High Efficiency
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High Efficiency


The purpose of estimating the efficiency of an Air Conditioning system is to indicate the amount of relative power required to remove an specific quantity of heat. So that, a high-efficiency equipment will consume less power to perform the same work.

It is similar to the case of kilometers per liter for vehicles, but instead of km/l, Air Conditioners use the designation EER (Energy Efficiency Ratio) which is nothing more than a simple mathematical ratio between the Total Heat supplied stated in British thermal units per hour (Btu/h) versus the electrical power required to reach it (KW). Recently, the U.S. Energy Department has developed a more complicated method to evaluate the performance of a system along a wide range of operating conditions. The result is known as SEER (Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio) which is an indicative of the operation of the Air Conditioner during the cold season.

Since the value corresponding to SEER is considerably higher than EER for the same equipment, it has become very popular to state efficiency values of Air Conditioners through the use of this term (SEER) which has already been adopted by most of the manufacturers worldwide, and though it should have not been considered as an efficiency index for those systems in operation in tropical places due to the inexistence of cold times or seasons.

In any case, when you acquire an Air Conditioning system you must know the value of its SEER or its EER and never make a comparison between two equipment if you only know the SEER of one of them and the EER of the other, since the one that has 10.0 SEER will consume more energy than the one with 10.0 EER.

What matters is to make the comparison using the same parameter. An equipment with SEER equivalent to 12,5 will consume less electrical power than another with SEER 10,0. However, since the acquisition cost of the first one is considerably higher and the electrical power supply cost varies between different cities and usages, the time in which the investment will pay itself through the saving in electrical consumption, must be calculated and evaluated in order to make a decision.

The following formula is used to calculate the operation cost of an equipment (CO) in Bolivars per month:

CO = T x H x C
  1000   EER


T = Electrical rate in $/Kw-h
H = Hours consumed per month
C = Actual capacity of the equipment in Btu/h

(c) 1999. Industrias Per, C.A. Maracaibo, Venezuela