Whether it’s in a window or up on the wall, an air conditioner should be chosen carefully. Opt for an energy-efficient solution and develop good maintenance habits.

Good habits

  • If you keep the air conditioner running all day, turn the temperature setting up higher when you go out.
  • In the daytime, close curtains and blinds, especially on the side where the sun comes in.
  • During a heat wave, don’t crank the A/C all the way up. Use a fan to help make your home more comfortable.
  • Close the doors to unoccupied rooms when the air conditioner is on.
  • Turn off the air conditioner in unused rooms or when you are out for a while.
  • Use the A/C only when it’s really hot and a fan isn’t enough.
  • On very hot days, try to use devices that give off heat at the coolest times, when the demand for air-conditioning is lower.
  • A simple little tip: Dress for the outdoor temperature to keep your need for cooling to a minimum.

Before you buy an air conditioner

  • Figure out the area to be cooled so you can determine how much power you need. If your air conditioner is too big or too small, it will be inefficient.
  • Read the EnerGuide label in the store before buying.
  • Take into account the output, quality and price when comparing different types of air conditioners: minisplit, window or portable air conditioner, central system or heat pump.
  • Look for ENERGY STAR® certified high-efficiency models. ENERGY STAR® certified central air-conditioning systems use an average of 8% less energy than standard models while individual ENERGY STAR® certified units average energy savings of 9%.

Energy-efficient products

Check the energy efficiency ratio (EER). The higher the EER or seasonal energy efficiency ratio (SEER), the more efficient it is.

Good daily habits

Once you’ve chosen your air conditioner, you should develop the best possible habits for use and maintenance to both maximize output and save energy.

Installation and maintenance

  • Install the air conditioner away from the sun.
  • Clean or replace the filters every year.
  • When you use a minisplit (wall-mounted) or window air conditioner, direct the vents downward.