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Your 2020 Guide for the Most Energy-Efficient Air Conditioners

Talking about how well one handles low temperatures, people are usually split in two. There are the ones who can wear a T-shirt in the middle of the winter and those who need a blanket even in mid-summer. And what about the other extreme? If you can fight the winter’s cold with some blankets, what is the solution for summer’s scorching heat? The answer for all seasons comes under the form of air conditioners. And if you tend to get lost in technicalities, we’re here to help.

best choice
Senville 24,0000 BTU Energy Star Ductless Mini Split Air Conditioner
best for window
Friedrich Chill 12,000 BTU Energy Star Window Air Conditioner with Heater
Friedrich Chill 12,000 BTU Energy Star Window Air Conditioner with Heater

The Chill 12,000 BTU Energy Star Window Air Conditioner with Heater and Remote is energy efficient and easy-to-handle.

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included installation kit
LG 12,000 BTU Energy Star Window Air Conditioner
LG 12,000 BTU Energy Star Window Air Conditioner

LG's patented Gold Fin anti-corrosion coating provides a protective shield so the unit lasts longer.

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best portable
JHS 10,000 BTU Energy Star Portable Air Conditioner
JHS 10,000 BTU Energy Star Portable Air Conditioner

t is in a weight of 53 lbs and easy to move due to its all-direction castor wheels and carry handle

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3-IN-1 FUNCTIONALITY
MIDEA EasyCool Window Air Conditioner - 8,000 BTU
MIDEA EasyCool Window Air Conditioner - 8,000 BTU

Midea's 3-in-1 technology combines air conditioning, dehumidification, and fan-only modes that work together to increase the comfort of your home

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We’ve put together our recommendations and broke down even some of the most complicated specs. Here is our 2020 guide and reviews for most energy-efficient air conditioners. Choose the best one to cool your house without setting your budget on fire. Take your time to go through our list of advice, tips and find out which air conditioner will match your needs. Learn about the specs and how to keep electricity bills low, using an energy-efficient product.

1. Senville 24,0000 BTU Energy Star Ductless Mini Split Air Conditioner

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If you search for high-efficiency in a compact design, Senville’s mini-split AC is your answer. This ductless system saves you a lot of work and mess on installation. Save space in your home or business and enjoy reduced costs for cooling and heating. The package includes an outdoor and an indoor unit, a remote, thermostat, air filter and hose. It works great in cooling and/or heating up to 1500 -2000 square feet. And its performance will help you keep costs under control. The input for cooling reaches 1920 Watts and 2500 Watts when you switch to heating. The temperature control goes down to -22° Fahrenheit. The heating option allows you to go up to 86° Fahrenheit.

best choice
Senville 24,0000 BTU Energy Star Ductless Mini Split Air Conditioner

Pros:

  • High-efficiency SEER and HSPF scores
  • Up to 7 years warranty on compressor
  • Dehumidifier mode
  • Quiet mode
  • Energy Star and ETL certified.

Cons:

  • No Wi-fi control.
  • May require professional installation.

2. Friedrich Chill 12,000 BTU Energy Star Window Air Conditioner with Heater

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The Friedrich Chill product is a great option if you want a cooling device and a heater at an affordable price. It features a programmable timer which can allow you to better manage the energy use. Rely on its auto-air sweep setting to cool any open space, ensuring the air distribution is even. With a sleek design and flexible power cord, the Chill AC also has a money saver mode, reducing the energy consumed. With a BTU of 12,000, this unit can handle air conditioning on a surface of 550 square feet. The package includes: the window unit, remote, air filter.

best for window
Friedrich Chill 12,000 BTU Energy Star Window Air Conditioner with Heater
Friedrich Chill 12,000 BTU Energy Star Window Air Conditioner with Heater

The Chill 12,000 BTU Energy Star Window Air Conditioner with Heater and Remote is energy efficient and easy-to-handle.

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Pros:

  • Flexible power cord
  • Small dimensions
  • Energy Star Certified
  • Washable, antimicrobial air filter
  • Warranty for up to 5 years.

