Air Conditioner Energy Saving Tips
What to consider when purchasing an air conditioner and tips on how to save power when operating an air conditioner
- Use energy rating labels (with a blue band for cooling systems) as an easy way to determine the energy efficiency of an air conditioner.
- When purchasing a new air conditioner ensure it is properly sized. Several studies have found that most central air conditioning systems are oversized by 50% or more.
- Sizing an air conditioner is an important component both in terms of cooling and energy efficiency. The following metrics are generally applied: 125watts per sqm of floor area to be cooled in living areas and 80 watts per sqm of floor area in bedrooms.
- Increase your air conditioner efficiency by 5%-10% by providing shade for your air conditioner or installing the air conditioner on the shady side of the house.
- Clean your air conditioner air filter monthly as regular dust build up can reduce airflow by 1% per week.
- Follow manufacturer instructions on how to clean the air conditioner filter.
- Turn off your air conditioner when you leave your home for more than an hour.
- With older central air conditioners, consider replacing the outdoor compressor with a high-efficiency unit however ensure it is properly matched to the indoor unit.
- Seal all air conditioner ducts and insulate ducts that run through areas that do not require temperature control.
- When purchasing a high-efficiency air conditioner, it is recommended the energy efficiency ratio (EER) rating be above 10 whilst the seasonal energy efficiency ratio (SEER) rating for central air conditioners should be above 12.
- When purchasing a high-efficiency air conditioner check the model includes a variable or multi-speed blower to rid the home of high humidity.
- The two main types of air conditioners for household use are window-wall systems and split systems. Split systems have the advantage of being efficient for a particular size range whilst split systems have the advantage of being functionally quieter during operation. Some larger homes may choose ducted or packaged units.
- Consider an air conditioner with an inverter or variable speed drive in the motor system that drives the compressors these systems tend to be very efficient at part load operation, which is the more common mode in a typical household.
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