8 Best Energy Efficient Air Conditioner – (Review & Guide 2020)

Among the many considerations when buying an air conditioner, energy efficiency is at the top of the list for many people. Why? Because ACs consume electricity. Many times, they consume a lot of electricity.

Energy is expensive. Currently, most states pay in the region of $0.13/kWh. It means that if your AC gobbles up electric current like there’s no tomorrow, you could end up with an enormous energy bill at the end of the year.

An energy-efficient air conditioner draws little electricity and extracts maximum value from every single watt. The result? Reduced energy consumption and lower electricity bills.

This guide is designed to help you understand AC energy efficiency (in detail) and pick out the best energy efficient air conditioner from your budget range.

We begin by reviewing some of the most energy efficient air conditioners, with details on what makes them great, then proceed to discuss what you need to keep in mind as you go about the shopping.

Best Energy Efficient Air Conditioner Comparison Table

1. Pioneer Air Conditioner WYS012A-19 Wall Mount Ductless Inverter + Mini Split

Built with the latest technologies, the WYS012A-19 from Pioneer is an all-in-one air conditioner that also functions as a heat pump (in reverse), dehumidifier, and ventilator.

It delivers 30,000 BTU at maximum capacity, but operates at multiple levels, including an energy-saving 9,000 BTU level.

What makes the WYS012A-19 so efficient is the ductless design. Ductless air conditioners are some of the most efficient air conditioners. They are well insulated and draw only the power needed to deliver the desired indoor climate.

This particular model implements variable-speed inverter compressor technology for even greater energy efficiency. The unit is rated 19 SEER and 10 HSPF.

The appliance features an attractive front panel and LED display (dimmable), automatic swing louvers, multi-speed fan motor, and permanent washable air filters. It’s also very quiet. It uses both remote and wireless control.

Pros

  • 12,000 BTU cooling
  • Four operating modes
  • Timer, auto operation, and auto restart
  • Rated 19 SEER, 10 HSPF
  • Plugs into standard 110/115V outlet
  • 2-year parts, 5-year compressor warranty

Cons

  • A bit pricey

2. Senville SENL-09CD Mini Split Air Conditioner Heat Pump 9,000 BTU

Another 4-in-1 AC, heat pump, dehumidifier, and ventilator, the SENL-09CD is a LETO Series product from renowned HVAC manufacturers Senville.

It’s a sleek, modern-design AC designed with inverter technology for efficient performance. It’s also an impressively quiet AC at just 25 decibels, making it great for bedrooms and other living areas.

Several qualities make the SENL-09CD a great energy-efficient air conditioning solution. For one, it’s a split unit. As we’ve mentioned, split ACs are very efficient.

Secondly, this AC also utilizes inverter compressor technology. Above all, the unit features four-speed settings for ultimate climate control and uses washable, reusable filters for long term convenience. It’s rated 19 SEER and 8.5 HSPF.

This AC is ETL Listed for safety and comes with a 16-foot installation kit with communication cables and pre-flared copper lines. It’s backed by a 2-year parts warranty and a 5-year compressor warranty.

Pros

  • 4-in-1 air conditioning
  • Whisper-quiet operation at 25 dB
  • Rated 19 SEER, 8.5 HSPF
  • 2-year parts, 5-year compressor warranty

Cons

  • Professional installation required

3. Mr. Cool DIY 12k BTU 22 SEER Ductless Heat Pump Split System

Also known as the DIY-12-HP-115B, this 12,000 BTU air conditioner from Mr. Cool is a two-in-one climate control unit that works as an air conditioner in the hot months and a heat pump in the winter months. In either case, it delivers 12,000 BTU and can comfortably serve a 500 square foot room.

Several things stand out about the AC. First off, being a mini-split, it uses very little energy. It also allows you to turn down the thermostat on the central AC for reduced energy consumption.

