Los Angeles EER vs. SEER Ratings: How to Know the Difference
EER and SEER ratings both indicate how efficient air conditioners are, and they’re determined by testing both central air conditioners and heat pumps under laboratory conditions. The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) requires that the ratings be prominently displayed on all types of cooling units to provide consumers with a guide for determining energy efficiency.
The energy efficiency ratio (EER) and the seasonal energy efficiency ratio (SEER) both show efficiency. However, the primary difference between the the two is how they’re measured. EER is calculated by running cooling equipment for a shorter period under intense heat, while SEER indicates how efficient the system is over the course of a cooling season at moderate temperatures.
How They’re Measured
To find the EER, engineers raise the outdoor temperature to 95 degrees and measure how much electricity the air conditioner or heat pump uses to cool a space to 80 degrees. To find the SEER, the outdoor temperature is held at 82 degrees for an extended period time to cool a space to 80 degrees with an indoor humidity of 50 percent.
What to Look For
The DOE recently changed the minimum EER and SEER ratings for western states, including California. Not only did they raise the minimums, they also require both the EER and SEER are displayed on the EnergyGuide label. Because the western states have areas that experience extreme heat, disclosing both the SEER and EER helps consumers choose new systems that perform well during both moderate and high heat.
When you’re looking for a new heat pump or air conditioner, it’s just as important to look for one with a high SEER, whose minimum for our state stands at 14. The new minimum EER has to be 12.2 for a central heat pump or air conditioner with 45,000 British thermal units (BTUs) or less and an EER of 11 for those over 45,000 BTUs.
If you’d like more information about the EER and SEER ratings, contact Air-Tro, Inc. We’ve provided top-notch HVAC services for homeowners in the greater Los Angeles area since 1969.
Our goal is to help educate our customers in the greater Los Angeles, California area about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems).
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