What is EER and Why it Matters?


Your air conditioner accounts for much of your energy consumption at home. How much energy your unit consumes has a greater impact on your utility bills. So, when you’re out shopping for a new air conditioner, energy-efficiency should be a major influencing factor in your purchasing decision. Energy-efficiency pertains to the capability of your air conditioner to achieve the maximum cooling comfort with a lesser amount of energy used. One way to know the energy-efficiency of a system is by looking at the Energy Efficiency Ratio (EER). It is one of the standard system performance ratings used in the HVAC industry to calculate, measure, and express the energy-efficiency of an air conditioner.

What is EER?

Energy Efficiency Ratio (EER), also commonly expressed as Energy Efficiency Rating, gives you an insight about how much cooling capacity the unit provides from a specific amount of energy used. Every air conditioner is assigned with a specific EER. It is expressed in values or number.

The EER of an air conditioner is the ratio derived from dividing the cooling output of a unit (expressed in British thermal units or Btu) with the energy usage in watt hours. In other words, it’s the unit’s Btu rating over its wattage. In formula, it is expressed as follows:

Cooling output (in Btu) = EER

Total energy usage (in watts)

Let’s say you have an air conditioning unit with a 12,000 Btu that consumes 1,200 watts of electricity. Using the calculation, you’ll find that the system has an EER of 10. In figure, it can be expressed as follows:

12,000 Btu = 10 EER

1,200 watts

Basically, the higher the EER means the more energy-efficient the system is. Logically, when purchasing a new system, it would be best to pick the unit with a higher EER.

Usually, you’ll find the EER listed in a yellow sticker (written with a title “Energy Guide”) attached on the side of an air conditioning unit.

Why Understanding EER Matters?

While performance and features take much of the sales narrative when you’re out shopping for a new air conditioner, don’t forget that the system’s energy efficiency can give you the most value for your dollars. Knowing about EER will help you properly compare the different systems in terms of their energy-savings capability effectively avoid settling for a less efficient unit. A more energy-efficient unit can drastically cut your energy-costs. Thus, purchasing an air conditioner while equipped with a knowledge about EER will make you a smart buyer who knows the long-term financial benefits that come with picking a more energy-efficient unit.

Why Choose a High EER-rated Air Conditioner?

Choosing a cooling system with a higher EER will normally give you the following benefits:

  • Significant energy savings  Low energy consumption translates to lower electricity bill. Lower utility bills mean more money-savings.
  • Enhanced cooling comfort  Air conditioners with a high EER are also known to be more effective in terms of cooling performance due to better technology, design, and components.
  • Minimum Cost of ownership  As an investment, air conditioners with a higher EER are typically built robust and durable, and therefore, less prone to system breakdowns.
  • Low carbon footprint  Cooling units with a high EER are built with eco-friendlier components, including an ozone-friendly refrigerant.

Energy use takes a large chunk of your family expenses, making a good case on properly managing energy use. But cutting your energy usage doesn’t mean that you’ll have to sacrifice your family’s comfort. Choosing a cooling solution with a high EER will give you the advantages of a powerful cooling and energy-saving system that keeps raising the level of your comfort experience while keeping your electricity costs low. Technically, speaking the systems with high EER pay for itself and this return of investment comes from lower energy bills. Take note that systems with low EER are not only energy-hogs but are usually less sophisticated. Systems with a higher EER, on the other hand, are not only energy-savers but are also normally more advanced, designed with better technology, durable, environment-friendly, and provides powerful cooling performance.

Air conditioners with higher EER are relatively more expensive than those with lower EER systems. The matter of cost related to initial cash outlay, however, is insignificant when you consider the substantial energy-savings that you would get from a cooling system with a high EER.

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