Understanding HVAC Ratings before an Air Conditioner Replacement

April 30, 2015

When the time comes for air conditioner replacement, the HVAC industry can feel as though it’s full of acronyms and terms that may be a bit confusing. However, if you want to get the most out of all the research you’re doing, you’ll want to familiarize yourself with some of the most common terms. A lot of the terms reference efficiency factors that can help you save money month after month. So next time you have to think through an air conditioner replacement, be sure to refresh your memory on these terms.

What is EER?

The EER, or energy-efficiency ratio, measures how efficiently the air conditioner will operate when the outdoor temperature is at a specific level. The higher the EER rating, the higher the efficiency, so when you’re looking for air conditioner replacement be sure to look for higher ratings so you can take advantage of all the savings they can bring you.


ENERGY STAR® Certification

Most consumers have heard of ENERGY STAR certifications, but rarely is it really explained. In 1992, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency established ENERGY STAR to help consumers save money on their energy expenses and protect the environment by using more energy efficient products. ENERGY STAR certification is earned through rigorous third-party testing, and products must meet a certain number of requirements. So when it’s time for air conditioner replacement, make sure to look for the blue label with the ENERGY STAR logo on its packaging.

SEER – Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio

The Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio, usually referenced as SEER, measures the cooling efficiency of your air conditioner or heat pump. Again, the higher the rating a product has, the greater the energy efficiency. That also means more savings for you and less impact on the environment. SEER ratings can greatly rely on the age of your current air conditioner, ranging from as low as 8 on older products, to today’s range of 13-23.

The largest difference between EER and SEER is that SEER measures your air conditioner’s efficiency over an entire cooling season versus only one outdoor temperature like EER.

When searching for an air conditioner replacement, you’ll quickly learn that there are a lot more acronyms and terms than the couple we’ve listed here, but these will give you a better understanding of a few common ones. To learn more about your air conditioner replacement choices or dig deeper in to the meaning of these terms, contact your local Cedar Rapids HVAC experts at Ilten's Incorporated.