Air Conditioner Ratings

The general practice to rate central air conditioners is as per their seasonal energy efficiency rating or SEER. SEER is basically the measure of energy required to produce a particular level of cooling. It is seen that most of the older systems have a lower SEER rating. It can be as low as 6 or even less. So, when one is purchasing an air conditioner it is mandatory to find out the SEER rating. This is because higher SEER rating of a system ensures that you will be using a device which is energy efficient and do not contribute to a costly electricity bill as well.

Here it must be noted that air conditioner labels are a little different from the labels of other household appliances. The main reason for this is that they have information which is product specific. For example, air conditioners have star ratings like many other electrical appliances. The blue stars are for the cooling capacity of the air conditioner while the red starts indicate the heating capacity. However, systems which have only the cooling effect has only blue stars. It is a known fact that more the number of stars higher is the efficiency level. For instance, in recent times air conditioners can be rated as high as 10 stars. In case, a product that you buy has 6 or lesser number of stars you cannot expect the “super efficiency” band in it. There may be systems which have more number of stars for the cooling part while less number of stars for the heating part. In that case only the cooling aspect of the device will receive a “super efficiency” band.

Comparing the appliances taking the number of stars as a cue to determine its efficiency is a good idea. However, the comparison needs to be done among air conditioners which are of the similar capacity. The capacity of the appliance is always clearly marked on it. The capacity output label on the air conditioner will let you know the amount of cooling or heating that particular model can produce. While the power input marked on the device lets you know the wattage that is required by the appliance to produce that particular amount of heating or cooling. You may have difficulty to choose between products which are of the same size and has the same star rating, in that case you can use the power rating to find out which model is more efficient.

Another marking that you need to look while buying an air conditioner is whether the system has a variable output compressor or it can be also called an “inverter air conditioner”. The advantage of such type is that when the temperature is not that high the compressor will not have to work very hard while when the temperature condition is extreme the compressor will put in that extra effort. This is a great way to save energy.

Thus, when buying an air conditioner have a careful eye to all the necessary ratings.

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