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 baffling terms. You’ll want to get acquainted with a few of these acronyms and other frequently used 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 stands for “energy-efficiency ratio.” It measures the energy efficiency of an air conditioner when the outdoor temperature is at or above a certain level. You’ll want to go with the higher ratings on this one because the higher the EER rating is, the more energy efficient the model is. You could be seeing lower utility bills in no time. ENERGY STAR® Certification You’re most likely familiar with ENERGY STAR certification, but it’s sometimes not explained very well. ENERGY STAR was started in 1992 by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. The objective was to protect the environment while helping consumers save money on energy by using more energy-efficient products. Products must endure rigorous third-party testing and meet all of the requirements to become ENERGY STAR certified. So, when you notice 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 exceptional 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 measures 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 show the system has better energy efficiency. More energy efficiency equates to more money savings and a decreased 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. It’s almost certain 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 knowing these terms. If you have any questions about terminology you come across in your quest or if you need assistance with your air conditioner replacement, call Central Air Inc in Portland Metro at 503-656-1908 or set up an appointment online.