Understanding HVAC Ratings before an Air Conditioner Replacement 04/30/2015 When it’s time for air conditioner replacement, the HVAC industry can feel like it’s full of acronyms and terms that may be a little confusing. However, if you want to get the most out of all the research you’re doing, you’ll want to acquaint yourself with some of the most common terms. A lot of the terms reference efficiency factors that can help you save money during the entire year. 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 certain level. The higher the EER rating, the more efficient, so when you’re looking for air conditioner replacement be sure to try to find higher ratings so you can take advantage of all the savings they can bring you. ENERGY STAR® Certification Most consumers are familiar with ENERGY STAR certifications, but rarely is it actually defined. 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 the package. SEER – Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio The Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio, typically referenced as SEER, measures the cooling efficiency of your air conditioner or heat pump. Again, the higher the rating a product receives, the better the energy efficiency. That also means more savings for you and a smaller impact on the environment. SEER ratings can greatly rely on the age of your current air conditioner, going from as low as 8 on older products, to today’s range of 13-23. The most noticeable difference between EER and SEER is that SEER measures your air conditioner’s efficiency over an entire cooling season versus one outdoor temperature like EER. When looking for an air conditioner replacement, you’ll quickly realize that there are a lot more acronyms and terms than the three 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 options or dig deeper in to the meaning of these terms, contact your local Columbia HVAC pros at Watts Electric & A/C Inc.