What exactly is heat pump SEER? The development of heating, ventilation and air conditioning industry has reached a level where efficiency of new equipment are required before they can be sold to the consumer.

Manufacturers are developing more efficient units with the advancement of electronics control and compressor technology. DC inverter system which provides comfort and efficiency to the users are now being sold in the market.

The Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio (SEER) is used to compare the efficiency of a unit to another. The newer equipment in the market these days have SEER of up to 16. The higher this number is, the more efficient the unit is. In the United States, all residential air conditioners sold must have a SEER rating of at least 13 since January 2006. Among other ratings, heat pumps need a SEER2 rating of 16 to qualify for the federal HVAC tax credit. The window units are exempted from this hence their SEER is still in the region of 10.

If you are looking for a heat pump unit that is able to provide cooling during summer and heating during winter, always look for a higher SEER unit. You will do your bit to preserve the environment by using a more efficient unit by doing this.

A Floor Standing or Ceiling Mounted Fan Coil Unit.

Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio (SEER)

The SEER is the total cooling outputs accomplished divided by the total electrical energy input used during this time.

SEER = [Total of Btu/h cooling outputs at all test conditions]/[Total of all Watt inputs at all test conditions]

The unit of SEER is Btu/W.h.

You can find the Watts Input, Cooling Capacity as well as the SEER information on the label which is usually a metal plate that is attached to the heat pump unit. If SEER is not provided, a simple calculation can be done.

For example, if the label displayed Cooling Capacity = 5000 Btu/hr and Watts Input = 600 W, then

SEER = [5000 Btu/hr]/[600W] = 8.3 

If another 2.5-ton air conditioner requires 2 kW of electrical power,
what is the SEER?

1 ton of refrigeration is 12,000 Btu/hr.

SEER = [2.5 X 12,000 Btu/hr]/[2,0000 W] = 15

Coefficient of Performance (COP)

The coefficient of performance (COP) of a machine can be found by multiplying the SEER by a factor of 0.293

COP = SEER X 0.293

Related: Air Conditioning Calculations

Editorial Contributors
avatar for Alora Bopray

Alora Bopray

Staff Writer

Alora Bopray is a digital content producer for the home warranty, HVAC, and plumbing categories at Today's Homeowner. She earned her bachelor's degree in psychology from the University of St. Scholastica and her master's degree from the University of Denver. Before becoming a writer for Today's Homeowner, Alora wrote as a freelance writer for dozens of home improvement clients and informed homeowners about the solar industry as a writer for EcoWatch. When she's not writing, Alora can be found planning her next DIY home improvement project or plotting her next novel.

Learn More

photo of Roxanne Downer

Roxanne Downer


Roxanne Downer is a commerce editor at Today’s Homeowner, where she tackles everything from foundation repair to solar panel installation. She brings more than 15 years of writing and editing experience to bear in her meticulous approach to ensuring accurate, up-to-date, and engaging content. She’s previously edited for outlets including MSN, Architectural Digest, and Better Homes & Gardens. An alumna of the University of Pennsylvania, Roxanne is now an Oklahoma homeowner, DIY enthusiast, and the proud parent of a playful pug.

Learn More

Connect With Local HVAC Pros in Your City