What Are Air Conditioner Efficiency Ratings? | Explained
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Air Conditioner Ratings

Every homeowner knows that purchasing a new central air conditioning system is a big decision and it is important to have as much knowledge as possible regarding the various units available in the marketplace. Because A/C equipment uses a lot of electricity during the long hot days of summer, it is critical that you purchase one that is as energy efficient as possible. Air conditioning manufacturers use a lot of technical lingo when it comes to rating the efficiency of their products and this information can be sometimes difficult to decipher.

Central Air Conditioning Ratings

Here is some great information to help you understand how air conditioning systems are rated with regard to efficiency and energy consumption.

SEER (Seasonal Energy Efficient Ratio)

SEER is a rating that measures the energy use of air conditioning equipment based on actual seasonal temperatures, as compared to a controlled factory setting. The SEER is the ratio of cooling power as expressed in British Thermal Units (BTU), divided by the amount of electricity used in kilowatt hours. The SEER ratio is the most accurate way to determine an A/C unit’s efficiency over the course of a 12-month period. It is important to remember that the higher the SEER rating, the more energy efficient the unit is going to be to operate.
The U.S. Department of Energy mandates that air conditioning units installed in the northern part of the country have a SEER rating of at least 13. A/C units that are used in the warmer, southern states must have a minimum rating of 14. The good news is that today, most air conditioning systems far exceed these minimums, with SEER ratings of between 20-28.
Just to illustrate how critical a SEER rating can be to energy conservation, consider this. If a homeowner replaced their current A/C unit that has a SEER rating of 10 with one that is rated at 13, their household would save 30% on energy consumption. Further data from the EPA suggests that every dollar spent on improving air conditioning energy efficiency has a return on investment (ROI) of 2 to 1. If your central air unit is 10 or more years old, you will be amazed by how much money you will save by upgrading your equipment to a newer system.

Energy Efficiency Ratio (EER)

EER is similar to the SEER rating in the sense that both are measured the same way (cooling capacity divided by number of kilowatts used). However, while SEER ratings take into account seasonal temperature averages, the EER is calculated under controlled conditions that simulate peak loads during the hottest days of summer. Like the SEER rating scale, higher EER ratings are always better than lower ones. Industry experts advise that homeowners looking to purchase a new central A/C system should look at units that have an EER rating of between 11. 6 and 16.2.
The relationship between SEER and EER can be likened to a car that gets better mileage on the highway (SEER), than it does in urban areas (toughest conditions). Regardless whether you are more concerned about SEER vs. EER, purchasing the most efficient A/C system will save you lots of money in the long run.

Contact Us Today

Since 1964, Vredevoogd Heating & Cooling has been a family owned business, committed to providing the best HVAC services in the industry. When it comes time to purchase a new central air conditioning system for your home, you can count on us to expertly guide you through the decision making process. Let us put our 50+ years of experience in the business to work for you. Contact us today to learn more about why so many homeowners have chosen us to be their trusted HVAC services partner.

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