How Is Air Conditioner Efficiency Measured

The temperatures are climbing. That can make your inside living conditions difficult, almost unbearable on record-setting days. 

That’s where air conditioners play an important role. They ensure your inside temperature remains constant and keeps you comfortable no matter what the temperature is like outside. 

But how do you know if your air conditioner is working well? How is an air conditioner’s efficiency measured? 

EER – Energy Efficiency Ratio

Air conditioners use an EER rating to measure the cooling power of the cooling system. It’s calculated by dividing the cooling power provided by the air conditioning unit per hour, divided by the number of watts of electricity consumed. This number is usually calculated on the hottest day of the system to give you an overall idea of the power provided by the AC unit. 

How Is Air Conditioner Efficiency Measured

SEER – seasonal energy efficiency ratio

While EER measures efficiency on the hottest day of the season, SEER provides you with the average efficiency for the entire system. It’s a more reliable calculation for you to understand how a unit will respond to the ups and downs of the entire season. It’s calculated by dividing the output power of the air conditioner throughout the season by the total energy consumed during the season. You’ll typically find ratings between 13 and 22, with the upper end the most efficient units on the market. 


The EPA has created EnergyStar as a rating system for efficiency of various home appliances and equipment. They test performance and energy efficiency to provide an EnergyStar rating for consumers to use for comparison. EnergyStar rated appliances are usually more expensive, but they often make up the difference in efficiency. 

MERV – minimum efficiency reporting value

MERV ratings appear in air filters used for HVAC efficiency. Smaller holes and finer filtering will make the system more efficient. MERV ratings typically range from 1 to 16, with 16 being more efficient. Select based on what’s best for your HVAC system. 

Want the most energy efficient air conditioning equipment available? Start by having your entire system inspected and evaluated, so we can learn more about how efficient it is. Then we can make suggestions to ensure your air conditioner is operating smoothly this season. 

How can we help you improve your air conditioner’s efficiency?

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