This note discusses performances of air conditioning systems, including heat pumps and chillers. It describes the efficiencies of systems so you can estimate how much energy a system may use. The discussion applies equally to residential, commercial, and industrial systems.
When we talk about the size of an air conditioning system (whether by tons of cooling, BTU/h, or kW), we are specifying the cooling capacity (power) of the system. The actual electrical power used to operate such a system is less. As described in this document, the electrical power used is one half to one third (or less) of the cooling power.1
In the US, the Department of Energy (DoE) set standards for the minimum performance of residential central air conditioners and heat pumps and this document lists some of those requirements.
COPs, EERs, and SEERs How efficient is your air conditioning system?