Beat the Heat with the Most Energy Efficient Air Conditioners for 2013

by mbryce2012 on June 3, 2013

Heating and cooling your home accounts for about half of your energy bill- up to $1000 a year!  If your HVAC (heating, ventilation, and air conditioning) unit is more than twelve years old, replacing the A/C with one of the most energy efficient air conditioners for 2013 could save you up to 30% on your energy bill.

Energy Star updates its list of most energy efficient appliances frequently, so once again we will use their recommendations as a jumping point.  Air conditioners will be compared using the following factors:

  • British Thermal Unit (BTU), the amount of heat required to raise a pound of water by one degree Farenheit.  The BTU output for an air conditioner refers to how much heat it removes from a building.
  • Energy Efficiency Ratio (EER).  This is the BTU/hour divided by the energy input it Watts.  The EER is measurable and concrete.  The units with a larger EER are more efficient.
  • Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio (SEER).  This is a prediction of energy usage over one cooling season.

    Broan most energy efficient air conditioner for 2013

    This Broan FS4BI Series is Energy Star’s #1 Air Conditioner for 2013.

  • Kilowatt Hours (kWh), a measurement of the wattage used per hour.  The units with a smaller kWh are more efficient.

The list will be divided into two main sections:  Central air conditioners and single-room window units.  All units listed are current as of June, 2013 and an asterisk in a model name  indicates a possible letter or number variation.

 

MOST ENERGY EFFICIENT CENTRAL AIR CONDITIONING UNITS

Broan FS4BI Series with iQ Drive Control

Capacity(BTU) Energy Use: Annual Energy Use (kWh) Annual Cost (National Average) Lifetime Cost to Operate % Savings over Federal Minimum
EER SEER
24,000 15 24.5 823 $90 $1,256 47%
35,000 14 22 1,336 $146 $2,039 41%
47,000 13 22 1,794 $196 $2,738 41%

 

This is the number one Energy Star ranked central air conditioning unit.  Not only is it energy efficient, but it also uses a non-ozone-depleting refrigerant.  To find a dealer in your area, simply click on the zip code locator  in the upper right corner of the Broan web site.

 

Broan FT4BI Series with iQ Drive Control

This is a split system heat pump A/C system.  The category marked HSPF (Heating Seasonal Performance Factor) is a measurement of the heat pump’s energy efficiency over one heating season.

Capacity(BTU) Energy Use: Annual Energy Use (kWh) Annual Cost (National Average) Lifetime Cost to Operate % Savings over Federal Minimum
EER SEER HSPF
23,000 14.6 22 10 1,762 $192 $2,305 33%
35,000 13 21 9.6 2,801 $305 $3,664 30%
44,500 12.5 21 10 3,490 $380 $4,565 32%

 

While you can use the zip code locator to find a dealer of Broan A/C units, I found it much easier to locate a contractor by state.

 

Bryant 280ANV Evolution® Extreme Series with Evolution® Connex™ Control

Just in case the Broan doesn’t fit your needs, this Bryant heat pump model comes in  a close third.  It comes in a larger capacity while still meeting Energy Star standards.

Capacity(BTU) Energy Use: Annual Energy Use (kWh) Annual Cost (National Average) Lifetime Cost to Operate % Savings over Federal Minimum
EER SEER HSPF
25,200 16 20.5 13 1,777 $194 $2,325 38%
35,000 14.5 20.5 13 2,469 $269 $3,229 38%
47,500 13.5 18.3 12.5 3,640 $397 $4,762 33%
56,000 12.7 18 12 4,406 $480 $5,764 31%

The Bryant web site also has a zip code dealer locator, which proves to be better than the Broan one.  This brand is widely available, even outside of the warmer-climate states:  There are 31 dealers in Southeast Michigan alone!

 

MOST ENERGY EFFICIENT WINDOW A/C UNITS

Often people will purchase a larger capacity air conditioner thinking that it will provide more efficient cooling.  However, buying a unit too large for your space could end up costing you more and being less efficient.  If you have smaller space to cool, a window unit might be a better choice.

 

most energy efficient air conditioners for 2013 Friedrich

This Friedrich Kuhl window unit is perfect for energy efficient smaller-space cooling.

Friedrich – YS10N10 (smaller capacity)

Capacity:   9,500 BTU           EER:  11.7

30% better than Federal Standard

This window model is readily available on Amazon.com or through the Sylvane web site.

 

Haier – ESAD4066 Paragon Eco-Conditioner  (smaller capacity)

Capacity:  6,000 BTU          EER:  12

24% better than Federal Standard

This Energy Star qualified window unit cools rooms up to 10 x 12 feet in size and is available on Amazon.com.

Before you start hunting for your new eco-friendly air conditioner, you should figure out the right size unit for your space.  A capacity too small will be uncomfortable, and one too large will end up being incredibly energy-inefficient.  Also remember to seal up any leaks in duct-work, clean out filters, and fix any drafty doors and windows for the best possible performance.

*Chart Data from EnergyStar.gov.

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