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How Do HVAC/R Compressors Affect SEER Ratings?

HVAC/R Compressors Affect SEER Ratings. System sizing and compressor technologies are two of the aspects business professionals should consider before replacing a commercial or industrial HVAC system. Proper system sizing combined with the right compressor technologies will allow you to get the SEER rating you’ve paid for and keep your indoor environment comfortable for your customers and employees.

Understanding the Connection between HVAC Compressors and System Efficiency

When an HVAC compressor fails, a financially justifiable decision would be to replace it with a more efficient model, if available. Opting for a more efficient HVAC compressor also makes sense if the existing compressor has become obsolete.

In these situations, choosing a more efficient compressor replacement can help you improve the overall efficiency of your HVAC system, which can bring you significant energy savings.

Over the years, new compressor technologies have set a series of new industry standards. One such technology is the variable speed capacity regulation. Although the compressors equipped with variable speed technologies run continuously, they provide far more efficiency and often have higher SEER ratings than comparable conventional compressors.

In a nutshell, variable speed compressors use frequency modulation to adjust the power output so they can speed up or slow down according to the fluctuating thermal loads throughout buildings. This ability to modulate the capacity of the compressor based on the environment translates into fewer on and off cycles. As this significantly reduces the wear and tear on the compressor and other components, your HVAC system will require less maintenance and fewer repairs.

Unlike variable speed compressors, conventional compressors either run at full speed or switch off completely. This basically means that a conventional compressor will need to cycle on and off more frequently in order to match thermostat settings as close as possible. Because compressors require more energy to start than to run continuously at varying speeds, frequent cycling means significant power losses, decreased efficiency, and lower SEER ratings, implicitly.

According to a recent study conducted by the University of Illinois, repetitive compressor cycles can reduce the efficiency of an HVAC system by up to 7.5%. By managing varying temperatures and humidity load requirements in an efficient manner, modulating compressor technologies provide an excellent solution for the specific challenges facing the HVAC industry, especially in commercial and industrial applications.

With longer run times and fewer on and off cycles comes the added benefit of a more accurate temperature and humidity control. This can be an important factor in choosing a variable speed compressor over a conventional model.

Additional Benefits

Besides increasing the energy efficiency of HVAC systems and their SEER ratings, variable speed compressor models can come equipped with other technologies, such as power electronic controls. These controls can protect compressors from failure in ways conventional systems aren’t capable of.

For instance, the motor control drive in variable speed systems is located between the utility line and the compressor. As a result, the motor control drive monitors and adjusts the power required, ensuring optimal system operation and protecting the compressor from harmful circumstances.

With plenty of experience in the compressor remanufacturing industry, Compressors Unlimited offers a full line of remanufactured and new compressors that are stocked and ready for immediate delivery. As we are committed to quality, our customers can rest assured knowing that all of our remanufactured compressors meet the latest industry standards. Now that you know how HVAC/R compressors affect SEER ratings, learn more about the compressor models we make available! Get in touch with Compressor Unlimited today!  

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