Understanding HVAC Ratings before an Air Conditioner Replacement

April 30, 2015

When you’re looking into an air conditioner replacement, you’ll find that the HVAC industry is full of acronyms and perplexing terms. You’ll want to familiarize yourself with a few of these acronyms and other common terms to be able to successfully research your purchase—notably the terms that help interpret energy efficiency. Let’s look at some of these terms.

What is EER?

EER means “energy-efficiency ratio.” It measures the energy efficiency of an air conditioner when the outside temperature is at or above a certain degree. Look for higher ratings on this one because the higher the EER rating is, the higher the energy efficiency. You could be paying less on your energy bills in no time.

ENERGY STAR® Certification

You’ve probably heard of ENERGY STAR certification, but it’s sometimes not explained very well. ENERGY STAR was created in 1992 by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. The objective was to protect the environment while helping consumers save money on energy by using more energy-efficient products. Products must undergo rigorous third-party testing and meet all of the requirements to become ENERGY STAR certified. So, when you see the blue ENERGY STAR label while you’re looking for an air conditioner replacement, you’ll be certain it will save you money.

ENERGY STAR - Most Efficient

The ENERGY STAR Most Efficient designation recognizes the products with the highest efficiency among those that are ENERGY STAR certified. These extraordinary products represent the leading edge in energy efficient products each year.

SEER – Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio

The Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio (SEER) is the degree of your air conditioner’s or heat pump’s cooling efficiency. The big difference between SEER ratings and EER ratings is that SEER is the degree of an air conditioner’s efficiency over a complete cooling season, rather than its efficiency at a set temperature level. Like the EER ratings, higher the SEER ratings are an indication of better energy efficiency. More energy efficiency leads to more money savings and a decreased impact on the environment. If you have an older air conditioner, the SEER rating could be as low as 8, while recent, more efficient models range from ratings of 13 – 23.

It’s almost certain you’ll find more acronyms and unfamiliar jargon when you are researching your air conditioner replacement, but you’ll be a lot more informed by being aquainted with these terms. If you have any questions about terminology you come across in your quest or if you need assistance with your air conditioner replacement, call Home Comfort Heating & Air in Elk River at 763-276-0617.