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Looking into Air Conditioning Efficiency: SEER and EER

money-savings-houseSpring is a good season of the year to take stock of an air conditioning system in a house and ask a few tough questions, such as “Is this AC over the hill and ready to be replaced?” You don’t want to head into the summer heat of New Jersey with an air conditioner liable to stop working at the worst time. (They always pick the worst time, as anyone with a history working in AC repair can tell you.) When you think you have an air conditioner at a high risk of dying during the coming summer, have our technicians assist you with a new AC installation.

One of the many reasons you want professionals for this job is because they can help you navigate the many stats for an AC to find the right one for your needs. Among the most vital of air conditioner stats are the two efficiency ratings, EER and SEER. Let’s take a close look at these.

What Air Conditioner Efficiency Actually Measures

Upfront, what do we mean when we talk about air conditioner efficiency? In simple terms, it means how well an AC unit uses electrical energy and converts it into cooling power. (Cooling power is actually the power to remove heat, which is measured in the amount of BTUs—British Thermal Units—an air conditioner draws from the air the blower then sends into living spaces.) A high efficiency air conditioner will produce the same amount of cooling as a lower efficiency air conditioner, but use less electricity to do it. All other factors being equal (which they rarely are), a higher efficiency AC costs less to run than a lower efficiency system.

EER = Energy Efficiency Ratio

EER is the baseline measure of efficiency. It’s the ratio of the amount of cooling in BTUs an air conditioner delivers to the amount of electricity consumed in watt-hours. It is measured over a single test with set indoor and outdoor temperatures and humidity. The higher the resulting number, the more efficient the system, and theoretically the less it costs to run.

SEER = Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio

Although EER is the baseline for determining efficiency, SEER gives a homeowner a better sense of the system’s overall performance and how it might conserve power and money. SEER is the same measure as EER, except it’s the average of multiple tests taken over a whole cooling season in a range of conditions. You can better anticipate the performance of an air conditioner using SEER.

Which Is More Important?

Here’s something to keep in mind: as we’ve cautioned a few times above, a higher efficiency rating isn’t a guarantee of actual money savings. A poorly selected AC will turn into a money-waster no matter its SEER or EER rating. You should aim for a high SEER rating (the rating you’ll look at the closest) but allow professionals to guide you toward a system that will let you actually enjoy those benefits.

We are the contractor to turn to when you want a great air conditioning replacement in Summit, NJ or the surrounding areas. We’ll assist you with finding the ideal new system to meet your comfort needs while saving you money.

Air Creations, Inc. We Dot It Right Since 1987!

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