Installing a brand new heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC) unit can be complicated enough for an unskilled person. Installing such units properly requires expertise and experience. In the event that you need any such services, consider contacting Landmark Air: check out our heating and cooling services in Canberra.
Buying an air conditioning (AC) unit may seem straightforward. However, many people do not fully understand how a particular HVAC unit utilizes power, and how such consumption will affect their budget in the long term.
If you have had any experience buying AC units, you will have come across some peculiar initials in the user manual. While these acronyms may have little relevance to the average uninformed buyer, they are critical to the longevity of your HVAC unit. This is because these initials represent a quantification scale for energy efficiency and consumption in different forms.
Before purchasing an air conditioning unit, pay close attention to these acronyms:
This is one of the basic, yet critical, figures regarding your AC’s cooling capabilities. Capacity (or cooling capacity) is the amount of built-up heat that an air conditioner has to get rid of from a particular space (or room) in order to attain a specific humidity and temperature.
75.2 Fahrenheit (or 24 degrees Celsius) is the average temperature at which most HVAC models are set. This figure is joined with a relative humidity of 55%.
Getting the precise figure for your room’s cooling capacity can be tricky. A seasoned HVAC contractor will factor in the room direction and dimensions, among other factors, before calculating this figure.
A thermal unit of 9 000 Btu/hour means that your AC unit can remove 9 000 units of heat every hour. This figure is the standard for most split system HVAC.
Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio ( SEER)
SEER is the cooling output expressed as a percentage of the electrical consumption of an HVAC unit i.e. British thermal units (Btu) divided by watts (W). The Air Conditioning, Heating, and Refrigeration Institute (AHRI) grades this ratio. SEER paints a more accurate picture of an AC unit’s efficiency, taking into account all measurements within 1 year.
When buying an AC unit, ensure to go for those with a higher SEER value. In this grading system, a SEER value of 16, for example, is better than 13.
The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) of the US government believes that newer HVAC models with higher SEER values are more cost-efficient. An older model with a SEER value of 8, for example, is twice as costly to run as a newer one with a SEER rating of 16.
Heating Seasonal Performance Factor (HSPF)
HSPF calculates the heating efficiency of the heat pump equipment. This heat pump equipment is responsible for both heat and air conditioning.
Much like SEER, HSPF is also a ratio; it measures the entire space heating for a particular heating season against the total quantity of electricity consumed by the heat pump equipment.
The higher the HSPF value, the more efficient an HVAC unit is. With technological advances progressing regularly, experts believe that HSPF values will continue to rise, which will mean better heating efficiency for new AC unit models.
Currently, 13 is the maximum value for most HVAC units, although 8 is considered the threshold value at which heating efficiency begins.
Energy Efficiency Ratio (EER)
EER values tend to get mixed up with those of SEER. Unlike SEER, EER calculates an HVAC’s cooling output under precise test conditions. EER is best measured under test conditions that mimic scenarios of increased demand for electrical consumption (peak load), at soaring temperatures. Just like HSPF, the higher the EER value the more energy-efficient an AC unit is.
Ensure to consider weather conditions when purchasing an HVAC unit; EER ratings should range between 11.6 to 16.2 during hot summer conditions.
Consider both SEER and EER values of an AC unit before purchase.
An EER value by itself does not give an accurate assessment of efficiency. Having a high SEER does not imply a similarly high EER value.
The noise levels produced by an AC unit can become an issue if such units are to be installed in an environment that requires quietness, like a library.
Carefully consider the specifications of an AC unit; a ductless split unit has both the evaporator and condenser, whose noise levels vary. A very low noise level (measured in dBa) is characteristic of the evaporator unit.
Higher efficiency AC units tend to have a higher noise level. As a customer, you may have to make a choice between efficiency and quietness.