June 16, 2014

How to find the best energy-efficient portable air conditioner for the summer

Which portable air conditioner is right for you?

Written by
Toby Welch

The news have reached our office in California that the rest of the country is finally getting higher temperatures too and we don’t want you to be unprepared for the summer months: Time to buy a new portable air conditioner!

Portable air conditioners are perfect for cooling down rooms and apartments quickly, but they are known to consume a lot of energy and energy costs can add up fast if you run your AC for several hours a day. Here are some tips on how to find an energy-efficient AC that doesn’t make your electricity bill skyrocket!

Which portable air conditioner is right for you? The first decision that you need to make is how much cooling power you need. That depends mostly on the size of the room that you want to cool down.

There are some other factors that come into play: if the room is shaded, you should go 10% lower, if it’s a very sunny room, 10% higher. If you want to cool down your kitchen, you’ll need about 4,000 BTUs more.

It is important that you get the right sized unit. If your AC is too small, it won’t properly cool down your room. If it is too big, the unit won’t be able to get rid of the humidity and you’re left with a damp room.

Depending on the BTUs, prices for portable ACs range from about $100 up to several thousand dollars, but that’s not the only numbers you’ll want to look at. There are big differences when it comes to energy efficiency and by making a smart decision when buying an AC, you can save a lot of money in the long run.

Let’s take a look at two AC units that have the same cooling power of 12,000 BTU (that’s enough to cool down an area of 450–550 square feet) but a big difference in energy efficiency:

The highly energy efficient gets an Enervee Score of 90 and costs you $114 to run per year; the only gets an Enervee Score of 39 and costs $182 to run per year. Over 15 years, the more energy-efficient device will save you almost $1000!

If you still think that’s nothing to write home about, consider these numbers: If all 7 million air conditioners sold in the US this year were the energy-efficient LG unit from our example, we would save 17.7 Billion tons of CO2 which equals the electricity use of 2.2 million homes and $4.4 billion in electricity cost.

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