Looking for a New AC? Understanding Energy Star & CEE Guidelines

Energy Star & CEE Guidelines, New ACIn today’s eco-conscious environment, everyone is looking for ways to be more energy efficient. From hybrid vehicles to environmentally-friendly HVAC solutions, “going green” is not just a trend, it has quickly become the new norm. But how do you know which products to choose? When it comes to understanding your air conditioning unit efficiency, take a look at the Energy Star and CEE guidelines first.

What are the Energy Star and CEE Guidelines?

Energy Star is a U.S. Environmental Protection Agency program that identifies high-efficiency appliances to help consumers save money and protect the environment. The CEE (Consortium for Energy Efficiency) is a program of administrators from the U.S. and Canada who have formed to influence appliance manufacturers and government agencies to maximize the impact of energy-efficiency programs. On their website, they have identified energy efficient products and services for residential, commercial and industrial.

Energy Star and CEE Guidelines – What’s New?

Recently, the Energy Star and CEE guidelines updated their efficiency tiers (v5) for residential single phase air conditioner and heat pump equipment (less than 65,000 BTU). In the past, the guidelines included three tiers; in this update, a new CEE tier was added at 14.5 SEER and 12 SEER (still above the federal efficiency minimum).

What does this mean for homeowners?

For the New Jersey homeowner, the new guidelines should help to reduce some confusion surrounding energy efficiency ratings. Since the new CEE Tier 1 ratings now align with Energy Star ratings, some say that this will become the most popular tier for efficiency programs.

What is SEER?

CEE, SEER…we understand these technical HVAC acronyms can get confusing. SEER stands for Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio; this rating measures the efficiency of an air conditioner using the formula: cooling output / electric energy input. In other words, the less energy needed for a strong output of cool AC air, the more efficient a unit is.

The higher the SEER, the better the efficiencies.

The government enforced the latest SEER standards back in 2015: air conditioning units and heat pumps must achieve the minimum rating of 14 SEER, according to the U.S. Department of Energy. The scale for central AC goes up to 25, exceeding 30 for ductless AC units.

Some older systems have SEER ratings of 6 or lower, so when you replace an old, inefficient air conditioner with a new, efficient unit with a high SEER rating, you can expect to see a big decrease in energy costs.

Reducing Energy Costs

Beyond choosing a new AC with the proper Energy Star & CEE Guidelines, New Jersey homeowners can help to improve their AC efficiency by keeping the unit clean and scheduling regular maintenance.

To learn more about HVAC terms and how they apply to your home air conditioning needs, contact Brown’s Heating, Cooling & Plumbing at 732-741-0694. We proudly serve homeowners and businesses in Monmouth and Ocean County for all your HVAC system maintenance and installation needs.