How Is Energy Efficiency Calculated in A/C Systems?

Anyone who works in HVAC repair in Jacksonville can tell you all about this HVAC system being more efficient than that other one, having greater cooling power, saving you more money and so on. But how do they know? Here’s how the numbers are added up:

What’s A BTU?

To compare two HVAC units, you have to first calculate the efficiency of each unit individually. This starts by measuring its cooling power, measured in BTU. One ton of cooling adds up to 12,000 BTUs. A typical A/C might produce three tons, and that is the size that we will use in our example below. This number will be calculated against how much energy your HVAC system requires to produce this power.


SEER is how much energy your HVAC system uses per hour to achieve cooling. A service that provides HVAC repair in Jacksonville can help you to determine this number. There is a third component to the calculation: annual hours of use.

Annual Hours Of Use

The EIA tells us that around one-fourth of the average Florida home’s power consumption goes to A/C, coming out to roughly 3,750 of the average Florida home’s 15,000 total kilowatt hours used annually [1]. Assuming these figures, the final calculation for energy use comes out to 12,000 * 3 (3-ton BTU), divided by a SEER of, say, 14. This gives us 2,571. Multiply that by 3,750 hours, and you have 9,589,830 Watt-hours used annually.

Compare this number to another A/C unit, perhaps with a different SEER number or capacity (BTUs), and you’ll be able to compare differences in running costs.

Efficiency is important. An A/C that keeps your home cool but runs up a heavy electric bill is more money than it’s worth, but an A/C that’s cheap to run but doesn’t provide sufficient cooling is effectively useless. Efficiency means finding the balance between these two extremes. A service providing HVAC repair in Jacksonville can help you to determine the best solution for your home.

Howard Services Inc. focuses on residential and commercial heating and air conditioning in the Jacksonville area and beyond. If you need help right away, Howard Services offers 24/7 emergency response.

Be the first to like.