Your utility bills keep going up and you know your old appliances aren’t as energy efficient as newer ones. Plus the government has come up with energy efficiency ratings to help you make economical and environmental choices, but you just don’t know what those numbers are telling you. Here’s how you can understand the government’s energy efficiency ratings and what to look for when shopping for new appliances so you can save money and help the environment at the same time.
Understand that Energy Star is a voluntary labeling project jointly sponsored by the US Department of Energy and the US Environmental Protection Agency to identify energy efficient products.
All products displaying the Energy Star label either exceed federal energy consumption standards (typically by at least 15 percent, but in some cases by substantially more) or they have energy saving features built in to them. Any product displaying the Energy Star label is an energy efficient product.
Energy Efficiency Ratings (EER)
There are different energy efficiency ratings for different types of products.
- Central Air Conditioners. SEER (Seasonal Energy Efficiency Rating) is the measure of efficiency. The higher the number the more energy efficient the unit is. Look for a unit with a SEER of 12 or more.
- Room Air conditioners. EER (Energy efficiency rating) is the measure. Here again the higher the number the more energy efficient the unit is. However, an important consideration in choosing a room air conditioner (besides energy efficiency) is matching the size of the room with the size of the air conditioning unit. An undersized unit (no matter how energy efficient) will run constantly and use extra energy. As a gauge, a 9,000 British Thermal Unit (BTU) air conditioner will effectively cool an area of 350 to 400 square feet.
- Washing Machine. EF (energy factor) Indicates the number of complete cycles a washer will operate while using one kilowatt-hour of electricity. The current federal standard for energy efficient washers is an EF of 1.18, while Energy Star washers require an EF of 2.5.
As you are shopping for your next air conditioning system, you will encounter several important industry-standard efficiency ratings. The higher efficiency your product, the lower your long-term energy costs will be. Your comfort experts at Air Repair Inc. will be happy to help you choose the air conditioning and heating products that are right for you. If you have any further questions or would like to schedule a consultation, please feel free to contact Air Repair Inc. at 972-625-1400.