Cons:

  • Window mounting can reduce the amount of light entering the room.
  • The programmable timer has to be reset on a daily basis.

3. LG 12,000 BTU Energy Star Window Air Conditioner

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Choose the direction of the cooling air in your living room without having to leave the couch. Or in any other room, actually. Because this window unit comes with a fully-functional remote, giving you full control. Leave aside any worries about corrosion, as LG products come protected by the patented Gold Fin coating. Keep your cool even during the installation, thanks to the easy to use install kit. The package includes: the unit, remote, window adapter, thermostat, grilles. The device also can also function as a dehumidifier. Enjoy the energy-saver feature and let the filter alert remind you when it’s time for maintenance.

included installation kit
LG 12,000 BTU Energy Star Window Air Conditioner
LG 12,000 BTU Energy Star Window Air Conditioner

LG's patented Gold Fin anti-corrosion coating provides a protective shield so the unit lasts longer.

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Pros:

  • Energy Star certified
  • Programmable timer
  • Long power cord
  • “Clean filter” alert.

Cons:

  • Digital display only on the unit, not on the remote
  • Limited warranty.

4. JHS 10,000 BTU Energy Star Portable Air Conditioner

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Whether it’s your home or even your van, a hot enclosed space is not too comfortable. This practical portable air conditioner will be of great help in such cases. With a capacity of cooling up to 220 square feet, this little baby is also lightweight. It’s only 53 lbs. and its wheels and carry handle make it very easy to move wherever you need it. Say goodbye to bacteria thriving in hot and humid air. Enjoy the auto-evaporation technology, to keep your space cool and dry. The package also includes a window adapter, thermostat, air filter, grilles and hose. Make yourself comfortable and control the settings using the remote.

best portable
JHS 10,000 BTU Energy Star Portable Air Conditioner
JHS 10,000 BTU Energy Star Portable Air Conditioner

t is in a weight of 53 lbs and easy to move due to its all-direction castor wheels and carry handle

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Pros:

  • Programmable timer
  • AC, fan and dehumidifier mode
  • Washable carbon air filter
  • Dehumidifier water tank included
  • Energy Star compliant.

Cons:

  • Limited warranty
  • No display on the remote.

5. MIDEA EasyCool Window Air Conditioner – 8,000 BTU

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The name says it all. This window air conditioner makes it so easy to cool your room. Suitable for surfaces up to 350 square feet, the device gives you full control through the remote. Change the temperature as you like it, as you can vary between 62-90℉ with this unit. This AC will be a match for almost any window, as it measures 18.54″x 16.02″x 13.39″. Also, the expandable panels offered will allow you to adjust to your needs. This silent cooling unit comes with a Sleep mode too. This way, you know you won’t feel uncomfortable at night because of the temperature. The system aligns the temperature according to your body’s sleep cycle.

3-IN-1 FUNCTIONALITY
MIDEA EasyCool Window Air Conditioner - 8,000 BTU
MIDEA EasyCool Window Air Conditioner - 8,000 BTU

Midea's 3-in-1 technology combines air conditioning, dehumidification, and fan-only modes that work together to increase the comfort of your home

View Deal

Pros:

  • Clean Filter warning alarm
  • Easy installing
  • Energy Star compliant
  • Reduced weight (up to 54 lbs.)
  • LCD display on the remote.

Cons:

  • Limited warranty.
  • Not suitable for sliding windows.

Understanding Air Conditioner Specifications

To ensure your investment contributes to your comfort, you should start by defining your goal. Decide first if you want only to cool off your space during the hot season. The good news is you can find something that provides both cold air and heat, according to your seasonal need.

Second, on the list are the dimensions of the space you want to use your air conditioner in. Depending on this, you will need to consider the appropriate BTU. The abbreviation doesn’t ring a bell? You should know it stands for British Thermal Unit. In general, it refers to how much energy it takes to increase the temperature of a pound of water by 1° Fahrenheit. For AC systems or heaters, the number reflects how many BTUs per hour the product can add or remove from the air.

Every air conditioner mentions this number in its specifications. As you can imagine, the larger the space, the higher the BTU needed for cooling. You can find charts to help you find out the approximate BTU for your room. Or you can use an online calculator. To get a rough idea, take a look at this table below.