But there’s more. This air conditioner gives you the ultimate control. It ships with remote control for accurate temperature controls and uses Wi-Fi control (with smartphones) for even greater convenience. Above all, it’s smart-home compatible and works with both Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant. It’s rated 22 SEER and 10 HSPF.

This AC comes with a 25-foot pre-charged line set for quick installation and is backed by a 5-year parts warranty and 7-year compressor warranty.

Pros

  • 2-in-1 AC + heat pump
  • Highly efficient at 22 SEER, 10 HSPF
  • Easy DIY installation
  • Smart, remote, and Wi-Fi control
  • 5-year parts warranty

Cons 

  • Professional electrician required

4. LG LW1017ERSM Energy Star 10,000 BTU Window Air Conditioner

The LG LW1017ERSM is an Energy Star certified Ac with an estimated energy cost of $74 per year. It offers 10,000 BTU of cooling power at maximum capacity and is recommended for spaces up to 450 square feet. The unit comes with a wireless control device but also supports smartphone control via an app.

Window ACs aren’t usually the most efficient. However, having qualified for Energy Star certification, you can tell that this appliance is unique.

Moreover, the unit features adjustable horizontal and vertical louver controls and a three-speed fan to target specific areas in your home. The result is pinpoint cooling for energy-efficient climate control.

The best part, though, is that the unit has an energy-saver mode that halts operation in tandem with the compressor for very efficient cooling.

The LW1017ERSM installs through the window and doubles up as a dehumidifier to remove excess moisture. It comes with a one-year warranty.

Pros

  • Digital controls
  • Thermostat included
  • Energy Star certified
  • One-year manufacturer warranty

Cons

  • A bit noisy at 60 decibels
  • No programmable thermostat

5. Whynter ARC-14SH 14,000 BTU Dual Hose Portable Air Conditioner

The Whynter ARC-14SH is an award-winning floor-standing portable AC that was voted “2020 Best Overall” by Good Housekeeping. It also attained Consumer Report’s 2020 Highest Score.

Ideal for medium-sized rooms in the 500 square feet range, it doubles up as a dehumidifier and ventilator and comes with multiple operation settings for convenience and easy control.

The unit features a thermostat with a digital readout and 24-hour programmable timer so you can set your ideal indoor climate in advance. A patented auto-drain function fully exhausts all condensate for worry-free operation.

It’s worth noting that this is a dual-hose portable air conditioner. Dual hose ACs are inherently more efficient as they recycle moisture and provide faster cooling.

The AC boasts four operational modes, comes with washable pre-filter and activated carbon filters, and is RoHS compliant.

Pros

  • 2 EER
  • Digital and remote control
  • Accessories kit included
  • 1-year parts warranty
  • 3-year compressor warranty

Cons

  • No Wi-Fi control
  • Now automatic function

6. LG LT1016CER 10,000 BTU 115V Remote Control Through-the-Wall AC

The only through-the-wall AC on this list, the LG LT1016CER is a beautiful 10,000 BTU air conditioner designed to air condition spaces up to 450 square feet.

It’s a 3-in-1 function appliance that also functions as a fan and dehumidifier. More importantly, it’s a maximum usability unit that operates with an LED display and a simple selection control panel. Fan speed selection, up/down temperature adjustment, and a full-featured remote are other highlights of the AC.

Some of the qualities that make this window AC a great option when shopping for an energy-efficient climate control appliance include the 24-hour timer that turns the unit on/off at a later time, 4-way air deflection for efficient distribution of air and auto-restart function that resumes AC operation automatically after a power outage. The AC is rated 10.6 CEER and is also Energy Star certified.

This AC comes with reusable, washable filters, an installation kit, and filter check reminders. It’s backed by a 1-year part and 1-year compressor warranty.

