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 baffling terms. You’ll want to get acquainted with a few of these acronyms and other typically used terms to be able to successfully research your purchase—particularly the terms that help interpret energy efficiency. Let’s look at 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 temperature. You’ll want to go with the higher ratings on this one because the higher the EER rating is, the greater the energy efficiency. You could be seeing lower utility bills in no time.

ENERGY STAR® Certification

You’re probably familiar with ENERGY STAR certification, but it’s sometimes not explained very well. ENERGY STAR was established in 1992 by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. It was designed to protect the environment while at the same time saving consumer’s money on energy by using more energy-efficient products. Products must undergo 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 looking 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 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 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 measures an air conditioner’s efficiency over the entire cooling season, rather than its efficiency at a certain temperature level. Like the EER ratings, higher the SEER ratings mean better energy efficiency. More energy efficiency equates to 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 current, more efficient models range from ratings of 13 – 23.

Of course you’ll find more acronyms and unfamiliar lingo 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 search or if you need assistance with your air conditioner replacement, call Colvin's Heating and Cooling in Excelsior Springs at 816-379-3918.