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What do all those Air Conditioning Ratings mean?

What do all those Air Conditioning Ratings mean?

We're glad you asked!

It¹s easy to feel overwhelmed by the array of efficiency ratings, abbreviations and acronyms used to describe or explain air conditioners! In this fact sheet, we¹ll tell you what they all mean and how you can use the knowledge gained to make a more informed choice on your comfort needs.



Efficiency Ratings

SEER ­ Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio. This is a system for rating the efficiency of cooling equipment. It is calculated by dividing the cooling capacity of a continuously operating air conditioner by the electric power input. The higher the SEER, the less your unit will cost to operate.


Sound Ratings

In recent years, HVAC equipment has not only gotten more energy efficient, it much quieter. Although sound does not affect the efficiency of a unit, it can certainly affect your comfort. If your unit has a low sound level, you (and your neighbors) will hardly notice when it is operating.

Db ­ Decibel. A term to describe the relative loudness of a sound. Typically air conditioners are between the sound of a human voice (70db) and a blender (88db).

SRN ­ Sound Rating Number. A unit based on ARI (Air Conditioning, Refrigeration Institute) tests. Average sound ratings range between 74 to 80db. The lower the SRN number the quieter the unit


General Industry Terms

HVAC ­ Heating, ventilating and air conditioning. This term applies to both the heating and cooling industry and the products they manufacture.

ARI ­ Air conditioning and Refrigeration Institute. A non-profit, voluntary organization comprised of HVAC manufacturers. ARI publishes standards for testing and rating air conditioning and ensures a level of quality within the industry.

BTU ­ British thermal unit. This is the amount of heat that will raise or lower the temperature of one pound of water by one degree Fahrenheit.

BTUH
­ British thermal units per hour. A measure of heat transfer rate.

Ton ­ A ton is 12,000 Btu¹s. A typical single family residence uses air conditioning ranging between 1-1/2 ­5 tons of capacity.


Comfort Systems

All air conditioning systems have an outdoor unit and an indoor unit. The outdoor unit is the actual air conditioner or condensing unit. The indoor unit, evaporator coil, may include a blower and air filter self contained within a cabinet. Combinations of various units result in vastly different efficiency ratings.

Most popular coil ­ A term meaning the highest sales volume indoor unit matched with the given outdoor unit. Sometimes there are attempts to combine unrealistic indoor and outdoor equipment combinations to obtain a higher SEER. Ratings made in such a way may be simulated and unrealistic. Ratings obtained using the most popular coil, however, are attainable and closer to reality.


The Price of Quality

There is more to buying an air conditioner than ratings. The quality of the construction, and materials used as well as the reliability of the manufacturer and installing contractor can all affect your long-term satisfaction and comfort. Top quality, high efficiency equipment will cost more initially, but you will save money on utility bills and service calls for years to come. Be sure to weigh all the factors before choosing your new system. Remember, it¹s your home, your comfort and your investment. Do your homework



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