How old is your air conditioner at home? If your unit is more than 10-15 years old by now, you might want to consider getting a more suitable air conditioner replacement. Your old AC is most likely no longer compliant to requirements stated on Canada’s Energy Efficiency Regulations. Before you start shopping for a new unit, however, you must be aware of labelling and ratings that apply to air conditioners. Here’s a handy guide to make sure that your new air conditioning system will perform at optimal levels while consuming less energy.
The ENERGY STAR symbol is perhaps the most recognizable label in most energy-using products. ENERGY STAR is a government-backed program that was established to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and other pollutants from inefficient energy use. This makes it easier for consumers to identify and purchase products that can help them save on energy bills.
Appliances bearing this symbol have met energy efficiency requirements set in EPA’s product specifications and guiding principles. For a room air conditioner to earn the label, it must exceed the Government of Canada’s minimum standard of energy by at least 10 percent. The ideal EER (energy efficiency ratio) rating for window-mounted units, for instance, is at least 10.7.
The ENERGY STAR label is a guarantee that the unit you are buying is a top performer on the market. You can look forward to lower bills, higher comfort levels as well as reduced smog precursors and GHGs.
The EnerGuide label is also a familiar sight on major electrical appliances used in households. You can find these on ranges, freezers, clothes washers, dishwashers and refrigerators. Although the label on air conditioning units looks roughly the same as on other appliances, ratings for ACs are different.
The EnerGuide label for a cooling unit displays the EER rating and class. The EER is printed in large, bold numbers, and it determines how efficient the air conditioner is. Below the EER rating is a graduated bar and an inverted triangle that can be used to compare a particular unit’s performance with others in the same class. Near the bottom of the label, you can also see the air conditioner’s class and cooling capacity category.
If you want to know which air conditioners have the highest EERs, Natural Resources Canada (NRCan) publishes a directory. There, units are ranked by type and cooling capacity.
Ratings and labels might prove to be confusing for the uninitiated. Fortunately, air conditioning technicians from companies around Spruce Grove like Capital Plumbing & Heating can help you make sense of them. They can even recommend specific models that would meet your needs and preferences.
How a Product Earns the ENERGY STAR Label, EnergyStar.gov
Air Conditioning Your Home, nrcan.gc.ca