Understanding Efficiency Ratings On A/C Units

seer energy ratingEnergy efficient HVAC systems in Los Angeles aren’t just nice to have, they’re a must if you want to stay cool and still have some cash left over. Knowing how to interpret A/C efficiency ratings will help you find a system with the efficiency you need.

SEER: the First Rating to Check

The Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio (SEER) tells you how much electrical energy the air conditioner uses compared to how much cooling it provides over the cooling season. It’s calculated based on an outdoor air temperature of 82 degrees and an indoor temperature of 80 degrees, but also factors in variations in how often the system runs during the cooling season.

A higher SEER means a more energy efficient system, but buying the most efficient system you can find isn’t always the most cost-effective choice. The more efficient the system, the more it costs to buy. In the relatively mild LA climate, you’re unlikely to use your A/C often enough to recoup your investment in a very high efficiency system. This is even more true if you plan to move within the next 10 years.

In our area, most homes do well with a SEER of around 16, but an HVAC technician can help you choose the best option based on your individual needs.

EER: A Snapshot of Efficiency

The Energy Efficiency Ratio (EER) is an older, less nuanced measurement of efficiency. It tells you how much energy a system uses over how much cooling it provides at one moment in time. It’s measured using an outdoor temperature of 95 degrees and an indoor temperature of 80 degrees with no accounting for variations in how the A/C runs throughout the cooling season.

This gives you a snapshot of how efficient the system is when those conditions are met. A higher EER means greater efficiency, but this ratio is more useful in dry climates, and less so in humid Los Angeles.

For guidance on finding energy efficient HVAC systems in Los Angeles, contact us at Reliance Home Services.