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 confusing terms. You’ll want to become familiar 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 go through 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. Look for higher ratings on this one because the higher the EER rating is, the greater the energy efficiency. You could be saving money on energy 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 established in 1992 by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. The goal was to protect the environment while at the same time saving consumer’s money on energy by using more energy-efficient products. Products must endure rigorous third-party testing and meet the many requirements to become ENERGY STAR certified. So, when you notice the blue ENERGY STAR label while you’re shopping 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 most efficient products among those that are ENERGY STAR certified. These phenomenal products represent the leading edge in energy efficient products each year.

SEER – Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio

The Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio (SEER) represents a measurement of your air conditioner’s or heat pump’s cooling efficiency. The major 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 are an indication of better energy efficiency. More energy efficiency equals 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 current, more efficient models range from ratings of 13 – 23.

Of course you’ll find more acronyms and unfamiliar jargon 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 quest or if you need advice about your air conditioner replacement, call Garoken Energy Co. Inc. in Beaverton at 503-374-1934.