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 filled to the brim with acronyms and perplexing terms. You’ll want to familiarize yourself with a number of these acronyms and other common terms to be able to successfully research your purchase—especially the terms that help interpret energy efficiency. Let’s go through 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 temperature. It’s best to go with the higher ratings on this one because the higher the EER rating is, the higher the energy efficiency. You could be paying less on your energy bills in no time. ENERGY STAR® Certification You’re probably familiar with ENERGY STAR certification, but it’s not usually explained very well. ENERGY STAR was established in 1992 by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. The objective was to protect the environment while saving money on energy by using more energy-efficient products. Products must pass rigorous third-party testing and meet a specific number of requirements to become ENERGY STAR certified. So, when you see the blue ENERGY STAR label while you’re in the market for an air conditioner replacement, you’ll know it’ll save you money. ENERGY STAR - Most Efficient The ENERGY STAR Most Efficient designation recognizes the products with the higest efficiency among those that are ENERGY STAR certified. These extraordinary products represent the leading edge in energy efficient products year after 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 most notable 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 designated temperature level. Like the EER ratings, higher the SEER ratings are an indication of better energy efficiency. More energy efficiency leads to more money savings and less of an impact on the environment. If you’ve had your air conditioner for a while, 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 terms when you are researching 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 search or if you need assistance with your air conditioner replacement, call Hillcrest Air Conditioning & Plumbing in Bakersfield at 661-437-3499 or set up an appointment online.