In this article, we’ll explore the top energy-efficient air conditioners that will keep your home cool and comfortable all summer long!
Table of Contents
Understanding energy efficiency in air conditioners
When it comes to air conditioners, energy efficiency is all about getting the most cooling power while using the least amount of energy. Two critical metrics help measure this: EER and SEER.
Energy Efficiency Ratio (EER)
This measures the cooling efficiency of an air conditioner at a specific temperature (usually 95°F) and humidity level. In simpler terms, EER tells you how much cooling power you get for each unit of energy consumed.
A higher EER means the air conditioner is more energy-efficient. For example, an air conditioner with an EER of 12 will consume less energy than one with an EER of 10, given the same cooling capacity.
When shopping for an air conditioner, look for models with an EER of at least 12. These units are considered energy-efficient and will help you save on your energy bills.
Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio (SEER)
SEER is another metric that helps you understand the energy efficiency of an air conditioner. It measures the average cooling efficiency over an entire cooling season instead of just one specific condition like EER.
The main difference between EER and SEER is that SEER takes into account the fluctuations in temperature and humidity throughout the cooling season, giving you a better overall picture of the air conditioner’s efficiency.
For an energy-efficient air conditioner, aim for a SEER rating of at least 15. Keep in mind that the higher the SEER rating, the more energy-efficient the unit, and the more you’ll save on your energy bills.
We recommend that you read this article: AC Efficiency Ratings [Ultimate Guide] to learn more about the EER and SEER ratings.
Components that contribute to energy efficiency in air conditioners
When it comes to energy-efficient air conditioners, several key components play a significant role. Let’s take a closer look at these components to better understand how they impact energy efficiency.
The compressor is the heart of your air conditioner, responsible for circulating refrigerant between the indoor and outdoor units. There are three main types of compressors: single-stage, two-stage, and variable-speed (inverter technology).
A single-stage compressor operates at full capacity whenever it’s on. While this might provide quick cooling, it’s not energy-efficient.
Two-stage compressors have two operating levels: high and low. They use less energy, especially during mild weather when full capacity isn’t needed.
Variable-speed compressors, also known as inverter technology, adjust their speed according to the cooling demand. This makes them highly energy-efficient, as they only use the energy needed to maintain the desired temperature. Although they’re more expensive up front, they offer long-term energy savings.
Coil design and materials
Coils play a vital role in the cooling process, transferring heat from the indoor air to the refrigerant. The two most common materials for coils are copper and aluminum. While both are effective, copper coils are generally more efficient and durable than aluminum coils. However, they’re also more expensive.
Coil coating is another factor that impacts efficiency. A coated coil helps reduce corrosion, which can lead to decreased efficiency over time. Look for models with coated coils to ensure long-lasting performance and energy efficiency.
Air filter design
Air filters are essential in maintaining good indoor air quality and keeping your air conditioner running efficiently. There are different types of air filters, such as fiberglass, pleated, and HEPA filters.
Fiberglass filters are the most basic, capturing large particles but not smaller ones. Pleated filters, on the other hand, are more efficient, trapping smaller particles and providing better airflow. HEPA filters are the most effective, capturing up to 99.97% of particles as small as 0.3 microns.
A well-designed air filter not only improves air quality but also reduces the strain on your air conditioner, leading to increased energy efficiency. So, when choosing an air conditioner, consider the type of air filter it uses and how it impacts energy efficiency.
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Efficient air conditioner models
With so many options available, finding the perfect energy-efficient air conditioner for your home can be overwhelming. To help you out, we’ve compiled a list of top models (as of the time of writing) and some essential features to consider when making your decision.
Top energy-efficient air conditioners (brands and models)
Carrier Infinity Series
The Carrier Infinity Series is renowned for its exceptional energy efficiency, with models boasting SEER ratings up to 26. A standout feature is Greenspeed Intelligence, which combines variable-speed technology with intelligent system controls. This ensures optimal energy savings and consistent temperature control. Additionally, the series offers Wi-Fi-enabled Infinity Touch thermostats for remote management and has a reputation for quiet operation and excellent humidity control.
This Daikin model has an impressive SEER rating of up to 23, thanks to its variable-speed compressor technology. The DX20VC also features a unique swing compressor design that reduces friction, ensuring a longer lifespan and better performance. Known for its quiet and energy-saving operation, this unit incorporates a high-efficiency ECM fan motor and a heavy-gauge galvanized steel enclosure with a baked-on powder coat finish for durability.
The Trane XV20i has a SEER rating of up to 22 and features variable-speed cooling for optimal energy efficiency. Its Climatuff compressor is built for durability and reliability, while the ComfortLink II communicating technology allows for seamless integration with smart thermostats for convenient temperature control. The Trane XV20i also has a unique WeatherGuard top that protects the unit from the elements and a sound-insulating compressor enclosure, ensuring a quieter operation.
This premium model from Lennox offers a SEER rating of up to 26. It features Precise Comfort technology, which adjusts cooling output in increments as small as 1% to maintain a consistent temperature. The XC25 also incorporates the SunSource Solar-Ready option, allowing homeowners to integrate solar modules for additional energy savings. The SilentComfort technology ensures quiet operation, and the iComfort S30 ultra-smart thermostat provides advanced humidity control and remote access via smartphone or tablet.
Mitsubishi Electric MSZ-FH Series
Ideal for those seeking ductless air conditioners, the MSZ-FH Series provides energy-efficient cooling with SEER ratings up to 30.5. Its inverter-driven compressor technology enables precise temperature control and energy savings. The series also features the Hyper-Heating INVERTER (H2i) technology, which ensures efficient heating even in extremely cold conditions. The MSZ-FH Series is known for its quiet operation and is compatible with the Kumo Cloud app for remote control and smart home integration.
Features to consider when choosing an energy-efficient air conditioner model
Energy Star certification: Look for models with the Energy Star label, which indicates that they meet strict energy efficiency guidelines set by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.
Cooling capacity (BTU): Ensure the air conditioner has the right cooling capacity (measured in BTUs) for your space. A unit that’s too small won’t cool effectively, while an oversized unit will consume more energy than necessary.
Noise level (dB): Check the noise level (measured in decibels) of the air conditioner. Quieter models are more comfortable to live with, especially in bedrooms or living areas.
Warranty and customer support: A good warranty and reliable customer support are essential when investing in an energy-efficient air conditioner. Look for brands that offer comprehensive warranty coverage and responsive customer service.
Click this link: Energy-Saving Features and Technologies for further reading.