SEER, or the seasonal energy efficiency ratio, measures the energy output generated to run an air conditioning system throughout the year. You can look at it the same way your car calculates miles per gallon. Here are the main reasons why SEER ratings are important for mini-split systems and why you should pay attention to them.
How SEER Ratings Work
The rating is calculated based on the energy used throughout the year (the annual cooling output in the autumn and winter months) divided by the total electric energy output. This value is the British thermal unit per hour. Multiply that by the amount of cooling hours and days annually to find the result, which is the SEER rating for your unit.
Operating Centralized Air Systems
Centralized air systems are traditional are work in a very uniform manner. If you think about them on an industrial scale, they push air to the point of what is known as a “fixed capacity.” These air systems use energy and expel air based on extreme temperatures, meaning they run at full capacity.
Variable Capacity System Operations
You have more control over how much energy a mini split system uses and when and where you use it. These systems are “variable-capacity systems” and vary for several reasons. First, mini splits and ducted mini splits occupy certain zones of a structure, meaning they operate in a confined space and are controlled manually. Unlike their counterpart, mini split systems heat and cool based on the climate of the day and not a general extreme output that a traditional system generates when turned on.
Now that you understand the dichotomy between the two, you know why SEER ratings are important for mini split systems. They can help you measure a unit’s daily use to better understand resource usage.