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EER, SEER, CEER: What Are They?

Summer is here! Many people are starting to shut their furnaces off for the season as they prepare to dust off their air conditioners to help cool their homes. 

If you have ever shopped for a new air conditioner, you probably noticed a few abbreviations that show up repeatedly: EER, CEER, and SEER. 

Some of the ratings only apply to some types of units (central air systems vs window units, for example), but these three terms are energy efficiency ratings used for air conditioners.

Let’s take a look at all three ratings in more detail.

EER (ENERGY EFFICIENCY RATIO)

EER measures how efficiently an AC system will operate when the outdoor temperature is at a specific level. EER is measured by taking the unit’s energy consumption while cooling 95°F air over the course of an hour in a climate-controlled laboratory setting. It is calculated by dividing the cooling capacity in BTUs per hour (BTUH) by the power input in watts. EER is expressed as BTUH/watts. The higher the EER, the more efficient the system will be.

For example, window units only need to achieve between 9.4 and 10.7 EER, depending on BTU size, in order to receive Energy Star Certification. Energy Star certified room air conditioners use 10 percent less energy than non-Energy Star certified units and, on average, cost less than $70 per year to run.

CEER (COMBINED ENERGY EFFICIENCY RATIO)

CEER became the new standard by which window/room air conditioners are rated by the DOE (Department of Energy) in June 2014. It takes into account the energy used while the air conditioner is running as well as the standby power used when the unit is not running but is powered on. 

CEER allows you to have a more accurate estimate of the overall realistic energy efficiency of room air conditioners. It also takes the standby power usage into account, not just the operating efficiency as in the EER rating.

(Sample energy guide of the Tranquility window AC)

SEER (SEASONAL ENERGY EFFICIENCY RATIO)

SEER is used to measure the efficiency of a central air conditioner system. SEER measures how efficiently a cooling system will operate over an entire season. The higher the SEER, the more efficient the system.

Window air conditioners do not have a SEER rating (and have lower ratings overall) because it’s impossible to fit the advanced hardware used in a central air cooling system into that little box that hangs outside of your window. While modern central air conditioners can work at a range of speeds, for example, the condensers in most window units only have two speeds: on and off. This is the primary reason window air conditioners don’t get SEER ratings and instead use EER and CEER ratings.

(Sample energy guide of the Muse mini-split AC)

TOSOT AC Energy Efficiency Reference Chart

To help simplify your buying decision, we put together this handy reference chart that tells you the type of unit, model name, BTU, and energy efficiency ratings for every type of AC unit we offer. 

To use this chart, pick the type of unit you want (portable, window, etc) and find one to match your application area. Make sure you don’t choose a unit that is too underpowered or overpowered for your space, as this can reduce the efficiency and comfort level of the room you are trying to cool.

Type

Model

BTUs

Application Area

EER

CEER

SEER

Portable

Shiny

8,000

300 sq ft

/

5.9

N/A

10,000

400 sq ft

/

5.4

N/A

Aovia

8,000

250 sq ft

9.21

/

N/A

10,000

300 sq ft

9.9

/

N/A

Aolis

12,000

450 sq ft

9.7

7.3

N/A

Window

Tranquility

8,000

350 sq ft

12.1

12.0

N/A

Chalet

8,000

350 sq ft

12.1

12.0

N/A

10,000

450 sq ft

12.1

12.0

N/A

12,000

550 sq ft

12.1

12.0

N/A

Mini-Split

Muse (120V)

9,000 

450 sq ft

12.3

N/A

21.0

Muse (230V)

9,000 

450 sq ft

12.8

N/A

21.0

Muse (120V)

12,000

650 sq ft

10.24

N/A

20.5

Muse (230V)

12,000

650 sq ft

11.0

N/A

20.0

Muse (230V)

18,000

850 sq ft

10.59

N/A

19.0

 

Check out our line of Split, Window, and Portable air conditioners to fit your space and keep you cool this summer! 

If you have any questions about choosing the perfect air conditioner for your home, reach out to our support team and we will be happy to help you out.


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