Is That Your Air Conditioner Talking?
The Language of Energy Efficiency
Okay, maybe we’ve been around this equipment too long! Yet any profession has its own “language” and these words are often tossed around, assuming everyone speaks that language. This can be confusing, so…
To clear things, we’ve printed a very short glossary of very important terms and acronyms to help you and others in and around Washington, D.C. shop smarter.
“What the heck does EnergyStar mean?”
When a system says “EnergyStar” on it, you can rest assured this government-backed efficiency program has determined this system is among the most efficient, often saving you up to 20% in energy. (Or more if your system is over 10 years old.)
“Why all the talk about ‘SEER’ Rating?” This is the Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio (SEER) which is a scientific term that is essentially like gas mileage for a car, the higher the better.
The word “seasonal” is a key. SEER measures how efficiently a cooling system will operate over an entire season. If you want to sound really smart the next time this comes up (!), just know that SEER is a rating of the cooling output in Btu (British thermal unit) divided by the total electric energy input in watt-hours during the same period. Okay, are you confused yet?
Just know, “higher is more efficient” and that’s good enough. A 13 SEER is the minimum, and yet some super efficient models can boast about 20+ SEER. So, shop according to how much you want to save on energy.
“Some systems say ‘EER.’ Is that the same thing as SEER?” Not quite. SEER is an overall seasonal rating, EER (Energy Efficiency Ratio) is how efficiently a cooling system operates at a specific point – generally, when the outdoor temperature is at 95 degrees. Again, the higher the EER, the more efficient the system.
ENERGY STAR uses both of these specifications – SEER for overall seasonal performance and EER for peak operational times. And both ratings will be important to you when choosing a product.
Okay, now you’ve learned 3 super easy terms to remember, that can all add up to more savings and better shopping for your next cooling system. And if you want any friendly, knowledgeable information to help guide you, that’s why we’re here. We can easily schedule a no-obligation Energy Survey at your home and at your convenience. We look forward to talking with you. But if you see us talking to your system, just know we speak its language!