Pros

  • Plugs into standard 115V outlet
  • Washable, reusable filters
  • Rated 10.6 CEER
  • Energy save function present
  • One-year parts warranty

Cons 

  • One-year compressor warranty is short
  • Through-the-wall ACs can be noisy

7. Friedrich Chill Series Window Air Conditioner 8,000 BTU CP08G10B

This Chill Series Model CP08G10B air conditioner from Friedrich is a smaller AC compared to the options we’ve discussed so far. It’s therefore ideal for smaller spaces, in the 300-400 square feet range. You’ll also note that it’s a window AC.

Window ACs aren’t usually the most energy-efficient. But, this model is different in that it features endless functions that make it possible to achieve the desired efficiency levels.

For one, it implements auto air sweep-swing louvers that guarantee consistent air distribution. This ensures even distribution of cool air throughout the room.

Secondly, users enjoy convenient remote control so you can keep room temperatures at the level you want without wasting energy. A 24-hour timer lets you program the cooling in advance. Above all, the fan only operates during cooling to conserve energy and save costs.

The Friedrich’s features include 4-way airflow control, auto-restart to save power, and washable antimicrobial filters. The AC comes with standard installation hardware and is backed by 1-year parts and a 4-year compressor warranty.

Pros

  • Rated 12.2 EER
  • Versatile comfort, with timer
  • Money Saver mode saves energy
  • Anti-intrusion protection
  • Push-button controls
  • Side-out chassis

Cons

  • No Wi-Fi control
  • No heat mode
  • No sleep mode

8. Black + Decker BPACT08WT Portable Air Conditioner, 8,000 BTU

Finally, this is a self evaporating portable air conditioner on the list – this time from Black and Decker. Black and Decker make some fantastic home heating and air conditioning systems. Their products also come with long warranties, and you get access to invaluable customer support.

This particular AC, model BPACT08WT, is an 8,000 BTU unit, perfect for small rooms around 200 square feet. It provides fast, steady cool air and doesn’t need installation, though it comes with a 5-foot window adapter should you feel like hanging it on the window. It plugs into a standard 115V outlet, so you don’t need to worry about new wiring.

Other key features of Black and Decker include simple remote control and a top-mounted LCD display with a 24-hour timer. Together, these features allow you to closely control the temperatures in your home without unnecessary energy wastage.

A reusable filter, three fan levels, and self-evaporating operation are other important functions. It’s rated 8.94 EER.

Pros

  • Compact size for small spaces
  • Full window kit included
  • Full-function remote control
  • Castor wheels included
  • 1-year parts. 5-year compressor warranty

Cons

  • Slightly noisy at up to 75 decibels
  • Small size best suits smaller applications
  • No heating function

Why Choose An Energy Efficient Air Conditioner

outdoor unit of the best energy efficient air conditionerPerhaps we should begin by understanding what energy efficiency means. What does it mean when an air conditioning (AC) system is energy efficient?

Efficiency means doing more with less. Therefore, energy efficiency is the quality of a machine to use less energy to run at optimal levels. Another way to look at it is “squeezing as much useful power as possible out of every watt/BTU.”

The Environmental and Energy Study Institute (EESI) defines it as “using less energy to perform the same tasks – that is, eliminating energy wastage.”

The Natural Environmental Research Council, meanwhile, defines it as “using less energy to provide the same level of energy.”

Finally, the US Energy Information (EIA) defines it as “using technology that requires less energy to perform the same function.”

Benefits of Choosing the Most Energy Efficient Air Conditioner

There are endless reasons why homeowners should strive to attain energy efficiency in their homes. These include;

