Upgrading Your Cooling Equipment? Cooling Terms You Should Know

With the cooling season nearing its end, now is a good time to evaluate your air conditioner’s performance. As cooling systems age they gradually become both less efficient and less effective at maintaining temperature levels.


If you decide to take advantage of manufacturer rebates and extended tax credits and upgrade now, you’ll want to do some comparison shopping to choose the model that will maximize efficiency in your home. Here are some cooling terms you should know before you upgrade:


  • Energy efficiency ratio (EER): Calculated by dividing an air conditioner’s cooling capacity by its electrical power consumption, the EER expresses how efficient the unit is. Higher is better.
  • Seasonal energy efficiency ratio (SEER): SEER is similar to EER but considers performance through the entire cooling season. Again higher is better.
  • British thermal unit (Btu): One Btu is the amount of heat required to change the temperature of one pound of water by a single degree Fahrenheit. Btu is used to measure cooling load and capacity.
  • Cooling load: Expressed in Btus, cooling load refers to how warm your home would be if you had no form of cooling. Calculating a home’s cooling load can get quite complex when taking into account all contributing factors, so most homeowners find it easiest to have a technician do the calculating.
  • Cooling Capacity: Also expressed in Btus, cooling capacity tells you how many Btus a unit will remove from a given space. Many homeowners mistakenly assume that a unit upgrade with higher cooling capacity will be more effective, but this is incorrect–oversizing is even less efficient than undersizing.
  • Ton: Another way of stating a unit’s cooling capacity, one ton is equal to 12,000 Btu.
  • Decibel (dB): This number tells you how noisy a unit is rated. Most air conditioners are around 40 to 60 dB.

At Home Comfort Experts of Indiana we know upgrading your air conditioning system is a big investment. You’re welcome to contact us if you have any questions or need some advice selecting the right unit for your home, we’re always happy to help our South Bend neighbors!

Home Comfort services air conditioning in Mishawaka/South Bend areas of Indiana. Visit our website to see our special offers to get started today!

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