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Energy Star rated air conditioners: an overview

Considering Energy Star rated air conditioners? Read this guide.

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Energy Star rated air conditioners will save you money in the long run. Photo by James Wheeler on Flickr.Before you install a new air conditioning unit in your home, determine what type of unit is right for your home. If you're concerned about the cost of cooling your home, Energy Star-rated air conditioners will help keep your cooling costs down.

In addition to the cost of cooling your home, the cost of the unit and the installation must also be considered. Air conditioner prices and the cost of installation vary, so it's important that you obtain an air conditioner estimate from an HVAC certified contractor before you make your decision. Reply! has plenty of information to help you choose a good AC unit and find a reliable contractor in your area.

When you start comparing air conditioner units, you'll notice that there are a lot of options to choose from. Energy Star-rated air conditioners are a good choice for people who are concerned about conserving energy and with their home cooling costs.

In order to be Energy Star rated, the air conditioner has to meet strict guidelines set by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. To qualify for this rating, air conditioners need to:

    • Have a higher seasonal energy efficiency ratio (SEER), which indicates the approximate amount of energy needed for specific cooling outputs.
    • Have a higher energy efficiency ratio (EER), which indicates how well the air conditioner operates with the amount of power being used.
    • Have a blower motor to blow cool air through your home's duct system.

Connect with a contractor! Ask about Energy Star rated air conditioners!

While it's important to know if the air conditioner you're purchasing qualifies for an Energy Star rating, other factors must be considered. Some of the things you need to look for when comparing air conditioner units include:

    • How quietly the unit operates.
    • A fan-only switch that you can use for nighttime operation.
    • A filter check light that tells you when it's time to check your air conditioner filter.
    • An automatic-delay fan switch that turns off the fan automatically after the compressor turns off.
    • The average lifespan of the unit.
    • What's included in the air conditioner warranty.
    • The size of the AC unit.
    • If the new compressor is compatible with your indoor unit.

The size of the air conditioner that you purchase will depend on the size of your home. It's important to get the sizing correct.

If you purchase a unit that is too small, it won't be able to keep your home cool on extremely hot days. If you purchase a unit that's too big, it won't remove all of the humidity from your home.

In order to ensure you're purchasing an AC unit at the right size, you should obtain an estimate from a contractor. A licensed contractor can tell you exactly what size of unit your home needs and help you determine what other features are necessary to keep your home at a comfortable temperature.

Whether you're looking at Energy Star-rated air conditioners or regular units, buying an air conditioner doesn't have to be a difficult process. Once you find a good licensed contractor in your area, he can walk you through the entire process.

Get your 4 free cooling estimates!

Photo credit: `James Wheeler via Compfight CC.