Understanding SEER and EER

It’s easy to get confused about heating and air conditioning terminology when there are so many acronyms to remember. Especially when it comes to energy efficiency, consumers can get thrown off by the sheer number abbreviations and acronyms. What does it all mean? Understanding the basics of air conditioning efficiency can help you be a more informed consumer when it comes time for your air conditioner to be replaced or repaired. If you need to find out more information regarding AC repair in Jacksonville FL, then there are two important acronyms you need to understand: EER and SEER.

Energy Efficiency Ratio

The Energy Efficiency Ratio, or EER, measures the energy used by an air conditioner. The EER rating is based on the relationship between the watts and the total cooling capacity. You can calculate the ratio by figuring out how much energy is needed to cool a home when the weather is 95 degrees Fahrenheit. This measurement is expressed in BTU/watt. For example, if you own a 10,000 BTU air conditioner and it consumes 1200 watts, the EER rating would be 8.3 or 10,000/1200.

The EER rating is most often used to measure the energy efficiency of portable or window unit air conditioners. The higher the EER rating, the more efficient system. Energy Star rated air conditioners must have an EER of 11. This is a good rating to aim for if you are interested in replacing or upgrading your air conditioning unit. If you are interested in purchasing a new room air conditioner, be sure to compare the EER rating of each brand. All air conditioners are required to have an EER rating from 8 to 11.5. If you aren’t sure where to find the rating, you can look for the yellow Energy Guide label.

Although the initial investment is higher, purchasing an energy efficient air conditioner can save homeowners money over time. A higher EER rating can also help to lower energy bills during hot months. This is especially important for those hot and muggy Jacksonville summers. Those living in a hotter climate will see much more savings from higher EER rated appliances.

Each year, 119 tons of carbon dioxide is produced by air conditioners. That’s a lot of pollution! Of course, energy efficient air conditioners are also better for our environment than older or less efficient models. That means in addition to savings, you can also feel good about reducing greenhouse emissions. If your inefficient unit needs AC repair in Jacksonville FL, you may be contributing to harmful emissions.

Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio

Another method of measuring energy efficiency in air conditioners is known as the “seasonal energy efficiency ratio” or SEER. SEER is typically used to measure efficiency in central air conditioning units. As the name suggests, SEER measures the efficiency of of your air conditioner over the entire season rather than at a certain temperature. This measurement is calculated by comparing the number of BTUs used by the air conditioner during the annual season in relation to the electricity that is exerted. In order to earn an Energy Star rating, air conditioners must have a SEER rating of at least 14.

Over the last ten years, the heating and cooling industry has made great progress in increasing the efficiency of air conditioners. We are now seeing air conditioning units with SEER ratings as high as 24. This is incredible progress when you consider that in 1992, the minimum SEER rating was only 10. If you are considering AC repair in Jacksonville FL where units run for much of the year, you are encouraged to purchase a unit that is at least SEER 16. In contrast to EER, which uses the constant of 95 degrees, SEER accounts for temperature variations, as well as capacity load. Due to these differences, SEER ratings can vary up to 25%. This is also important to keep in mind when shopping for a new unit.

Time for a New Air Conditioner?

After learning a little bit about EER and SEER ratings, you might be wondering if it’s time for AC repair in Jacksonville FL or if you need to replace your inefficient air conditioning unit. There are a variety of factors that come into play when making this decision. If your unit is more than ten years old, you could probably save a significant amount of money due to increased efficiency and lower maintenance costs. If you notice that your home is cooling unevenly or not at all, this is another major sign that it’s time to replace your air conditioner. If you experience leaking or pools of water coming from your air conditioning unit, this is also a red flag.

Still confused by all this HVAC terminology? You aren’t alone. It’s difficult for many homeowners to understand the difference between EER and SEER and why these terns are important. Whether you are shopping for a new air conditioner or need AC repair in Jacksonville FL, you should consult an experienced HVAC company. A licensed, HVAC professional can explain these concepts, and help you determine whether your air conditioner can be repaired or if it’s time to purchase a new unit.


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