  • Significantly reduces your energy bills: As a homeowner, energy costs can make up a massive portion of your monthly expenses. According to studies, states such as Hawaii and Rhode Island spend 4.5% and 3.4% of their annual incomes, respectively, on electricity alone. According to the US Department of Energy, you can save anywhere between 5-30% of those costs by switching to energy-efficient appliances.
  • Earn a great return on your investment: Granted, energy-efficient appliances typically cost more upfront than less-efficient alternatives. However, over the life of the appliances, energy-efficient options guarantee a greater return on investment. The savings over the years will offset the initial cost and ultimately result in savings.
  • Enhance the quality of your life: When you optimize your energy use, you effectively increase the comfort levels in your home. In many cases, you’ll have the right indoor temperature, proper humidity, and the right ventilation, resulting in a reduced risk of mold and allergens, and better health. In fact, some experts say up to 75% of energy efficiency benefits are health-related.
  • Protect the environment: Finally, if you really care about the environment, energy efficiency becomes a no brainer. Homes were responsible for 19% of national greenhouse emissions in 2016. Investing in more energy-efficient appliances and practices can reduce your carbon footprint by 25-30%.

What Makes an Energy Efficient Air Conditioner?

There are many factors to consider when assessing the best energy efficient air conditioner. Let’s begin with the well-established efficiency rating – EER and SEER.

EER

EER is short for Energy Efficiency Ratio. It is a measure of how efficiently an air conditioner uses electricity to remove heat from your home.

The EER rating is used for all air conditioners, from window to wall and central air units. The ratio is now also found in the literature of split air systems. One of the very first AC manufacturers to list the EER rating on their appliances was Rheem.

The EER rating of your air conditioner should be listed in the specifications section of the user guide. Many manufacturers also display it in the Energy Guide label. The Energy Guide label is a yellow and black tag attached to most home appliances. It tells shoppers how the appliance uses energy (more on this later).

It’s worth noting that the EER measurement is only for air conditioning. A few ACs double up as heat pumps for supplemental heating in the colder months. EER ratings don’t measure the heating efficiency of heat pumps. Instead, heating efficiency is measured by a separate metric – the Heating Seasonal Performance Factor (HSPF).

How EER is Determined

The Energy Efficiency Ratio is a very specific measurement. It measures how efficient an air conditioner cools under the following conditions;

  • The outdoor temperature is 95F
  • Indoor temperature is 80F
  • The relative humidity is 50%

Every EER of every AC is measured relative to these specific conditions in a laboratory. It’s the only way to compare “apples to apples.”

Once the necessary measurements are taken, the EER value of the AC under test is calculated by dividing the number of cooling BTUs generated by the watts of electricity consumed over the same period. In other words;

EER = BTU/hour divide by watts per hour

If you have these measurements (BTUs/hour and watts/hour) for your AC (which you should), you can easily calculate the EER of the appliance. Just divide the two figures. For instance, if the AC is rated 18,000 BTU and 1,590 watts, then the EER is calculated as 18,000/1,590 = 11.3 EER.

The figure is actually a ratio (as suggested in the name (EER)). So, an 11.3 EER should be listed as 11.3:1. However, since the readings are BTUs per single watt of electricity, it’s a lot more straightforward and understandable to list it without the to-one ratio.

Factors that Affect EER Rations

Two key factors affect the EER performance of air conditioners – prevailing temperatures and humidity.

  • Temperature: As already mentioned, EER is calculated when the outdoor temperature is 95F. If the temperature is higher than 95F, the efficiency might be lower. Lower temperatures typically result in higher efficiency figures.
  • Humidity: The EER value is likely to be even further from the true value if the humidity is higher than 50%. Air conditioners are most efficient when humidity is low. The more moisture in the air, the harder it is for the AC to run, thus lower efficiency figures. Lower than 50% humidity will consequently return a higher EER efficiency value.

What’s a Great EER Rating?

Unfortunately, the highest EER rating isn’t always the best. How much the rating fits your needs will depend on several factors, especially your geographic location.

In hotter, more humid climates, a higher EER rating would make more sense. It will cost you more, but you’re guaranteed significant savings through the years. The average payback period is about five years, depending on your climate. Ann 11+ EER rating would be excellent.

Cooler, less humid climates can do with lower EER ratings since the AC doesn’t need to work as hard as in hotter climates. An EER rating in the 10-11 range would be ideal.

