When it comes to air conditioning, operating efficiency is one of the key considerations for homeowners. You would have heard shocking stories of how an inefficient air conditioning system could skyrocket any household’s power bill. Every cent you save by getting a more efficient air conditioner helps.
In this post, we will explain what these energy stars represent. You will learn how to read these energy star ratings for air conditioning and use these ratings to help you decide on the best air conditioning system to purchase for your home.
Air Conditioning Energy Star Rating – The Label Explained
According to the Energy Rating Department, air conditioning and home heating appliances are to be tagged with an energy rating label. These labels are applicable for :
- Split System Air Conditioning (Non-Ducted)
- Window/Wall Unit Air Conditioning
- Ducted Air Conditioning
- Multi-split systems & Portable Air Conditioning
Domestic single phase, non ducted air conditioning systems must have an energy rating label. Labels on ducted systems are voluntary, so not all ducted air conditioning will have one. These energy star ratings help a consumer gauge the efficiency of air conditioning systems, allowing them to easily compare different brands and models.
Depending on whether your air conditioning system is a reverse cycle, you may see two labels. The blue label measures the cooling efficiency, while the red measures the heating efficiency.
Each appliance can be rated up to 10 Stars (most efficient), with 1 Star being the least efficient. If an appliance gets more than 6 stars, it receives the additional “Super Efficiency Rating” (displayed above the 1st row of stars). This super efficiency rating goes from 1 to 4 Stars. Again, with 4 Stars being the most “super efficient”. If an appliance has 6 stars or less, it will not receive the “Super Efficiency Rating”.
Using this Energy Star Rating system, it is very easy for any consumer to compare and assess the efficiency of different brands and models of air conditioning. However, there are a few additional considerations when reading the star system.
Air Conditioning Energy Star Rating – Additional Considerations
When using the energy star system, it is important to ensure you are comparing products of similar size/capacity/kW. This is very critical as if you compare smaller capacity air conditioning against higher capacity ones, the energy star ratings will differ greatly, and not provide a meaningful comparison. See below capacity labels.
You will see these labels on the air conditioning display units. These capacity labels help inform you about the size of the model you are looking at. The capacity output indicates the amount of heating and cooling an air conditioning system can produce. This is the figure you should compare when looking at different models. Make sure the capacity output (kW) is the same (or mostly similar) across the models you are comparing.
The power input rating shows how much power is required for air conditioning to start producing heating and cooling. This additional information will come in useful when the capacity output and energy star ratings turn out the same on some models. Therefore, you can use this power input rating to decide which is more efficient. The lower the power input rating, the least energy an appliance consumes, and hence more efficient.
Air Conditioning Energy Star Rating – Variable Output Compressor
Most modern air conditioning system comes with Inverter technology. This means that the compressor is able to “scale” it’s power mode up or down, depending on how much cooling or heating is required.
For instance, on a hot summer day, the compressor will scale up its power mode (consuming more power), in order to produce sufficient cooling power to cool the home. And on a cool day, it would scale down the power mode, so it consumes much less power to produce the same cooling results.
Inverter technology greatly enhances the efficiency of air conditioning systems. Generally, air conditioning systems with inverter technology are more efficient in the long run.
Below is a label you may see on air conditioning display systems, indicating whether the system is an inverter system or not. If it is, there will be a tick on the “Yes” box.
Air Conditioning Energy Star Rating – Demand Response Label
The Demand Response (AS4755) section of the label refers to the appliances’ inbuilt capability of participating in a voluntary peak electricity demand management program. An example of such a voluntary scheme is Energex’s PeakSmart air conditioning program (link is external). This feature is only relevant to these types of voluntary programs and will not affect normal operation.
- Mode 1: the appliance is capable of being turned off and back on.
- Mode 2: the appliance is capable of being turned down by 50%.
- Mode 3: the appliance is capable of being turned down by 25%.
Air Conditioning Energy Star Rating Summary
The Energy Star Rating System is an important consumer guide for purchasing air conditioning and home heating. Each rating is generated via extensive, regulated and documented testing, providing a safe and reliable comparison between different air conditioning models. When purchasing air conditioning, ensure you consult the air conditioning energy star rating.
Jim’s Heating and Cooling is a premium provider of air conditioning and home heating systems in Adelaide. Our expert installers can provide in-depth information and personalised advice on any brand and model of air conditioning you may be evaluating.
Call us now to discuss your requirements.