BTU CHART BASED ON ROOM SIZE

Room SizeBTU’s Needed
150 sq. ft.5,000 BTUs
250 sq. ft.6,000 BTUs
300 sq. ft.7,000 BTUs
350 sq. ft.8,000 BTUs
400 sq. ft.9,000 BTUs
450 sq. ft.10,000 BTUs
550 sq. ft.12,000 BTUs
700 sq. ft.14,000 BTUs
1,000 sq. ft.18,000 BTUs
1,200 sq. ft.21,000 BTUs
1,400 sq. ft.23,000 BTUs
1,600 sq. ft.25,000 BTUs

There is a series of other factors that influence the ideal BTU value for a space. First of all, the room orientation plays an important role. A space getting a lot of sun will have different heating characteristics than a shady one. So you should add about 10% more BTU for a sun-bathed chamber. Also, the purpose of the space can make a difference. A kitchen compared to a living room may ask for a higher BTU for cooling. The home appliances generate heat, so for effective cooling, you need to add about 4,000 BTUs. Also, the number of people who are usually in the space where you will place the air conditioner matters. Add 600 BTUs of cooling power for every person (when more than two are in the room on a regular basis).

Essential Features For Energy-Efficient Air Conditioners

ENERGY STAR RATING

The best air conditioners on the market are compliant with the Energy Star standards. This guarantees you that they are energy-efficient, as they use up to 10 % less energy. On average, the estimation of costs indicates less than $75 per year needed to run the device.

THERMOSTAT

The importance of a thermostat comes from the control it gives you on the cooling output. Setting the desired temperature for your space will avoid having the AC unit working all the time to cool off the room. This translates into less energy consumed and lower costs.

ADJUSTABLE FAN SPEED

The speed of the fans is what influences the time needed to cool down your space. Most AC units feature two or three fan speeds (from low, medium to high). This setting is usually the reason why some air conditioners can seem noisy (when set at max speed).

PROGRAMMABLE TIMER

Save more energy and money putting your AC unit to work only when you need it. For people who are away from home most of the day, a programmable timer can be very useful. It allows you to set a delayed start or stop time for the device. They usually allow you to set in intervals of one hour, but go up to 12 or 24 hours. You can set your air conditioner to start before you arrive home, so the temperature you find is as you like it. Of course, if you don’t want to wake up in the middle of the night for it, you can also set a time for the AC to turn off on its own.

FILTER TYPE

Filters ensure the quality of the air in a room and provide protection from outside particles. Keeping the filters clean will help you unit to function well. If filters get blocked with dust, then you can expect an increase in energy consumption. That is because your air conditioner will need more power to cool down your room. Filters can be either standard or washable. The first category includes the ones that you should replace on a regular basis for proper air flow. You can clean the washable filters even in the sink, with water and soap and reuse them for quite a long time. If you usually get distracted, consider getting an AC unit with a “Clean Filter” alarm. This will let you know when it’s time for filter maintenance.

Besides these features, you could consider other settings to bring you extra comfort. Among these, we would mention the air direction control and the remote.

The air direction control can help you optimize the air flow in the space to make it more pleasant. For example, it may not be very comfortable if your AC blows the cold air right on your head or your guests. The adjustable louvers will let you decide the direction of the blown air.

The remote control will let you adjust the settings from any corner of a room. This way, you won’t have to use the buttons mounted on the AC unit. Most remotes provide control over the temperature, mode, and fan speed. Some also include a temperature display, so you can adjust your preferred number of degrees while sitting on the couch.

Deciding between Window and Portable Air Conditioners

With such an abundance of options available on the market, making a decision can feel like you’re on the hot seat. So let’s see what else can help with that process. We now cleared up the mystery of the BTU and its importance. Next, let’s see how to pick between window units and portable air conditioners. You need to start by considering the available space and the location where you want to install the AC.

