Upgrading your air conditioning system to an Energy Star air conditioner is a significant investment, so it's good to know all of the facts before you make a purchase. If your air conditioner is getting up in age, it's high time to think about switching to a more energy efficient model before your older one dies. An air conditioner's efficiency is measured by its seasonal energy efficiency ratio (SEER); the higher this number is, the more efficient the unit is.
An Energy Star air conditioner manufactured in the United States must have a minimum SEER rating of 14, but that is on the low end if the efficiency spectrum. For a unit to be considered energy efficient it must have a rating of 13 (this is for non Energy Star rated products). There are even models available rated at a high 26. An Energy Star air conditioner with a high rating may end up costing you more to purchase, but these units will save you significantly on utility bills.
Another advantage to upgrading to an Energy Star air conditioner is the federal tax credits you may be eligible for. Installing a new unit that meets the efficiency criteria can save you up to several hundred dollars, although the installation must be complete by the end of 2011. Your contractor can also help you find local tax incentives in your area when you switch to en Energy Star air conditioner. When the heat of summer reaches its peak, don't find yourself in the sweltering heat waiting for your old air conditioner to be repaired.
With energy prices on the rise, now is the best time to switch to an Energy Star air conditioner. It is important to determine whether or not your air conditioner is the source of your energy costs, or if bad duct work is the culprit. In the United States, home air conditioning use accounts for approximately 11 billion dollars each year, and produces about 100 million tons of carbon dioxide emissions. If every household that has an old air conditioner switches to an energy efficient air conditioner, Americans can eliminate about 40 million tons of carbon dioxide emissions each year. This is crucial in fighting global warming.
Another tip to consider if you currently have an Energy Star air conditioner is to clean your unit. Keeping these units free of dust and moisture can end up saving you even more in energy costs. Make sure that any condensation from your Energy Star air conditioner is drained away from the foundation of your home. This will limit humidity problems that may, if at all, occur.
If you are anticipating a hot day, a good way to save energy is to cool the room early. It takes less energy to cool a room when it is still cool outside than it does to wait until it's hot and try and cool the room then. Even better is to open a window when it is still cool outside at night to draw in as much cool air as possible before turning on the air conditioning system.
Energy Star Air Conditioner