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 familiarize yourself with some of these acronyms and other common terms to be able to successfully research your purchase—notably the terms that help interpret energy efficiency. Let’s look at some of these terms. What is EER? EER stands for “energy-efficiency ratio.” It measures the energy efficiency of an air conditioner when the temperature outside is at or above a certain temperature. 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 saving money on energy in no time. ENERGY STAR® Certification You’ve probably heard of ENERGY STAR certification, but it’s commonly not explained very well. ENERGY STAR was started in 1992 by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. It was designed to protect the environment while helping consumers save money on energy by using more energy-efficient products. Products must undergo rigorous third-party testing and meet all of the requirements to become ENERGY STAR certified. So, when you spot the blue ENERGY STAR label while you’re looking 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 most efficient products among those that are ENERGY STAR certified. These extraordinary products represent the leading edge in energy efficient products each 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 major difference between SEER ratings and EER ratings is that SEER is a measurement of 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 show the system has better energy efficiency. More energy efficiency leads to more money savings and a lower impact on the environment. If you have an older air conditioner, 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 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 advice about your air conditioner replacement, call Beck Cohen in Charlottesville at 434-296-0129 or set up an appointment online.