SEER

SEER is short for Seasonal Energy Efficiency Rating. It’s the cooling output of an air conditioning system divided by electricity consumption over the same period. The higher the SEER value, the more efficient the AC.

What’s the Difference between EER and SEER?

The main difference is that SEER measures the efficiency of an AC over a cooling season while the EER is a measure of the same appliance’s efficiency throughout the year.

While EER is measured under specific and very strict climatic conditions, SEER values aren’t very strict about prevailing temperature and pressure because these two tend to vary significantly over a cooling season. In many instances, SEER values are measured at any temperature between 60°F and 100°F

For this reason, the accuracy of the SEER rating is sometimes questioned. For instance, a 16 SEER AC in a cool climate might only achieve 14 SEER performance in a hot climate. It’s been found that the efficiency drops by 1 SEER for every 5°F temperature drop.

This is partly why some air conditioning systems still don’t use the SEER rating. Only mini-split systems (air pumps) and central air conditioners widely use the rating.

Most Common SEER Ratings

The lowest possible SEER rating is 13 SEER. These ACs are the least efficient models rated under the SEER model. They are also only allowed in colder climates such as Canada and the northern states of the US. For the warmer states, a minimum rating of 14 SEER is required.

Above the minimum, ACs can be as efficient as 26 SEER, while those that double up as heat pumps typically max out at 25 SEER.

Which is the Best SEER Rating?

As with EER ratings, it depends on your cooling needs and climate/location. You’ll benefit more from a higher SEER AC if living in a warmer climate.

That said, there are a few things you should know about even the most energy efficient air conditioner in the different SEER ranges. They are slightly different from one another;

  • 13 to 16 SEER ACs: Are mostly single-stage air conditioners. They run at maximum capacity when on and tend to turn on and off a lot, resulting in significant cold/warm imbalances. These units also remove less humidity. Many ACs in this category have multi-speed blowers. They’re the cheapest ACs.
  • 16 to 20 SEER ACs: Are typically two-stage air conditioners. They have two working capacities – Low (about 40% of total BTU) and High (100% of BTU power). In the Low setting, the units consume less power and generate gentler, longer cooling. There’s also a better temperature balance. Many of them have variable-speed blowers.
  • 19 to 26 SEER: Are variable-speed compressor air conditioners. The compressors automatically self-regulate to deliver optimum comfort while consuming the least energy. Sometimes they run on just 25% of the BTU rating depending on indoor air conditions. When more cooling is needed, the unit will automatically adjust output to meet the increased demand. They are the best ACs you can buy.

Other AC Energy Efficiency Metrics/Ratings

Although EER and SEER ratings are the most important metrics when shopping for an energy efficient air conditioner, there are a few other considerations to keep in mind;

Energy Star Rating

The Energy Star label was established in 1992 to help consumers easily identify and pick the best products that promote and support energy efficiency in the home. Energy Star products are better at utilizing energy and emit fewer if any, greenhouse gases.

For an appliance to become Energy Star certified, it must adhere to strict guidelines and meet specifications established by the Environmental Protection Authority. These specifications include;

  • The product must show an increase in energy savings for consumers throughout the country.
  • The product cannot be less than what consumers expect in terms of features and performance.
  • Consumers must see a reduction in monthly utility bills even if the Energy Star rated product costs more than non-certified alternatives.
  • Improved performance and reduced energy consumption should be provable through testing at any given time.

Benefits of Energy Star ACs

There are several benefits of buying an Energy Star certified air conditioner. Reading from the program’s eligibility criteria, you’re guaranteed;

  • A minimum EER rating of 10.4 for ACs with non-louvered sides and 11.2 for models with louvered sides
  • A CEER rating of 10.2 for AC models with non-louvered sides and 11.0 for models with louvered sides
  • An energy saver setting (mode) at which the appliance consumes very little energy for cost savings.
  • Filter reminders that provide visual notifications, recommending the filter to be checked, cleaned, or replaced.

In general, Energy Star rated products are between 5% and 30% more efficient than non-certified alternatives.

