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What Is an Energy-Efficient Air Conditioner?

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How to Ensure You’re Getting an Energy-Efficient AC System Installed

If you’re in the market for a new AC system, you’re probably aware that there are energy- efficient air conditioners and ones that rely on older technology in terms of how they use power to keep your home cool.

However, we often don’t have time in our lives for understanding the ins and outs of what we buy. We just want to know if we’re making the right decisions. This is completely understandable.

That’s why it’s important to rely on a leading team for heating and cooling, so you can ensure you’re ordering and installing the most energy-efficient air conditioner. When you work with the experts, they won’t accept anything less for you.

An HVAC system is an investment in your home. This system is responsible for your comfort, as well as the dollar amount you see on your energy bill. You can give your HVAC team a leg up by mentioning the kind of energy-efficient system you’re looking for. But first, you need to know exactly what to tell them.

What Does the ENERGY STAR Logo Mean on Energy-Efficient Air Conditioners?

When browsing HVAC systems or most other major electronic appliances for your home, you may notice a little blue logo that makes all the difference in terms of energy efficiency: ENERGY STAR. An ENERGY STAR logo means that the product complies with all guidelines articulated by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

When you purchase an energy-efficient AC system with an ENERGY STAR logo, you can count on the following benefits:

  • Savings on your energy bill when compared with unrated HVAC systems.
  • An 8% reduction in energy usage in your home, making the most energy-efficient air conditioners available a way to practice more conscious energy consumption.
  • A reduction in your overall carbon footprint, meaning how much carbon-based energy your home electronic products use.


How Does ENERGY STAR Rate Energy-Efficient Air Conditioners?

ENERGY STAR certifies air conditioners based on a key rating system called SEER2 (formerly SEER). If an HVAC system meets SEER2’s criteria, it is likely one of the most energy-efficient air conditioners on the market today.

  • SEER: Short for Seasonal Energy-Efficiency Ratio, SEER is the original formula that calculates the performance of an energy-efficient AC system in relation to how much power it uses. High-performing systems will cool a space quickly using less energy, creating a ratio that is defined by a single whole number. A 13 to 15 SEER rating was – up until recently – considered the lowest rating that an energy-efficient air conditioner could earn. A higher number is obviously preferable (some systems reach as high as a 21 SEER).
  • SEER2: As of January of 2023, a new rating system has been put in place. SEER2 recreates real-world scenarios in a lab to test an AC unit’s performance and energy usage more accurately. Minimum SEER2 ratings span from 13.8 to 14.3, which has eliminated some previously rated equipment.

If the energy-efficient AC system you’re considering has an outdated SEER rating, look for a number over 21, as a SEER2 deducts 4.7% from that initial rating scale. This will ensure you’re buying a product with an overall rating that is still significantly higher than even the most energy-efficient air conditioners on the market today. For example, Ruud makes an HVAC system with a current SEER2 rating of 20.5 (originally 21.5) which puts this product at the top of its class.

What to Tell Your HVAC Team to Get the Most Energy-Efficient Air Conditioner Installed

When you work with your HVAC team to get the best energy-efficient AC system, ask them about the following:

  • Does this system have an ENERGY STAR logo?
  • What is the SEER2 rating on this product?
  • Do you carry HVAC systems with a SEER2 rating of 20 or higher, like Ruud?

If you ask these questions, you’ll end up with an exceptionally energy-efficient air conditioner. You’ll save money on your energy bill, while remaining perfectly comfortable and cool during the hottest parts of the year. You’ll also feel proud that you’re doing your part to protect our natural resources.

Keeping up a home is an expensive endeavor, so any product that saves money – and still offers incredible performance – is going to be a welcome addition. It is commonly known that when homeowners sell, the prospective buyer will ask about the condition of the HVAC system. Your realtor will be able to make a claim that will surely entice homebuyers; they’ll be able to say your HVAC system is energy-efficient and money-saving, according to ENERGY STAR and the EPA. Not a bad sales tactic!

Now that you have solid information about the best energy-efficient air conditioners, learn more about installations.