Choosing An Energy Efficient AC Unit
Are you researching 5 star energy rating Air Conditioners? Well, congratulations on realising the importance of an energy efficient Air Conditioner. The efficiency of a unit is actually one of the most frequently overlooked considerations when people buy their new air conditioner. Read on to find out what you need to look for to choose the most efficient AC unit for your specific scenario.
The main features of an Air Conditioning unit are pretty self-explanatory. Cooling and heating capability, fan speeds and programmable timers are the common features people consider. But figuring out the efficiency of an AC unit is a bit more complex than just reading the energy rating sticker.
Here are the 3 main aspects that can influence how energy efficient an AC unit is.
Energy Efficiency Isn’t All About The Rating
Just because an AC unit has a 5-star energy rating, it doesn’t mean it’s the most efficient model for your needs. The most important factor in choosing an efficient Air Conditioner is actually to make sure you are selecting a model based on the size of the space you wish to cool or heat.
When thinking about this aspect, you should also take into consideration other factors such as the construction and insulation type along with the windows and aspect of the space. These elements will play a role in determining exactly what size and type of AC unit is best suited for your needs.
If an AC unit is too powerful for the space, it will consume more power and generate more noise than a more appropriately sized AC unit, resulting in a decrease in energy efficiency and comfort.
Conversely, an underpowered unit trying to heat or cool a large space will be constantly working at full capacity struggling to meet the requirements to continually keep the temperature steady.
Need help with finding the right size AC for your space? Check out our Sizing Wizard App to help guide you in finding the perfect match for your circumstances.
Does it Have An Energy Efficient Compressor?
Another factor to consider when looking for an energy efficient air conditioner is whether it uses an inverter or non-inverter motor, or compressor. Inverter technology is the go-to choice because of its superior energy efficiency, consistent cooling capabilities and reduced noise.
Microprocessors control the invertor compressor to regulate its output according to how much or little power is required to maintain your desired temperature.
Conversely, a non-inverter design uses a compressor that can only operate at full speed or nothing. This means that even though you have the correct size AC for your space, the non-inverter unit will be much less efficient due to its inherent design allowing a greater fluctuation in temperature, and the start-stop nature of the compressor consuming considerably more power.
Fact: All Panasonic Air Conditioners across our Split, Multi-Split and Ducted ranges use inverter compressors for maximum energy efficiency. Check out our handy guide for an in-depth look at Inverter technology and the other benefits an Inverter Air Conditioner can also offer.
The Energy Efficiency Rating
The energy rating is also an important factor to take into consideration when purchasing your next Air Conditioning unit.
As of 1 April, 2020, the Energy Council have updated the star rating label requirements under the Equipment Energy Efficiency scheme specifically for Air Conditioners. The changes were made because they recognised that the efficiency of an AC unit depends on more than just its power output and energy consumption.
The latest Zoned Energy Rating Labels now display the estimated annual consumption figure for that unit, while recognising this value changes based on the climate in your region. To give consumers a more accurate understanding of how much it could cost to run a unit over the course of a year, they have provided a more detailed breakdown for the 3 distinct climate zones of Australia. This ensures you can make a decision on which air conditioner is most efficient based on the climate in your region.
Additionally, the energy efficiency ratings for Air Conditioners are based on a star score total of 10, allowing them to accurately represent the energy efficiency scores for cooling and/or heating.
Lastly, these new labels feature the decibel value for noise generated by the unit. For split system units that feature components both indoors and outdoors, both are displayed.
For a comprehensive rundown on how these new labels can be interpreted, see the Fact Sheet on the Energy Rating website.
Image: Commonwealth of Australia (E3 Program). For illustrative purposes only.
Hopefully our tips around choosing the correct size unit and ensuring it uses inverter technology make choosing your next AC unit a breeze, pun intended. We welcome the latest updates to the energy rating guidelines which equip you to make a more informed choice about which unit is most efficient and economical to run based on your specific circumstances and budget.
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