CEER Rating

Finally, you also need to consider the Combined Energy Efficiency Rating (CEER). CEER is mostly associated with room air conditioners and window ACs. It measures the unit’s combined efficiency when it’s in standby and when it’s actually cooling the house.

It’s defined as the ratio of measured cooling output (in BTU/hour) to the average amount of electricity consumed per hour (In watts) and standby electric power consumption (also in watts).

As of June 1, 2014, the CEER metric is the measurement used in determining whether an appliance qualifies for Energy Star certification. Before that, EER measurements were used.

How AC Sizing Impacts Energy Efficiency

The AC’s size has a significant say on how efficiently it cools (or warms) the intended space. That’s because the AC capacity required to meet the air conditioning needs in any space depends on that space’s dimensions. For a smaller room, a smaller AC will suffice. A bigger room, meanwhile, requires a higher-capacity AC.

However, this doesn’t necessarily mean that a bigger AC would automatically make you feel more comfortable in the hot months. It doesn’t work that way. You may feel cooler, yes.

But, is comfort just about feeling cooler in the warmer weather? No. Indoor comfort incorporates many other factors, including humidity and safety. A more powerful AC will lower the temperatures to the desired levels, may compromise these other two aspects of indoor air quality.

It’s been shown, for instance, that an AC that’s too big for a room will reach the thermostat setting way before the desired dehumidification level is achieved. This usually results in a “clammy” and uncomfortable climate.

How to Properly Size an Air Conditioner for your Room

Where possible, you should ask an HVAC professional to help you determine the right-size AC for your home. But, if you decide to do it on your own, proceed as follows;

  1. Calculate the square footage of your home or the room(s) you’d like to air condition. The assumption here is that your room has the standard 8-foot ceiling.
  2. Divide the figure in step #1 by 500.
  3. Multiply the figure from #2 by 12,000. The result is the number of BTUs required to cool your space effectively.
  4. Add 380 BTUs for every person who works in the space. If this number varies, take an average figure and multiply it by 380, then add to the figure in #3.
  5. Add 1,000 BTU for every window, including the window where the AC is installed if you’re buying a window AC. For kitchen windows, add 1,200 BTU for each.

The final figure after step #5 is the AC capacity in BTUs required for your space/home. Since ACs are rated in tons, you’ll need to convert the figure to tons. 1 ton = 12,000 BTU.

Other Factors that can Affect AC Efficiency

So far, we’ve mentioned efficiency ratings (EER, SEER, CEER, and Energy Star certification) and sizing as the primary factors to consider when shopping for an energy-efficient air conditioner. However, these aren’t the only factors that impact AC energy efficiency. Other factors to consider include;

remote controlling the most energy efficient air conditioner

  • AC type: The different types of ACs have different efficiency levels. Multiple studies show that the central ACs are the most efficient, followed by split ACs and portable ACs in that order, leaving window/wall ACs the least efficient. It’s worth noting that AC systems are, however, also the most expensive upfront.
  • Installation location: Where the AC is installed will also determine the operational efficiency. If a highly efficient AC is positioned in a location where most of the cool air is lost, perhaps through the window, the high EER/SEER rating becomes unhelpful.
  • Age of the unit: The age of your AC is a huge factor. Models that are 20 years old or older are rarely very efficient. Most of the parts would have worn off, including the compressor. Repairs might help to a degree, but after a certain age, replacement is the best option.
  • Single vs. multi-stage compressors: Essentially, single-stage ACs are the least efficient because they’re either off or running at full capacity. There’s no energy-saving setting. Multiple-stage compressor ACs are more efficient because there are multiple operational levels, some specifically designed to save energy. Some switch between the stages automatically.
  • Variable-speed blowers: Variable-stage blowers use the same principle as multi-stage compressors. The only difference is that it refers to the AC’s fan system. The fan’s motor system controls how much air flows through your home. Variable-speed blowers automatically self-adjust to deliver optimal airflow while utilizing the least possible electricity.
  • Installation: Finally, the quality of the installation will also determine the efficiency level of the AC during operation. For one, the AC must be level with the area you’d like to air condition or the louvers positioned in a way that maximizes airflow to the desired location. This is one of the reasons professional installation is highly recommended.  

