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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 full of acronyms and perplexing terms. You’ll want to familiarize yourself with some of these acronyms and other typically used terms to be able to successfully research your purchase—notably the terms that help describe 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 paying less on your energy 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 started in 1992 by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. The goal 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 a specific number of 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 most efficient products among those that are ENERGY STAR certified. These extraordinary products represent the leading edge in energy efficient products every 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 big 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 are an indication of better energy efficiency. More energy efficiency equates to more money savings and less of an 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.

You’ll certainly find more acronyms and unfamiliar jargon when you are looking into your air conditioner replacement, but you’ll be more knowledgeable by knowing these terms. If you have any questions about terminology you come across in your quest or if you need help with your air conditioner replacement, call Three Rivers Heating & Cooling in Portland at 503-213-4433.