Why Does Coolzy Not Have an Energy Star Rating?
When shopping for household appliances, you might be in the habit of looking out for the Energy Star rating. After all, choosing a more energy-efficient home appliance is a great way of reducing greenhouse gasses and doing your bit to ease the strain on our planet’s energy resources.
However, you will notice that Coolzy portable air conditioners do not carry this energy endorsement at all.
What Does an Energy Star Rating Mean?
An Energy Star rating is a trusted, government-backed symbol that provides information on the energy consumption of products and devices to help consumers make energy-efficient choices to protect the environment, reduce their energy consumption, and minimize running costs.
So why does Coolzy not have an Energy Star rating? The short answer is that Coolzy is officially classified as a “spot cooler”. Currently there is no energy star rating system in place for spot coolers.
Coolzy Cools Without Warming the Planet
Coolzy’s eco-friendly personal air conditioners are the product of major technological breakthroughs. These innovative personal cooling units are designed to make cooling less energy intensive and more environmentally friendly using special patented technology to focus a stream of cool air around you, creating your very own cool personal micro-climate.
Using only 300 Watts, equivalent to three or four conventional light bulbs, Coolzy’s compact personal air conditioner saves up to 75% electricity. In fact, it’s so energy efficient that you can run it all night long for less than a dollar. No other air conditioner can provide so much cooling comfort on so little electricity. This is only one of many reasons why more and more people are choosing Coolzy’s personal air conditioner over a conventional wall mounted unit.
When were Energy Star Ratings Introduced?
Star ratings were introduced in the 1980s as a consequence of the surge in oil prices caused by the OPEC oil embargo in 1973, which reduced oil supplies. Energy prices went up by nearly four times in the space of a few months causing a worldwide recession and stock market collapses.
Governments wanted people to choose more energy-efficient appliances to help reduce their dependence on imported oil and other similarly priced energy sources. The idea was to provide a simple guide for people to choose more energy-efficient options from a wide range of choices in typical appliance stores.
How Appliances are Rated
Manufacturers of appliances that need energy star ratings must provide independent test results that demonstrate the energy efficiency performance of every model that they sell. The tests are prescribed in Australian Standards. Other countries have similar rating schemes and most countries use the same testing methods.
In the most recent changes to the Australian energy efficiency labelling rules for air conditioners, manufacturers not only have to provide a star rating to indicate energy efficiency, but also estimate the total energy use for a given number of operating hours spread through the warmer times of the year. The Australian continent has been separated into three different climate zones: cool across the south, moderate including cities like Perth and Sydney, and the hot northern zone. Energy usage has to be estimated for each of these three zones. This will eventually provide some better advice for purchasers.
How a High Energy Star Rating Can Be Misleading
With air conditioners, most people think that a five-star appliance uses less energy than a four-star model but they could be quite wrong. While an Energy Star label indicates that the appliance uses less energy than the minimum guidelines, purchasing an Energy Star labelled product does not necessarily mean one is getting the most energy-efficient option available.
It is helpful to understand how air conditioners really work. Like refrigerators, they use electricity to pump heat from cooler places (inside) to warmer places (outside). However, unlike a fridge with a thick insulated cabinet and air-tight door seals, an air conditioner is constantly battling a flow of heat through window glass, walls, ceilings, floors and air blowing in through an open doorway or window, even countless small passages such as light fittings. Appliances like cookers and even the fridge generate heat that has to be removed. People generate heat as well. The air conditioner is constantly struggling to bring the room temperature down to the level set on the thermostat. The amount of energy used is proportional to the amount of heat it has pump out.
The amount of energy actually used by an air conditioner, therefore, depends far more on how the building was designed in the first place, how well it’s insulated, how people use the space and how they operate the thermostat.
For example, a four-star air conditioner running in a small insulated bedroom with curtains drawn across closed windows, therefore, may use far less energy than a five-star unit cooling a large open plan kitchen and living area with doors opening as people go in and out, curtains drawn back, and with cooking, TV and other appliances operating.
Of course, the problem faced by regulators and air-conditioning manufacturers is that most factors are completely beyond their control. Nevertheless, some guidance is better than none at all.
Why Do Conventional Air Conditioners Have Energy Star Ratings and Spot Coolers Don’t?
Unlike “spot coolers” that only cool a localised area, conventional room air conditioners are relatively energy-hungry appliances. In Australia, up to 50% of household energy is used for winter heating, summer cooling and hot water. In many parts of Australia, demand for electricity to run air-conditioning in summer accounts for almost half of the total grid capacity.
Hence, governments in many countries have introduced “minimum energy-efficiency performance standards” (MEPS) and star ratings to influence building designers and consumers in their choices.
However, it’s not just the oil price that calls for more energy-efficient solutions. Countries need to invest huge amounts of money in electricity generators and wires to provide power. And now, there is an additional factor: the need to reduce greenhouse emissions that arise from electricity generation and also leaking refrigerant gases. Governments have to consider the cost of regulation in relation to benefits.
In Australia, around 2 million new room air-conditioners are installed every year. However only 50,000 portables are sold according to government estimates, and only a few thousand spot coolers. Therefore, regulating the much larger number of room air-conditioner installations is the most effective way to reduce overall energy consumption and, by extension, greenhouse emissions. Regulating spot coolers would provide insignificant energy savings.
The Complications of Conventional Portable Room Air Conditioners
Conventional portable room air conditioners pose some complications when it comes to energy efficiency. These machines come with a large hose that enables hot exhaust air to be pumped out through the window. There is an unfortunate side effect. Air has to flow back into the room to make up for the air that is pumped out, usually through vents from the hot roof space above. These machines pump out far more air through the exhaust hose than they cool in the first place. Therefore, they provide much less cooling to the room where they are used, and have much lower energy efficiency than, for example, split system room air conditioners.
Zero Star Rating Proposed for Portable Room Air Conditioners
The US Department of Energy decided to require manufacturers to estimate the actual room cooling delivered by portable room air conditioners, which is about half as much as a split or window air conditioner with the same electricity consumption. In Australia, the government proposed a mandatory zero Star rating for these portable room air conditioners. However, no doubt after submissions from importers, the Council of Australian Governments (COAG) decided against providing this improved guidance for consumers.
Coolzy Provides the Simplest and Cheapest Cooling Option for Homes
With global warming being a major concern, the need for an energy-efficient air conditioner that cools without warming the planet has never been greater. With state governments and corporations leading the way to a zero emissions future by 2050, Coolzy personal air-conditioning will become more and more attractive. Not only is Coolzy the cheapest air-conditioning solution around for consumers, it will easily run with free electricity off modest solar panels during the day, and minimal energy consumption from grid supplies at night. Using only 300 Watts, it represents an enormous reduction in overall energy demand.
Of course, there is still a place for conventional room air conditioners. Coolzy is not designed for cooling a crowd. In factories and shopping centres, solar panels can provide plenty of electricity during the day to run conventional room air-conditioning systems. New technologies will enable cooling into the night using stored solar energy while new refrigerant gases emerging over the next few years will greatly reduce harmful greenhouse emissions. But these are complex and expensive options: they are worthwhile investments for commercial and large-scale buildings.
Coolzy still provides the simplest and cheapest cooling option for homes and small offices. Thanks to Coolzy’s eco-friendly portable air conditioner, you can save money on electricity bills while doing your bit for the environment. Coolzy technology could, if widely adopted, slash anticipated greenhouse gas emissions from normal room air conditioners significantly.