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What Does an Energy-Efficiency Rating Mean?

Home air conditioning is a necessity if you want a comfortable indoor temperature year-round. While choosing the appropriate air conditioning system for your space, you must have come across the term “energy-efficiency rating,” or EER. These ratings play a crucial role in determining electricity consumption and keeping your electricity bills from skyrocketing.

Ever wondered what this rating indicates and why should you choose a high EER-rated air conditioning system for your premises? Unfortunately, most air conditioning manufacturers do not provide any guidance for interpreting the efficiency ratings, leaving the users thoroughly confused.
That’s why Entek is here. We have made it easy for you to understand what energy-efficiency rating means and why it’s crucial.


What Is Energy-Efficiency Rating?

Simply put, EER represents the cooling capacity of an air conditioning system. To calculate the EER of an air conditioner, you need to divide the cooling output by the total energy usage. The cooling output is expressed in British Thermal Units, or BTUs, whereas the power consumption is expressed in watts.

So, for instance, if you have a 10,000 BTU air conditioner that consumes 1,200 Watts, the EER of the air conditioner is:

10,000 / 1,200 = 8.3 EER

EER provides you with a fair estimate of how efficiently your air conditioning system will perform depending on the specific outside (95°F) and indoor (80°F) temperatures. It also accounts for the humidity in the air since the ratio demonstrates how the air conditioner performs while providing maximum cooling. Typically, an EER of 12 or above is regarded as being energy efficient.

What Are the Advantages of Choosing Air Conditioning with Higher EER?
A higher EER indicates a more energy-efficient air conditioner. Whenever you are choosing an air conditioning unit, always make sure to check the ENERGY STAR label that includes the EER.

Apart from that, here are some other benefits of opting for a higher EER:

1. Reduce your carbon footprint

In light of the ongoing climate-change crisis, our day-to-day activities must be aimed toward lowering the overall carbon footprint. Currently, the average carbon footprint for a person living in the United States is 16 tons, one of the highest across the globe, while the global average stands at merely 4 tons.

Minimizing the emission of greenhouse gases that pose a severe threat to the atmosphere is one of the ways to reduce your carbon footprint. According to a report published by the UN Environment Program and the International Energy Agency, shifting to energy-efficient air conditioning appliances can reduce 460 billion metric tons of global greenhouse gas emissions.

That’s why opting for an air conditioning system with higher EER is smart since these units use eco-friendlier components instead of greenhouse gases like chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs).

2. Save more on your utility bills

Heating and cooling systems utilize a significant amount of energy. Consequently, they are one of the most significant expenditures in any household. On average, these systems constitute a larger chunk of your utility bills—approximately 48 percent.

But here’s the good news—the power to save on your electricity bills lies with you. It’s that simple!

air conditioning with higher EER = lower consumption of energy

As a result, you pay a lower electricity bill and increase your savings. The US Department of Energy also recommends installing an ENERGY STAR–qualified air conditioning unit to lower your cooling costs.

3. Enjoy better cooling and overall performance

By definition, EER provides you with the ratio between the cooling output of an air conditioner and the power consumed. Therefore, air conditioners with higher EER provide better cooling for every watt of electrical energy consumed.

Moreover, cooling units with a higher EER are more durable compared to those with lower EER. You don’t have to spend a fortune to get these units repaired as breakdowns are few and far between. In case your cooling unit is old and doesn’t provide sufficient cool air, it’s time to consider an energy-efficient model.

How Is EER Different from SEER?

The seasonal energy-efficiency ratio (SEER) represents the energy efficiency of a cooling unit. Unlike EER, which is determined in a laboratory setting that simulates an indoor and outdoor environment, SEER represents the average EER over various outdoor temperatures, ranging from 65° to 104°F.
To determine the SEER, you need to divide the cooling output for an average season by the total electrical consumption during that season. That’s why SEER is considered as an indicator of the average energy-efficiency rating of the cooling unit to understand its performance during a season.

Just like EER, a higher SEER also represents higher efficiency of the unit. A unit with a higher SEER will also help you reduce costs, as the cooling unit will utilize less energy to maintain a comfortable temperature.
Since 2015, the Department of Energy has specified minimum energy-efficiency standards for various home appliances, including cooling units. As per the Department, the minimum SEER for air conditioning systems for northern states is 13.

In contrast, EER indicates the energy efficiency of the cooling unit at specific temperatures. As EER is determined based on a particular temperature, it’s an essential factor for extremely hot regions, such as southwestern states.

Please note that both EER and SEER depend on various factors, including the location of the house, the size of the house, and your lifestyle.

Curious to Know More About Energy-Efficient Air Conditioning?

While SEER and EER are useful tools in determining a unit’s efficiency, it can still be challenging to settle on the best cooling or heating system for your residential or commercial property. Choosing the wrong unit can completely drain your budget.

This is where the team of professionals at Entek can help you. We offer home cooling comfort services in the Pacific Northwest and ensure that your air conditioning unit operates at maximum efficiency.

Our experts evaluate your home, identify the potential energy-saving improvements, and suggest efficient cooling solutions to make your life more comfortable. In case you need an emergency installation or repair of your air-conditioning, call us at (800) 633-1354.

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