Understanding Energy Efficient Star Ratings for Reverse Cycle Air-Conditioners
One of the most important factors when trying to decide which type of air conditioner to opt for is definitely energy efficiency. Given the fact that all single phase, non-ducted, reverse cycle air conditioners have a label that specifies to what extent they are energy efficient, this makes the task quite easy. However, what do those stars mean? Let’s break that down!
How Star Rating Works
When talking about reverse-cycle devices (one’s with cooling and heating functions), they have two different labels—blue for cooling, and red for heating.
Currently, a product can have up to ten stars. Obviously, more stars equals more energy efficient a device is. Also, products with more than six stars have an additional label that says the air conditioner is super efficient.
The stars labeling system is quite convenient because it allows you to compare several different products.
Which brings us to yet another label—capacity output and power input. The first shows strength of an air conditioner or the amount of energy (heating and cooling) it can produce; while the other shows how much power it requires. Air conditioners with greater capacity output can heat up or cool down larger areas. Also, products with lower power input are more energy efficient.
Now, let’s get back to our labeling. If you want to compare two devices, make sure that at least their capacity outputs are similar.
Energy efficiency is also called energy efficiency ratio (EER) for cooling function, and coefficient of performance (COP) for heating. Both values are ratios that we get by dividing output capacity with input power. It’s as simple as that!
If you want to compare, for example, Panasonic (CSCU-Z42TKR) 4.2kW Reverse Cycle Split System Inverter Air Conditioner and Fujitsu (ASTG12KMCB) 3.5kW Reverse Cycle Split System Inverter Air Conditioner, you can see that the first device has a cooling capacity of 4.2 kW and the second 3.5 kW. Energy star rating for both cooling and heating for Panasonic is 3, while Fujitsu has 3.5 stars for cooling and 4.5 stars for heating. It is clear that in this particular example, Fujitsu is more energy efficient. Now, just take into account features of the devices, your specific needs and financial possibilities, and we are sure it won’t be too difficult to choose the right air conditioner.
Zoned Energy Rating Label
Device specifications are not the only thing that can impact the energy efficiency. Location also influences the performance of your air conditioner. Zoned Energy Rating Label (ZERL) offers information about energy efficiency of the device depending on your location. Devices are marked with stars for cooling and heating. Similar to the previous examples, the more stars an air conditioner has, the more energy efficient it is.
Besides energy efficiency, Zoned Energy Rating Label also shows noise level of both indoor and outdoor units. The entire ZERL system is convenient because one device does not have to have the same efficiency in Brisbane and Melbourne. It takes more energy to cool down a room on a location with warmer climate. The label also shows if a product is not recommended to use in certain areas.
Factors to Take Into Consideration
Energy efficiency rating is not the only factor that determines if your device will operate on an optimal level. Regular maintenance and professional installation are a must. Also, when trying to decide which air conditioner is right for you, make sure to consider the following factors:
- The climate in your area
- Ceiling height
- Insulation of the house
- The size and orientation of windows in the room
- The size of the room
If the entire process gives you a headache, or you’re unsure of anything, don’t hesitate to consult a professional! Contact your local service provider, and a team of highly trained professionals will gladly recommend an air conditioner that will meet your needs (energy efficiency, features, size, and price range).
The Bottom Line
Energy efficiency rating for air conditioners is calculated separately for cooling (energy efficiency ratio – EER) and heating (coefficient of performance – COP). We get both values by dividing capacity output by power input. Only when we know the cooling or heating capacity of an air conditioner, we can compare two or more products based on energy star ratings. Air conditioners can have from one to ten stars. The more stars a product gets, the more energy efficient it is. Devices with six or more stars have additional label signifying super efficiency rating.
However, energy efficiency also depends on a local climate or your location, which brings us to Zoned Energy Rating Label that shows us energy efficiency of a device on different locations.
All these factors need to be part of your decision-making process when trying to decide which air conditioner is right for you. If you have any doubts or questions, do not hesitate to contact your local service provider.