Choosing An Efficient Window Or Room Air Conditioner That's Right For Your Space

Construction & Contractors Blog

Wall, window, and room air conditioners aren't going away any time soon. These days, they're a little lighter, and definitely far more energy efficient. However, that energy efficiency won't come into play if you choose the wrong air conditioning units. Here's how you can figure out if a room air conditioner is right for your space.

EER and SEER: The Energy Efficiency Rating

When shopping for a new room air conditioner, you will likely see an EER, or SEER, rating. You can usually find these ratings on the yellow EnergyGuide label.

There's a difference between EER and SEER, but you will likely see the SEER rating more than the other. That's because the SEER rating has to appear by government mandate. But if you see either of these values, they can help you determine the general energy efficiency of an air conditioner.

EER – The Energy Efficiency Ratio gives an energy efficiency value, which consists of the wattage divided by the BTUs at a specific temperature. The higher the EER rating, the more efficient the air conditioner.

SEER – The Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio gives an energy efficiency value based on the EER but at different temperatures. Whereas the EER uses one temp to determine its value, the SEER rating uses a range of temperatures. The higher the SEER rating, the more efficient the air conditioner.

No matter which value you come across, always make sure the rating of either ratio is at least 10 for a window unit. A higher SEER rating such as 14.5 (~12 for EER) is even better, but they're usually reserved for other AC types such as central air and split systems.

Choosing The Right Size

Finding a room AC with a good energy efficiency rating is helpful, but it's not all that you have to worry about. You also need to make sure you choose a unit of the proper size. You can lose a lot of that efficiency with a unit that's too large or too small for the space.

Just picking up any air conditioner and putting it in your window won't do you any favors. However, choosing an AC of the proper size isn't exactly easy. If you want to take an extreme shortcut, you can measure the size of your space, then match the square footage up to this chart.

If you want to find the perfect size utilizing every aspect of your space - such as window direction, ceiling height, and geographic location – then follow this worksheet offered by the Association of Home Appliance Manufacturers.

Ask For Help if You're Unsure

The efficiency rating and the size of the AC go together. Never neglect one for the other. If you're still unsure of how to figure it all out, then speak to a professional AC contractor. They can help you find the right air conditioning unit configuration for your space.


5 October 2015

All About Building a Home

Welcome to my website. I'm Albert Frost. Besides my dad, one of my biggest role models was my uncle Rick. He was a construction contractor who would let me come on his construction sites and also taught me everything he knew about building homes, including how to install hardwood flooring and add insulation. I always wanted to grow up to build houses like my uncle. I used to help my uncle with a lot of the grunt work needed to make a home a reality. But then I hurt my back playing football. Until I heal completely, I'm going to devote as much of my time as possible to teaching others about various construction topics I'm interested in.