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Air conditioners and star ratings – What exactly do they mean?

If you’re considering installing air conditioning, energy efficiency is likely to be among the factors you assess when it comes…

If you’re considering installing air conditioning, energy efficiency is likely to be among the factors you assess when it comes to selecting the right system for your home.

These days all non-ducted systems including split system air conditioners carry energy rating labels as a government requirement, but they can be a little complex to fully comprehend.

So, let’s take a deep dive into air conditioner energy ratings and exactly what those labels mean.

The star rating system

Like other household appliances, air conditioners are given star ratings in a bid to help the average consumer decipher how energy efficient a product will be. But in the case of air conditioners there may be more than one label and some product-specific information involved. So, let’s break it down.

The blue star label

The blue star label relates to the product’s energy efficiency when it comes to cooling. Currently air conditioners can achieve up to 10 stars for cooling, and the more stars they have the more energy efficient they are. Any product with seven or more stars is considered super energy efficient and will include an additional blue star band to this effect.

The red star label

In reverse cycle air conditioners, the red star label indicates how energy efficient a system is when heating your home. It also has a rating of up to 10 stars, with more stars indicating greater efficiency.

Capacity and power indicators

In addition to star ratings, air conditioners also have numbers that indicate their capacity output and power input, and it’s vital to take these into consideration when comparing energy efficiency.

The capacity output is measured in kilowatts and lets you know the amount of heating or cooling a system can produce. This figure is a factor in the size of the area that the air conditioner can heat or cool. The greater the capacity, the greater the area the system is suited to.

Meanwhile, power input shows you how much power is required to produce that capacity figure. The lower the input, the less electricity is required to operate the system.

Making comparisons

First up, when comparing air conditioners, it’s important you compare apples with apples. That comes down to capacity – ensure the capacity figures are at least similar, if not the same.

Then you can look at the star ratings to see which offers greater efficiency, remembering the more stars, the more efficient the system is.

If two systems offer the same star rating and capacity output, but the power input figures are different, the one with the lower power input offers greater efficiency.

Zoned Energy Rating Label

At present, the Australian Energy Efficiency Advisory Team (EEAT) is also examining the mandatory introduction of a Zoned Energy Rating Label (ZERL) and some systems already offer this information.

A ZERL provides enhanced information to consumers and advisors about product energy efficiency and other key performance attributes relevant to their location.

The EEAT explains: “The ZERL will display key performance information (e.g. noise levels where applicable). It will display a consistent measure to allow for appropriate sizing of these appliance types.

“Importantly it will also include a QR code that will allow interested parties to obtain information specific to their own interests and circumstances (pre-filled local energy tariffs, estimated operating hours based on their local climate, greenhouse gas emissions etc).

“Finally, the ZERL will clearly identify products that are unsuited to particular climate conditions.”

About Climacool

Servicing the greater Sydney region, Climacool Air Conditioning prides itself on superior service and quality workmanship.

We work with the leading brands in the field of heating and cooling and have an enviable reputation for meeting the needs of our valued clientele in air conditioning installation, service and repairs.

You can learn more about our services here or contact us directly for assistance in selecting the right air conditioning system for your home.