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 full of acronyms and confusing terms. You’ll want to get acquainted with a number of these acronyms and other common terms to be able to successfully research your purchase—particularly the terms that help describe energy efficiency. Let’s look at some of these terms. What is EER? EER means “energy-efficiency ratio.” It measures the energy efficiency of an air conditioner when the temperature outside 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’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. 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 undergo rigorous third-party testing and meet the many requirements to become ENERGY STAR certified. So, when you see the blue ENERGY STAR label while you’re looking 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 exceptional 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 big difference between SEER ratings and EER ratings is that SEER is the degree of an air conditioner’s efficiency over a complete 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 equates to more money savings and less of an impact on the environment. If your air conditioner is getting up there in age, the SEER rating could be as low as 8, while newer, 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 more knowledgeable by knowing these terms. If you have any questions about terminology you come across in your research or if you need assistance with your air conditioner replacement, call Tri City Fuel & Heating Co., Inc. in West Columbia at 803-796-9172 or set up an appointment online.