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 filled to the brim with acronyms and perplexing terms. You’ll want to familiarize yourself with some of these acronyms and other common terms to be able to successfully research your purchase—particularly the terms that help explain energy efficiency. Let’s learn 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 level. Look for higher ratings on this one because the higher the EER rating is, the more energy efficient the model is. You could be seeing lower utility bills in no time.

ENERGY STAR® Certification

You’re most likely familiar with ENERGY STAR certification, but it’s not usually explained very well. ENERGY STAR was created in 1992 by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. It was designed to protect the environment while saving money on energy by using more energy-efficient products. Products must pass rigorous third-party testing and meet a specific number of requirements to become ENERGY STAR certified. So, when you see the blue ENERGY STAR label while you’re shopping 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 exceptional products represent the leading edge in energy efficient products year after year.

SEER – Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio

The Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio (SEER) is a measure of your air conditioner’s or heat pump’s cooling efficiency. The big difference between SEER ratings and EER ratings is that SEER is a measurement of an air conditioner’s efficiency over throughout the entire cooling season, rather than its efficiency at a designated temperature level. Like the EER ratings, higher the SEER ratings show the system has better energy efficiency. More energy efficiency leads to more money savings and a lower impact on the environment. If your air conditioner is getting up there in age, the SEER rating could be as low as 8, while recent, more efficient models range from ratings of 13 – 23.

Of course you’ll find more acronyms and unfamiliar terms when you are researching your air conditioner replacement, but you’ll be more prepared by knowing these terms. If you have any questions about terminology you come across in your search or if you need help with your air conditioner replacement, call Precision Mechanical in Rapid City at 605-206-2564.