Your utility bills keep going up and you know your old appliances aren’t as energy efficient as newer ones. Plus the government has come up with energy efficiency ratings to help you make economical and environmental choices, but you just don’t know what those numbers are telling you.
Energy Efficiency Ratings (EER)
- There are different energy efficiency ratings for different types of products.
- Central Air Conditioners. SEER (Seasonal Energy Efficiency Rating) is the measure of efficiency. The higher the number the more energy efficient the unit is. Look for a unit with a SEER of 12 or more.
- Room Air conditioners. EER (Energy efficiency rating) is the measure. Here again the higher the number the more energy efficient the unit is. However, an important consideration in choosing a room air conditioner (besides energy efficiency) is matching the size of the room with the size of the air conditioning unit. An undersized unit (no matter how energy efficient) will run constantly and use extra energy. As a gauge, a 9,000 British Thermal Unit (BTU) air conditioner will effectively cool an area of 350 to 400 square feet.
- Washing Machine. EF (energy factor) Indicates the number of complete cycles a washer will operate while using one kilowatt-hour of electricity. The current federal standard for energy efficient washers is an EF of 1.18, while Energy Star washers require an EF of 2.5.
- Dishwashers. EF (energy factor) once again is the unit of measurement, and indicates the number of complete cycles a dishwasher will complete while using one-kilowatt hour of electricity. Dishwashers that qualify for the Energy Star label have an EF of 0.52 or greater.
- Refrigerators and freezers. The labels indicates the number of kilowatt-hours of electricity the appliance will use in one year of operation. The smaller the number, the more efficient the appliance.