Learn how to buy the right room or window air conditioner for your home. Learn how to calculate the proper BTU and what features to look for when shopping; choosing the right air conditioner unit will help keep your home cool, save money and energy. ENERGY STAR certified room air conditioners use at least 10% less energy, costing you less than $70 a year to run. Get more information at http://www.energystar.gov/roomac.
There are a couple of things to consider when buying a room or window A/C unit: the size of the room you want to cool and what is typically happening in that room:
1) Start by measuring your room. Determine the square footage of the room by measuring the length and width of the room and then multiply the two numbers.
2) Look up the recommended cooling capacity for your room size at https://www.energystar.gov/products/heating_cooling/air_conditioning_room
Look under the Buying Guidance tab where you’ll find that cooling capacity is measured in BTUs per hour.
3) Make capacity adjustments as necessary. For example, if you have a sunny room, increase your number by 10%. If there are more than three people in the room on a regular basis, increase capacity by 600 BTUs for each person over three people.
4) Round the total down to the nearest thousand and that’s the number you should look for when choosing your unit. Selecting the right capacity is key to savings. Bigger is not always better—an oversized air conditioner will have trouble removing humidity and will leave your room feeling damp and clammy.
5) Look for the ENERGY STAR when buying your unit. Models that have earned EPA’s ENERGY STAR are independently certified to save energy, and come with clearer instructions and better materials to improve sealing and insulation around the unit. Certified units feature tight-fitting side panels that minimize costly and uncomfortable air leaks. ENERGY STAR models with connected functionality give you additional convenience, comfort and savings with the ability to turn off the unit remotely, schedule temperature changes and even receive feedback on the energy use of your unit. Also new this year are ENERGY STAR room air conditioners with an EPA-approved refrigerant called R-32, which has a much lower impact on the climate – two-thirds lower than the refrigerant used in other ACs.
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Want to save money? Be sure to check for any ENERGY STAR partner rebates offered in your area: http://www.energystar.gov/rebate-finder
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