Energy Efficient Air Conditioners

Surveys say that the cost of cooling and heating homes in the US is quite high and the worst part is that the cost is ever increasing. However, if you are using an energy efficient system chances are high that you will not contribute to the growing statistics. Hence, it is important to understand ways of saving energy with the help of your air conditioners. If you do this task in the beginning it may so happen that you are saved from hassles at a later stage.

There is no reason to think that for a non-technical person it will be quite difficult to understand energy efficiency. In fact, nowadays a number of ratings are used so that buyers can easily understand the energy efficiency. However, before we plunge into the details of energy efficiency it is a good idea to understand the meaning of energy efficiency rating. The energy efficiency rating of an air conditioner lists how many Btu are removed per hour for each watt of power it draws. In case, of room air conditioners the energy rating is calculated with the help of Energy Efficiency Ratio or EER. While for central air conditioners it is measured through Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio or SEER. It is mandatory to mention these energy ratings in a new model of an air conditioner.

It must be noted here that both EER and SEER are theoretical numbers which can be found out with the help of simple Mathematics. However, the energy efficiency to a large extent depends on the usage pattern, and ways in which it has been installed along with the right kind of size.

Some other factors that determine the energy efficiency of the system are the following.

The Heating Seasonal Performance Factor or HSPF: It measures the heat pump’s energy efficiency over one heating season with the combined SEER value of one cooling season. It is a more complicated formula than the SEER and the EER.

The Annual Fuel Utilization Efficiency or AFUE: This measures the average efficiency of furnace, boilers and also water heaters. It does not take into consideration the electricity consumption. It is only a theoretical measurement of the heating season.

Buyers must be aware of the fact that higher numbers as far as SEER, EER, HSPF and AFUE is concerned indicates a higher energy efficiency and these numbers are used in two energy rating programs. They are:

EnergyGuide Label: It is mandatory for HVAC manufacturers to display the EnergyGuide Label. This label is an indicator of the energy usage of the system. It also compares the energy usage of other equipment and also gives an approximate operating cost of the system. However, the exact cost depends on the local utility bills and the source of energy that is being used.

Energy Star Certification: Stars are used on products which are more energy efficient than products of the same genre, thus, making it easier for buyers to make the right choice.

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