When you start thinking about upgrading your air conditioner, it’s a good idea to consider one that has the Energy Star rating. The Energy Star program was started several decades ago by the U.S. Department of Energy and the EPA to make it easier for consumers to identify products that use less energy than similar models.
Of all the appliances in your home, your Chicago air conditioning system probably takes the most energy to operate. If you’re like the typical household in the U.S., about half of your electrical use in the summer goes toward keeping your Chicago home cool and comfortable.
It could even use more, depending on your system’s age, original energy efficiency, and how well it’s been maintained.
All cooling systems carry efficiency ratings called the SEER (seasonal energy efficiency ratio) and EER (energy efficiency ratio).
Central cooling systems and heat pumps must show their SEER ratings clearly on the product or the packaging.
Wall and window air conditioners have to disclose their EER ratings, and in the southwestern states, central systems must as well.
Manufacturers must subject each model of cooling systems they make to laboratory testing to determine its SEER and EER ratings.
The laboratory measures the amount of electricity the unit uses to maintain a space at 80 degrees F with 50 percent humidity over the course of a cooling season, where outdoor temperatures are held at 82 degrees.
Engineers find the EER rating in a similar way, only the outdoor temperature is set to 95 degrees and test the equipment for a short period.
Each whole numeric increase in the SEER rating indicates the unit uses 10 percent less electricity. A unit with a SEER of 15 will use 20 percent less electricity than one with a SEER of 13.
To qualify for the Energy Star designation, a central cooling system must have a SEER rating of 14.5. In the southwest, cooling systems must also have an EER rating over 12 to qualify for the Energy Star label.
All Energy Star cooling systems must provide a financial payback for the extra cost of a higher efficiency system within a reasonable time. The components in Energy-Star certified cooling systems are almost always of a higher quality, which helps you save money on maintenance and repair costs.
Want to understand why an energy star cooling system is right for your Chicago, IL home? Call TDH Mechanical, Inc. at (630) 406-9082 today, and see what other benefits it has to offer!
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