How High Efficiency Air Conditioners Differ From Other Air Conditioners
You are probably wondering how an air conditioner could even be an energy efficient machine, given that air conditioners use so much power to cool your home. While you are certainly correct about the amount of power it takes to heat and cool your home, You may be surprised at the advances that have occurred with high efficiency air conditioners. Simply put, most modern air conditioners operate at a higher SEER, or Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio, than older machines. To get a better understanding of what that means, the following article will break it down for you.
Decreasing Energy Input While Increasing Cooling Output
In order to understand how air conditioner design and engineering works, HVAC contractors have to take a course in thermodynamics. However, there is no expectation for consumers to do the same. All you have to understand is that the design of energy efficient air conditioners involves using less electricity to produce more cooled air. To accomplish this, air conditioner manufacturers use different refrigeration chemicals, alter the size of the cooling coils and improve the insulation surrounding the major components inside each a/c unit.
The Importance of the SEER Number
The main goal of most a/c manufacturers is to get a much higher SEER number than what is presently on the market. The SEER number reveals just how efficient an air conditioner is. Currently, there are a few makes and models pushing a SEER of 20, which is two to four times more efficient than the a/c units you insert into a window to cool a single room. To get the SEER number, you have to know and apply some complicated and advanced mathematics, or you can just rely on the pre-calculated number imprinted on the energy usage tag of your air conditioner.
Persons Responsible for Determining SEER and Redesigning Air Conditioners
Mechanical engineers are responsible for creating more efficient air conditioners. They may even be the ones to do some of the calculations needed to determine the efficiency of air conditioners. The U.S. Department of Energy hires some of these engineers to calculate the SEER and then has other employees in the department approve of the SEER number for a certain make and model of air conditioner. Since the biggest goal of the Department of Energy is to conserve more energy while still approving of products to heat and cool your home, a/c units that do not meet with their standards are not approved for production, nor do they receive the Energy Star sticker of approval.