Both room air conditioners and central air conditioners are covered under Canada's Energy Efficiency Regulations, which came into effect February 3, 1995. These regulations, which cover several types of energy-using products, help.
Canadians save money and protect the environment by reducing electricity demand. Improving energy efficiency reduces greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions that contribute to climate change. Under the Regulations, energy-using products, such as room air conditioners and central air conditioners, must meet minimum efficiency standards of performance if they are to be imported into Canada or shipped across provincial and territorial boundaries.
The Energy Efficiency Regulations specify that room air conditioners must carry an EnerGuide label, which helps you obtain consistent and reliable information about the relative energy efficiency of room air conditioners on the market.
THE ENERGUIDE LABEL FOR ROOM AIR CONDITIONERS
You may already be familiar with the EnerGuide label found on major electrical household appliances, such as refrigerators, ranges, freezers, dishwashers, clothes washers and clothes dryers. Although the label for room air conditioners (see Figure 1) looks similar to the one found on appliances, it is quite different. The large bold number found on the EnerGuide label for room air conditioners is known as the EER of the unit, and the higher the EER, the more efficient the room air conditioner. The inverted triangle and the graduated bar can be used to compare the performance of a particular model with others of the same class. Class refers to the type (louvred or non-louvred) and cooling capacity category, which are indicated near the bottom of the label. The further the triangle is to the left of the scale, the less efficient it is. The further the triangle is to the right of the scale, the more efficient it is.
To further help you choose energy-efficient room air conditioners, Natural Resources Canada (NRCan) publishes the EnerGuide Room Air Conditioner Directory. It ranks room air conditioners by type and cooling capacity, starting from the highest EER to the lowest. See “Need More Information?” to find out how to order a copy of his directory.
Figure 1 EnerGuide label for room air conditioner
Sample room air conditioner EnerGuide label
Note: The EnerGuide label for room air conditioners always compares models of the same type and with similar cooling capacities.
|A||This number shows the energy efficiency ratio – EER – of the room air conditioner model. The EER is based on a Canadian Standards Association (CSA) test procedure that manufacturers must follow.|
|B||The numbers shown on the left and right of this line indicate the range of EERs available for similar models (same type and similar cooling capacity)during one year. |
The number on the right is the most energy-efficient model produced or available in a given year, as listed with EnerGuide. The number on the left of his line is the EER of the least efficient model produced or available in a given year, as listed with EnerGuide.
The numbers on this scale are provided by EnerGuide to all manufacturers and dealers, and are updated every year to reflect new models introduced in Canada.
|C||This triangle places the EER of the model on the label in comparison with the least and most efficient EERs (numbers on the left and right) of models of the same type and with similar cooling capacities.|
|D||This is the type and cooling capacity category. Types are either louvred or non-louvred. Cooling capacity category is in Btu/h.|
|E||This is the actual model number of the unit on which the label should be placed.|
EnerGuide now has a powerful new ally: the international ENERGY STAR symbol. While EnerGuide provides comparative information on the energy consumption of different products, the ENERGY STAR symbol on a room air conditioner or on its EnerGuide label assures you that the unit is one of the top energy performers on the market.
Consumers now recognize the ENERGY STAR symbol as a symbol for energy efficiency.
Look for the new ENERGY STAR symbol in 2004.
To qualify for the ENERGY STAR symbol, a room air conditioner must meet a standard of premium energy efficiency. To earn this status, a room air conditioner must exceed the Government of Canada's minimum standard of energy efficiency by at least 10 percent. See the table on the next page for details on ENERGY STAR performance levels.
