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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 riddled with acronyms and perplexing terms. You’ll want to get acquainted with some of these acronyms and other frequently used 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 is an acronym for “energy-efficiency ratio.” It measures the energy efficiency of an air conditioner when the outside temperature is at or above a certain degree. You’ll want to go with the higher ratings on this one because the higher the EER rating is, the higher the energy efficiency. You could be saving money on energy in no time.

ENERGY STAR® Certification

You’re probably familiar with ENERGY STAR certification, but it’s commonly not explained very well. ENERGY STAR was started 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 pass rigorous third-party testing and meet the many requirements to become ENERGY STAR certified. So, when you spot the blue ENERGY STAR label while you’re in the market for an air conditioner replacement, you can count on it saving you money.

ENERGY STAR - Most Efficient

The ENERGY STAR Most Efficient designation recognizes the products with the greatest efficiency among those that are ENERGY STAR certified. These phenomenal products represent the leading edge in energy efficient products every 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 most notable 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 set temperature level. Like the EER ratings, higher the SEER ratings mean better energy efficiency. More energy efficiency equals more money savings and less of an 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.

It’s almost certain you’ll find more acronyms and unfamiliar lingo when you are in the market for 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 quest or if you need advice about your air conditioner replacement, call PWA Heating & Cooling Inc in Plainfield at 815-410-1231.