER is BTU/Watt-hour.

Coefficient of Performance, COP

This measures the efficiency of heaters that are powered by electricity, e.g. – heat pumps, electric heaters etc. It is equal to amount of power output divided by amount of power input. Therefore more the output, the more will be the unit’s COP. If an electric furnace converts all the electricity into heat, then its COP will be 1. A COP does not have any unit. It is designated only by the number.

Heating Seasonal Performance Factor (HSPF)

It is also used to measure efficiency. The equation and units are exactly similar to SEER. But it measures the efficiency of the system in heating mode, not cooling mode. It will be used to measure the efficiency of heat pumps or electric furnaces etc.

Kilo-Watt per Ton (kW/ton)

This is used to measure the efficiency of industrial air conditioner systems, especially chillers. It gives the amount of electrical power that a unit consumes to reach a certain level of cooling. The smaller the value the more efficient is the system.

Horse Power

Horse Power is a unit used in the US. This is a unit of power and typically is used to specify the size of motors in all electrical appliances including air conditioners. It is also used express the amount of input power in air conditioners too. One HP is equal to 746 W.

Always buy a device that has ENERGY STAR label on it. Energy Star is a U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)’s voluntary program, which is designed to enable businesses and individuals save money and protect the climate by using superior energy efficiency. An energy star label on air conditioner or furnace indicates that the products have high energy efficiency. Energy Star specifies the energy efficiency of the device on the label.




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