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 confusing 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—especially the terms that help interpret energy efficiency. Let’s go through some of these terms. What is EER? EER stands for “energy-efficiency ratio.” It measures the energy efficiency of an air conditioner when the outdoor 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 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. 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 pass rigorous third-party testing and meet a specific number of requirements to become ENERGY STAR certified. So, when you notice 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 extraordinary products represent the leading edge in energy efficient products year after 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 the degree of an air conditioner’s efficiency over 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 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 recent, more efficient models range from ratings of 13 – 23. Of course you’ll find more acronyms and unfamiliar lingo when you are looking into 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 Southern Heating & Cooling Inc. in Scottsboro at 256-574-1300 or set up an appointment online.