How is Air Conditioner Efficiency Measured?

How is the Efficiency of My Air Conditioner Measured?

Updated: 06/08/2021

Whether you’re a homeowner trying to reduce your electricity bills, or you’re a business owner looking to make your office more eco-friendly, the EER (energy efficiency rating) of your air conditioning unit is something you shouldn’t ignore. If you’re shopping around for a new air conditioner, you might have noticed that each unit has an EER written somewhere on its specification sheet. But what exactly does it mean?

What is an EER?

The EER, which stands for “energy efficiency rating” or “energy efficiency ratio”, refers to the air conditioner’s energy efficiency. It is the ratio of the air conditioner’s cooling capacity (measured in BTUs) to the power input (measured in watts). As a rule of thumb, the higher the EER, the more efficient the air conditioning unit is.

For example: An air conditioner that has a cooling capacity of 10,000 BTUs has an EER of 10. This means that the air conditioner would need 1,000 watts of power in order to produce 10,000 BTUs of cooling energy

Similarly, you can calculate an air conditioner’s EER by dividing its cooling capacity by its power input. Let’s say you have a 12,000 BTUs air conditioner that requires 1,000 watts. Through simple maths, its EER would be 12 (12,000 BTUs / 1,000 watts).

What is considered a good EER?

Want to know if an air conditioner is energy-efficient? Check its EER.

An air conditioner with an EER of 12 is considered energy-efficient. However, it is important to note that each air conditioning unit’s EER is based on a certain set of conditions:

  • Outdoor temperature of 95 degrees Fahrenheit
  • Indoor temperature of 80 degrees Fahrenheit
  • Relative humidity of 50 percent

This means that even with an EER of 12, the air conditioner may perform less efficiently if it is installed in a room that’s warmer or more humid than average.

Is the EER the same as SEER?

You’ve likely heard about SEER, too. So, what’s the difference?

Basically, EER ratings are for room air conditioners while SEER ratings are for central air conditioners. SEER, which stands for Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio, measures the average energy efficiency rating of the unit based on varying outdoor temperatures. Air conditioners with SEER ratings are ideal if you’re living in an area where there is a distinct difference between the seasons.

What air conditioning units are energy-efficient?

Pay a quick visit to your local hardware store and ask any of their technicians to help you find an energy-efficient HVAC system. Units that have the Energy Star® logo are typically more energy-efficient than standard models -- plus, they can help you save approximately 8% on your electricity bills.

Final thoughts

Even if you purchase the most energy-efficient air conditioner out there, it won’t run efficiently unless you schedule regular inspections with a professional HVAC technician. He or she will carefully examine your air conditioner and identify any issues that may be preventing it from running at 100% efficiency. By catching these issues early on, you can enjoy comfortable cooling for years to come.

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