Understanding HVAC Ratings before an Air Conditioner Replacement 04/30/2015 When you’re looking into an air conditioner replacement, you’ll find that the HVAC industry is riddled with acronyms and baffling terms. You’ll want to become familiar with a number of these acronyms and other frequently used terms to be able to successfully research your purchase—notably the terms that help explain energy efficiency. Let’s learn some of these terms. What is EER? EER stands for “energy-efficiency ratio.” It measures the energy efficiency of an air conditioner when the outside temperature is at or above a certain level. It’s best to go with the 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 established 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’ll be certain it will save 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 the degree of your air conditioner’s or heat pump’s cooling efficiency. The big difference between SEER ratings and EER ratings is that SEER is the degree of an air conditioner’s efficiency over 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 decreased 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 terms 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 quest or if you need advice about your air conditioner replacement, call O'Brien Heating & Air Conditioning in the Main Line at 610-626-2540 or set up an appointment online.