Guide to Understanding Energy Efficiency in HVAC Guide


Deciding on an energy efficient HVAC unit for your home can seem like a daunting task for most homeowners. Between the different outputs and ratings, it can almost feel as though the descriptions were written in another language. So how’s a homeowner to know which HVAC unit will work best for their family? Home Improvement Leads wants you to feel confident in making your next HVAC purchase—and with this guide, you will be.


The Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio (SEER) measures the cooling output for an HVAC unit during an average, lower temperature of 28°C/82°F divided by how much energy is required to make it operate. The higher the SEER rating, the more energy efficient the HVAC unit—and the greater the savings on your monthly utility bill.


The Energy Efficiency Ratio (EER) is similar to SEER in that it measures cooled air production divided by energy used, but with the notable exception that EER examines how an HVAC will operate in extreme temperatures while also taking into account humidity levels. Again, the higher the EER rating, the more efficiently the unit will operate. Any air conditioner made after 2000 will carry an EER of at least 9.7, but only those with an EER of 10.7 or above will qualify as being energy efficient. In general, you can expect to save approximately an additional 10 percent on your utility bill for every point increase in the EER.


Which is more important?

Depending upon which HVAC professional you talk to, it could be either. SEER ratings will give you a better idea of the long term overall output, but can neglect to truly show how well it will perform during Singapore’s hottest months. On the flip side, EER only looks at a small snapshot of time. That’s why it’s important to take both rankings into account in order to make an intelligent investment. Do bear in mind that just because a unit has a high SEER rating, it won’t necessarily also come with a high EER rating. 

The Energy Label

The National Environment Agency (NEA) has tried to make understanding an HVAC’s performance expectations as simple as possible by requiring the Energy Label be attached to every unit on the market. With an easy-to-read tick rating system, you can see whether a prospective unit has low energy efficiency (1 tick), high energy efficiency (5 tick), or somewhere in between. The expected energy kilowatt usage, as well as the average energy cost, will clearly be displayed, too.

The NEA found that simply running an air conditioner accounts for almost 37 percent of the total energy consumed by a family. Keep your family cool and your wallet full by getting an energy efficient HVAC today.

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