How to Save Electricity with Air Conditioners

Even after you start using the AC, you can take steps to increase the unit’s energy efficiency. Consider the following;

Keep the vents free from debris

Debris in the vents can not only cause noise but also block airflow, resulting in reduced efficiency. Make it a habit to walk around the AC to check whether there’s debris blocking airflow. If you notice any debris, remove them right away. You’re also advised to vacuum the AC once in a while and schedule professional maintenance at least twice a year.

Close all doors and windows

The conditioned air in your home can easily escape through the doors and windows. Closing all entryways and windows helps keep the conditioned air indoors. Whenever you feel like airing out the home, shut off the AC first, then open the doors and windows for a while. Then, close them again before you turn off the AC.

Ensure proper insulation

Air leaks are another significant cause of efficiency losses in the home. Where leaks are present, the cool air will use them to escape to the outdoors, leaving your home hot even when the AC is on. The result is that the AC needs to work harder and longer to achieve and maintain the desired indoor climate. Both of these negatively affect efficiency. Proper insulation eliminates this problem.

Thermostat placement is important too

If the thermostat is placed close to warm areas, such as close to a sunny window or a lamp, it may not gauge your temperatures correctly, likely resulting in incorrect indoor air conditioning. Usually, you may also end up paying more for the energy you don’t even need. Professional technicians know this, which is why they’ll never install the thermostat close to a window.

There are many other steps you can take to improve air conditioning efficiency in your home for greater comfort and lower energy bills. These include;

  • Schedule regular preventive maintenance
  • Consider installing a zoning system
  • Don’t use the registers to control the temperature
  • Avoid using the oven or dryer
  • Change the AC filter as advised by the manufacturer
  • Insulate any exposed ductwork
  • Clear the drain line

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) About the Most Energy Efficient Air Conditioning

If you’re still struggling with a few questions at the back of your head, the following are answers to common energy-efficient AC questions;

  • Does energy saver mode in air conditioning save money

Yes. An energy saver mode can help save energy and money. It’s partly why Energy Star demands an energy-saving mode as part of the requirements for appliance certification.

  • How much does an air conditioner cost to run per hour?

On average, it costs $0.06 to $0.88 to run an AC per hour. However, this is just an estimate. The actual cost will depend on other factors, such as the capacity (BTU) of the AC and the cost of electricity in your location.

  • Is it cheaper to run a window or central air conditioner?

As we’ve already seen, central/ducted air conditioners are more efficient to run. This would translate to lower operational costs compared to similarly-rated ACs. However, you need to remember that central ACs are typically much larger (capacity-wise) than window ACs. In the end, therefore, it costs more to run a central AC.

  • Portable air conditioner vs. window air conditioner 

Portable air conditioners are generally more efficient than window air conditioners. Also, since portable ACs can be placed right where the air conditioning is needed, the benefits are greater. Window ACs, however, typically cost less than similarly-rated portable units.  

  • Mini-split vs. central air conditioner

Everything considered mini splits are the most energy-efficient way to air condition your home. Granted, central ACs rank better with regard to efficiency ratings. However, mini splits offer a kind of convenience that greatly boosts overall air conditioning efficiency.

Conclusion

As you can tell by now, energy efficient air conditioning isn’t just about buying an efficient air conditioner. Getting the right AC is just the first step.

Once you take the AC home, you need to use it efficiently and make sure to prevent efficiency loss by aggressively insulating your home and closing the doors and windows when cooling/heating the home.

We must also stress that the “right” air conditioner is more than just energy-efficient. Make sure to consider other factors such as noise levels, price, design aesthetics, and safety features.

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