  • Advantages of portable air conditioners 

They are great for limited spaces. As their name says it, they also give you the freedom to move them to any room you want to cool off. They keep you safe from intricate assembly, as installing them is a rather easy process. And they  only use a small exhaust to evacuate the heat removed from the air in your room. As nothing hangs outside your window, you don’t violate any regulations of the building administration. Portable air conditioners cool the air, but also dehumidify it. So they make your space cool and dry, which is great if you suffer from allergies. Last, but not least, they are extremely practical for cooling on-the-go. For campers, travel trailers or RVs, a portable AC can increase comfort, in any location.

  • Advantages of window air conditioning units

Having a window unit installed outside is a plus if you want to avoid cluttering in a room and conserve floor space. On the long term, the AC units can prove very useful in reducing the energy costs, given that they comply with the space’s features. They are suitable for cooling down single rooms during the warm months. But they can also compensate for a central cooling unit in rooms that get a little warmer than others.

What Are the Real Benefits Of Energy-Efficient ACs?

Until now, we have shed some light on the specs associated with air conditioners. So you should have a clearer idea on what to check for when you want to buy such a product. But why is there so much fuss made around these energy efficient ACs? Besides the financial implications, you should know there are some more beneficial aspects. Keep reading to understand more.

  • Reduce the noise

As comfortable as it can be, having a cool room with a lot of background noise is not so desirable. The good news is the latest models of air conditioners consume less and feature a quiet mode. So you can enjoy your cool ambient with the least amount of buzzing.

  • Ensure a comfortable ambient

Making sure your working environment or your home are cozy is very important. Variations in temperature can be very unpleasant. Not to mention the decrease in productivity that they can cause. After all, who can work or sleep that well if they feel too hot or too cold? Keep your space as you like it and avoid any discomfort. The energy efficient air conditioners will help maintain the perfect balance for temperature.

  • Stay friendly with the environment

Whether you are a passionate ecologist or not, you may be glad to know this. The efficient use of resources is also good for the natural world. Using less power for heating or cooling your house, you reduce the carbon dioxide emitted.

  • Enjoy long-lasting performance

Thanks to the high-quality materials used today, most ACs are now designed to last a lot longer. So unless you are a shopaholic, you won’t have to invest in a new cooling device too soon. In addition, you get a guarantee provided by the producers. That is a proof you can trust that your air conditioner will work well for a long time.

  • Boost the cooling or heating performance

A walk down memory lane could remind some of us of the times when we only relied on fans to cool down in summer. Fortunately, we can now adjust the temperature in our rooms without too much struggle. Energy efficient ACs function better and faster in warming or cooling down any space. And they constantly adjust consumption so you don’t surpass your budget estimations.

  • Customize the settings

The modern air conditioners provide users with more control over the settings. Fine-tune your cooling device, based on your preferences, needs and schedule even. From an energy-saving mode to sleep mode, the energy efficient ACs will only work when needed. Add to the list of great features the “clean filter” alert. This ensures you remember to clean the filters when needed, so the device is not wasting power. All these options aim to both meet your needs and reduce your utility bills.

Our Top 5 Energy-Efficient ACs Comparison Chart

ProductDimensions (H x W x D)WeightBTURoom Size (Sq.ft.)
1. Senville 24,0000 BTU Energy Star Ductless Mini Split Air Conditioner31.89'' x 37.24'' x 16.54''186 lb24,0002000
2. Friedrich Chill 12,000 BTU Energy Star Window Air Conditioner with Heater13.87'' x 18.56'' x 20.68''79 lb.12,000550
3. LG 12,000 BTU Energy Star Window Air Conditioner15'' x 22.2'' x 23.6''90 lb.12,000550
4. JHS 10,000 BTU Energy Star Portable Air Conditioner34.64'' x 16.8'' x 14.8''61 lb.10,000450
5. MIDEA EasyCool Window Air Conditioner - 8,000 BTU18.54"x 16.02" x 13.39"54 lb.8,000 350

So, here you have it. We hope our detailed guide and recommendations on energy-efficient air conditioners will help you. You can now understand better what aspects to look for in a cooling device and you have a list of five products that could do a great job in your space. Feel free to read this article more than once, if you are not sure of the decision. And let us know in the comments if we missed something. Stay cool!