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 confusing terms. You’ll want to get acquainted with some of these acronyms and other frequently used terms to be able to successfully research your purchase—particularly the terms that help explain 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 level. It’s best 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 not usually explained very well. ENERGY STAR was established 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 endure rigorous third-party testing and meet the many requirements to become ENERGY STAR certified. So, when you spot the blue ENERGY STAR label while you’re shopping 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 most efficient products among those that are ENERGY STAR certified. These exceptional products represent the leading edge in energy efficient products every year. SEER – Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio The Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio (SEER) is a measure of your air conditioner’s or heat pump’s cooling efficiency. The big 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 certain 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 you’ve had your air conditioner for a while, the SEER rating could be as low as 8, while newer, 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 search or if you need help with your air conditioner replacement, call iTemp Heating and Air Conditioning in Chicago at 773-704-0640 or set up an appointment online.