While summer is usually a time of joy, it can be quite frustrating if you have to deal with the long, hot days, without an air conditioner. When it comes to purchasing an appropriate air conditioner for your home, the process isn’t as straightforward, as you might think. It’s best to take caution when purchasing an air conditioner in order to ensure that you find the one most suitable for you. You obviously want an inexpensive item, but one that provides quality, and is energy efficient.
As of October 2015, all ENERGY STAR rated air conditioners are required to meet the ENERGY STAR 4.0 standard, which sets maximum power use at 10% less than older models. Cooling is only provided, when necessary. Room air conditioners also tend to be less costly than central units, and often more convenient. Everyone knows the struggle when you want the air conditioner on full blast, but your roommate prefers a warmer room. If you have a central air conditioner, then this can cause quite a dilemma. If you’re ready to finally make a change and purchase a room air conditioner, follow along below in order to figure out what’s best for you.
Energy Efficiency of Room Air Conditioners
Room air conditioners measure energy efficiency through the energy efficiency ratio, EER for short. The EER, put simply, is the ratio of the cooling capacity (thermal units per hour) to the power input (in watts). You don’t have to worry about the nitty gritty details too much. Just keep in mind that the higher the EER rating, the more efficient the air conditioner. Every increase of 1.0 on the EER measurement means 10% increase in energy efficiency.
You can easily locate information about a room air conditioners EER measurement, through the EnergyGuide label on the unit. It’s best to purchase an air conditioner that has at least a 12 rating for EER, along with the ENERGY STAR label. It’s important to ensure the ENERGY STAR label is seen, in order to ensure that the product you’re purchasing meets strict energy efficiency guidelines. These guidelines are set by the U.S Environmental Protection Agency, and the U.S department of Energy.
A benefit of purchasing an ENERGY STAR 4.0 air conditioner is that the product will include a timer, that will allow you ample temperature control. You’ll be able to have a cool room, without using a great amount of energy. This will reflect on your electricity bill as well, if it’s not fixed.
Appropriately Sizing a Room Air Conditioner
The necessary cooling capacity for room air conditioners depends largely on the room you would like to cool. Room air conditioners tend to have capacities that range from 5,500 BTU per hour to 14,00 BTU per hour.
If you’re like most people you probably think that the bigger the air conditioner, the more effective it will be in cooling your room, however, this is a grave mistake. The fact of the matter is if you buy an overtly large room air conditioner it will actually be less effective, and will waste a large amount of energy. Scientifically speaking, air conditioners remove not only heat, but also humidity from the air.
This means that if you have a large air conditioner, although your room will cool quickly, the humidity will not be removed, as fast. Put simply, you’ll end up with a cool, but damp, clammy room. This can be quite uncomfortable. This is why it’s most effective to purchase a properly sized unit, in order to ensure both heat and humidity are removed at the same rate.
Should You Get a Smart Air Conditioner?
Yes, believe it or not, there’s a such thing as a smart air conditioner. If you already have a smart home, with many smart devices installed, then you may want to also purchase a smart air conditioner. If you purchase a smart air conditioner, you’ll have the ability to control a room air conditioner from anywhere. This can ultimately, save you a lot of time and money, especially if you’re someone who doesn’t stick to a schedule. You’ll also have the option to connect your smart air conditioner to other smart device you own, in order to create a seamless string of connections.
If you’re someone who does tend to stick to a schedule but doesn’t own smart devices, you may want to consider purchasing a timer. This will save you money on your energy bill, and on the air conditioner itself, as well.
Miscellaneous Factors to Consider When Purchasing
There are a few last things you should take in to account before you go out to purchase your new, energy efficient air conditioner. You should ensure that your home’s electrical system can meet the power requirements of the air conditioner that you’re purchasing. If you rent, you can speak to your landlord about this. Room air conditioners tend to operate on 115/volt or 230-volt circuits. The general household receptacle is a connection for a 115-volt branch circuit.
Please keep in mind that if you’re purchasing a large unit that’s rated at 115 volts then you may require a dedicated circuit. If you’re purchasing a large room unit rated at 230 volts then you may need a special circuit.
If you plan on mounting your air conditioner towards the corner of your room, then it’s best to look for an air conditioner that can direct its airflow in the desired direction, depending on your room layout. If you’re, on the other hand, mounting your air conditioner at the narrow end of a long room, then you may want to consider purchasing a model that has a turbo fan mode, in order to ensure that air can drive further into the room.
Other perks you may want to consider are a built-in timer, and a digital reading of the temperature that can be seen from across your room, if necessary, depending on the layout of your room. Once you’ve considered all the options above, it’s likely you’ll make the right choice.