Advice and News •
Star ratings have been developed in Australia to help consumers to understand the energy efficiency of a range of different appliances, including air conditioners. This makes it much easier for consumers to compare different models at a glance, and a get a picture of how much their air conditioner will cost to run.
But it’s not as simple as just looking at the energy it takes to run alone, since smaller appliances will almost always use less energy than their bigger counterparts. There are many factors that determine the equation that go into calculating star ratings, including the capacity output which is measured in kW, and the comparative energy consumption (CEC) which is based on when the air conditioner is operating at full capacity. If you’re interested more in this, one of our H&H Air Conditioning technicians will be able to explain in greater detail. We’re not going to get too technical here, but we explain more about how star ratings determined below.
The capacity output refers to the amount of heat that can be removed from a room (or with a reverse cycle system the amount of heat that can be added to a room.) These output figures are based on Australian standard conditioners, and include the actual temperature reduction and latent cooling capacity which refers to the dehumidification of the air. Larger systems (measured in kW)
Energy Efficiency Ratios – (EER)
An efficiency of an air conditioner is measured in the energy efficiency ratio, and is used as the basis for the star rating system. A heat pump collects internal heat and removes it outside, and the EER is determined by the components used in the system, and their design. The way the different components in an AC system (compressor, evaporator and condenser) work together also influence the energy efficient ratio. The efficiency of all air conditioners decreases as the temperature increases as they need to work harder to remove and cool the air.
Deciphering Star Ratings
Star ratings of air conditioners have changed many times since their inception in 1987 to take into account the improvement in efficiency of new air conditioning technology. For example a formally 6 star rated older model could not have been as efficient as a new model with a greater efficiency, therefore the original model would need its star rating downgraded.
Since 2010, air conditioners in Australia have a maximum of 10 stars for super-efficient models and these models are identified with a separate sticker which has another row of stars. (See image below) Models which do not exceed 6 stars continue to use the original sticker. The new ratings scheme also now takes into account standby power consumption.
Obviously when buying an air conditioning system the more stars you can afford the better as this will mean reduced operating costs. There are also many other things however that influence the efficiency of your AC than just star ratings and the H&H Air Conditioning team can explain these in greater detail and recommend the most energy efficient system based on your needs and budget.
Contact us today on (07) 3276 1800 for our Brisbane office or (07) 5477 1777 for our Sunshine Coast branch to find out more!