An air conditioning system is one of the largest consumers of energy in a household compared to any other appliance. This is particularly true during the hot summer months that Bay Area folks know all about. When investing in a new air conditioner, it is natural for you to want to find one that will reduce energy consumption. There are various models that claim to be energy efficient. However, it can get confusing if you don’t know what to look for.
These are a few factors that make an air conditioner truly energy efficient:
High EER and SEER
EER stands for energy efficiency ratio while SEER stands for seasonal energy efficiency rating. EER measures the overall ratio of cooling energy (output) to electrical energy (input) during operation. Whereas, SEER is responsible for measuring the efficiency with which an air conditioner converts electricity into cooling power on a seasonal basis as compared to year-round operation.
Higher EER means the air conditioner is more efficient. However, you should keep in mind that efficiency declines over time. Even if you have an air conditioner with 16 SEER, it will lose its efficiency as it ages. This is one of the reasons why you should invest in regular maintenance and replace any unit that is 10 – 12 years older. You can save money on utility bills by upgrading to a newer higher-efficiency model.
An AC needs to be properly sized as per the home or space. Larger systems may cool the house, but they will also leave the space feeling clammy and damp. This is because the humidity regulator will not stay on long enough to remove humidity from the space. Likewise, smaller systems will need to work longer for maintaining the desired temperature. This will result in higher electricity bills.
Energy saving setting is another feature you need to look for when investing in a new air conditioner. Your unit will turn the compressor and the fan off once the space is cool. This helps in saving additional energy.
Energy Star Certification
While deciding on which air conditioner to purchase, you should always look for the Energy Star certification. The star certification means the unit meets or exceeds higher efficiency standards as compared to other similar AC units. You should consider replacing an existing air conditioner with a lower rated SEER with one that has an Energy Star certification.
You can save a lot of energy and money by upgrading the thermostat. This is especially if the current thermostat is one of the older models. There are programmable settings in majority of available thermostats. These thermostats allow the temperature to be set as per your needs. You can even change the settings depending on the time of the day. Certain thermostats can be set to power off the system during those times of the day when no one is at home.
If you have started experimenting with the concept of smart homes, you may want to consider installing a Wifi-enabled thermostat. These can be adjusted using your smartphone. You may also want to consider installing a smart air conditioner. There are Wifi enabled options in portable, split unit, ductless mini, and window air conditioners among others. These adjustable units can be programmed to conserve energy.