Are you looking to purchase an air conditioner? Besides looking at factors like size, size of your home, and type, you should also consider the unit’s energy efficiency. Homeowners look for the most energy-efficient unit regardless of the cost. They understand that the unit will pay itself back with time in energy savings. There are many units measuring energy efficiency, among them being EER and SEER. However, another lesser-known unit of energy efficiency that your AC repair company would want you to know is the Combined Energy Efficiency Ratio or CEER. What is it?
Whether you are using a window, ductless, central air conditioner, or even shopping for one, you know that they’ll use energy, particularly electricity. Homeowners in the US spend an average amount of electrical power between $85-$150, amounting to about 2% of the annual income. Hence, homeowners look for AC units that are energy efficient. The last thing they want is to “break the bank” by paying those monthly electricity bills.
When purchasing an HVAC, the primary number that most homeowners look for is the British Thermal Unit, BTU output. This is the cooling capacity of that air conditioner or the amount of heat the unit removes every hour. They then use this to approximate the size that the unit will cool. For instance, most window ACs have a cooling capacity of 6000-24000 BTUs. Remember, BTU doesn’t tell the entire story. For instance, what electrical power does your unit need to push the BTUs? What is the energy efficiency of the said unit? Talking with a reliable AC repair company before purchasing the unit would be best, as there are different measures.
The US Department of Energy changed how window air conditioners were rated in June 2014. Your reliable AC repair company can tell you that this information can be very useful in comparing one AC model with the other to ensure that you choose the unit that will save you on those electrical bills. After all, even the companies use the same information; their experience must be understood. Today, you will also find ENERGY STAR-certified air conditioning units.
CEER is a newer energy efficiency rating. However, you can still find the older method called the energy efficiency ratio or EER, particularly those that have taken a long time before getting sold. The other energy efficiency rating is the Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio, abbreviated SEER. Consult your AC repair company to ensure you get a wallet-friendly unit for your energy use.
Energy Efficiency Ratio has been used for measuring the efficiency of most of your home appliances since it was introduced in 1975. For window air conditioners, the EER is measured under particular conditions; indoor specific humidity of 50%, outdoor temperature of 95 degrees Fahrenheit, and an indoor thermostat setting of 80 degrees Fahrenheit. This ratio shows how each window or room AC cools your home under those conditions. It is worth noting that your AC’s efficiency will take a toll if the components are not functioning efficiently. Hence, it would be best to have an AC repair company come for periodic maintenance. Air conditioners have changed a lot over the years. Today, they use energy when plugged in, even if your AC unit isn’t running. Thus, there is a need for a change in how the efficiency of these units is measured.
Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio is a measure similar to EER except that instead of just a specific outdoor temperature in the formula, it calculates the energy efficiency of your unit during different times in the entire cooling season. The air conditioning unit is tested while pulling in the air having different temperatures and taking the average of its results for the SEER number. The Combined Energy Efficiency Ratio also uses similar factors to measure how well a unit cools your home when it runs. However, CEER also factors in the amount of energy the air conditioner will use in standby mode. Today, your AC repair company will likely recommend that you give due attention to CEER over SEER and EER as it gives a more inclusive energy efficiency rating.
Is “Standby” not the same as “Off?” Well, not exactly. Many window air conditioners feature remote control capabilities, a clock, a digital temperature display, and an integrated programmable timer. These features draw small amounts of power each, whether the unit is running. Combined, the amount of power consumed by these features can be huge at the end of the month, considering that most homeowners have their units running 24/7. The unit’s power can further increase if the unit has problems like clogged filters or a damaged compressor. Hence, always have an AC repair company give your unit a yearly maintenance service.
It is expressed as a number. Your AC repair company will recommend purchasing a higher number unit since the higher the CEER rating, the higher the energy efficiency. Most popular window ACs have a CEER that ranges between 9.8-15.
It is worth noting that CEER doesn’t increase with your unit’s size (in cooling capacity terms). Hence, don’t just look at the BTUs and assume a higher BTU means a higher CEER. Ensure that you compare the two readings. Since harmonizing the cooling capacity needed and energy efficiency can sometimes be mind-boggling, ensure that you enlist the help of your reliable AC repair company. This CEER number can be found on the Energy Rating Label.
Do you need help choosing an AC unit? Contact us at Pitzer’s One Hour Air Conditioning & Heating of Mohave County. With many years of experience, our technicians will help you select the most energy-efficient unit that will sufficiently cool your home. Call us now to get started.
See our previous post on this topic here.