New for 2004: ENERGY STAR performance levels for thorough-the-wall and casement units.
|TYPE||WINDOW-MOUNTED (LOUVRED SIDES)||THROUGH-THE-WALL (WITHOUT LOUVRED SIDES)|
|Cooling Capacity (Btu/h) Standard||Minimum EER to be ENERGY STAR qualified|
|Less than 6 000||10.7||9.9|
|6 000 to 7 999||10.7||9.9|
|8 000 to 13 999||10.8||9.4|
|14 000 to 19 999||10.7||9.4|
|20 000 and over||9.4||9.4|
|Casement-only – all||9.6|
|Casement-slider – all||10.5|
Note: Units with heating elements or reverse cycles (i. e. mini heat pumps) do not qualify for ENERGY STAR.
By replacing your old air conditioner with an ENERGY STAR qualified model, you can realize substantial savings in electricity costs. Today's ENERGY STAR qualified units use 30 to 40 percent less energy than most models sold 10 to 15 years ago.
Room air conditioners contribute more to the summer peak demand for electricity from the electricity grid than any other household appliance. On hot days, when the demand for electricity for air conditioning increases, the generation of coal-fired electricity can soar, with a corresponding increase in nitrogen oxides (NOx), sulphur oxides (SOx), carbon dioxide (CO2) and other emissions that lead to smog, acid rain and climate change.
By choosing an ENERGY STAR qualified room air conditioner, you can help the environment and realize significant electrical savings.
For more information on ENERGY STAR in Canada, visit the Web site at energystar.gc.ca or call 1 800 387-2000 toll-free.
The room air conditioner EER and cooling capacity are determined in accordance with the Canadian Standards Association (CSA) Standard C368.1-M90, which specifies methods of testing, test conditions and tolerances.
Certification organizations accredited by the Standards Council of Canada, such as CSA, operate energy efficiency verification services for manufacturers, distributors and importers of room air conditioners to help them demonstrate compliance with federal and provincial regulations. These verification services assess the products' performance against mandated requirements and put in place a process to ensure that production units continue to meet these requirements.
As mentioned earlier, central air conditioners must meet minimum efficiency standards of performance under Canada's Energy Efficiency Regulations, as well as under similar regulations in many provinces. These regulations specify the minimum seasonal energy efficiency ratio (SEER) for central air-conditioning equipment.
THE ENERGUIDE RATING FOR CENTRAL AIR CONDITIONERS
NRCan and the Heating, Refrigerating and Air Conditioning Institute of Canada (HRAI) have established an industry-managed energy efficiency rating system for furnaces, central air conditioners and heat pumps. The energy efficiency rating scale appears under the EnerGuide logo on the back of the manufacturers' brochures (see Figure 2). As with the EnerGuide label for room air conditioners, the inverted triangle and graduated bar can be used to compare a particular model with other model designs and types.
Figure 2 EnerGuide rating for central air conditioners and heat pumps
The central air conditioner SEER and cooling capacity are determined in accordance with CSA Standard C273.3-M91: Performance Standard for Split-System Central Air Conditioners and Heat Pumps . The standard specifies the tests and calculation procedures to be used to determine SEER and capacity ratings. The standard also specifies the minimum efficiency requirements.
Certification organizations accredited by the Standards Council of Canada, such as CSA, operate energy efficiency verification services for manufacturers, distributors and importers of central air conditioners to help them demonstrate compliance with federal and provincial regulations. These verification services assess the products' performance against mandated requirements and put in place a process to ensure that production units continue to meet these requirements.
Today's ENERGY STAR® qualified central air conditioners use up to 20 percent less energy than standard new central air conditioners. The ENERGY STAR specification for central air conditioners requires that the EnerGuide SEER rating be 12.0 or greater for a single-package unit and 13.0 or greater for a split system.
Central air conditioners are major contributors to the summer peak demand for electricity from the electrical grid. On hot days, when the demand for electricity for air conditioning increases, the generation of coal-fired electricity can soar, with a corresponding increase in NOx, SOx, CO2 and other emissions that lead to smog, acid rain and climate change.
By choosing to buy an ENERGY STAR qualified central air conditioner that is sized correctly for your home, you can help to reduce GHGs and smog precursors, realize substantial electrical savings and increase your household's comfort.