Best Room Air Conditioners

Energy efficient room air conditioners will cool a confined space without running up your electricity bill.

| August/September 2006

Home cooling accounts for about 13 percent of the typical household energy bill, and even more for those who live in year-round warm climates. Efficient room air conditioner s save money, especially since they decrease your energy use during peak demand periods, when electricity rates may be highest. Plus, a small air conditioner can cool a small, enclosed area more economically than a central system.

Cooling a room or two adequately can be more than just a question of comfort, it can be a matter of health. The elderly, young children, overweight individuals and those with heart or neurological conditions can be particularly vulnerable to high temperatures. In 1995, for example, hundreds of Chicago residents died as a result of a July heat wave.

Some medications prescribed for allergies, congestion, depression and heart conditions can increase sensitivity to heat. If you live in an urban area with a smoggy summer, an air conditioner can reduce your exposure to ozone and other air pollutants. An air conditioner (or dehumidifier) also can help address mold problems by reducing humidity.

Energy-efficient alternatives to standard air conditioners, such as geothermal heat pumps — or where water is plentiful and humidity is low, evaporative coolers — can work in some parts of the country. You should also use fans, minimize indoor heat sources, and work with ventilation. Then, if you decide you need an air conditioner for one or two rooms, this article will help you choose the right one.

Learn to Understand the Labels 

Product labels show three items that reveal a wealth of information about the individual model of room air conditioner.

Energy Efficiency Rating (EER). These numbers are prominent on the yellow EnergyGuide labels for room air conditioners. They indicate operating costs compared to units of similar size, and interpreting them is simple the higher the better. Since 1990, federal law has required all air conditioners to have an EER of at least 8.0.

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Best Air Conditioners are those what reduce the cost on electricity and give safe cooler air. Their energy efficiency and maintenance cost are both less than average. The worst kind of air conditioners are going to cost a lot on due to which your budget would be a lot greater on operating these air conditioners.

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