Understanding HVAC Ratings before an Air Conditioner Replacement

April 30, 2015

When it’s time for air conditioner replacement, the HVAC industry can seem as though 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 become familiar 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 when you have to think about 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 run when the outdoor temperature is at a specific level. The higher the EER rating, the greater the efficiency, so when you’re in the market 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 know about ENERGY STAR certifications, but rarely is it truly 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 defined 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 box.

SEER – Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio

The Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio, more commonly referenced as SEER, measures the cooling efficiency of your air conditioner or heat pump. Again, the higher the rating a product gets, the greater the energy efficiency. That also means greater savings for you and a lower impact on the environment. SEER ratings can greatly rely on the age of your current air conditioner, ranging from as low as 8 on older products, to today’s range of 13-23.

The biggest difference between EER and SEER is that SEER measures your air conditioner’s efficiency over an entire cooling season versus a single outdoor temperature like EER.

When searching for an air conditioner replacement, you’ll quickly find out that there are a lot more acronyms and terms than the couple we’ve noted here, but these will give you a good understanding of a few common ones. To learn more about your air conditioner replacement choices or dig deeper in to the meaning of these terms, contact your local Kearney HVAC pros at Thurston Heating & Air Conditioning.