Eco-Friendly Air Conditioning – Keep It Green & Chill

Temperatures are rising and the power that goes for air conditioning grows accordingly. Since we still rely on non-renewable energy sources, we better find the most eco-friendly air conditioning options available.

I recently wrote a complete guide about how to choose eco-friendly products. Here I’ll share with you specifically how to make the right choices when it comes to eco-friendly air conditioning.

eco friendly air conditioning

What to look for in an eco-friendly air conditioner

According to EIA, air conditioning is responsible for the most power intake in average American households (17%). Making that part of our lives eco-friendly is substantial. When you shop for a new eco-friendly AC these are the qualities you want to look for in order to keep power consumption and electricity bill on the low side.

1. Eco-friendly energy efficiency ratings

Energy efficiency is when your AC uses less power to reach the same results. There are 3 methods to define how ‘energy efficient’ a cooling system is. They all have the same principle – the higher the score, the more efficient is the AC.

E.E.R
Stands for “Energy Efficiency Ratio” and used to define the energy efficiency of cooling systems. It’s calculated by dividing the unit’s cooling capacity by its power input (Cooling performance/Energy usage). The more energy-efficient the unit is the higher it’s E.E.R

C.E.E.R
Stands for “Combined Energy Efficiency Ratio” and it is used to define the energy efficiency of window air conditioners. It’s calculated Similarly to E.E.R but It also takes into account the standby-power used while the unit is turned on but not running.

S.E.E.R
Stands for “Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio” and it’s used to define the energy efficiency of central air conditioners. It is calculated similarly to the other two, but it takes to account energy efficiency over an entire season.

  • In all three methods, a high rating means the cooling unit is more efficient – So we should look for high E.E.R ratings.

2. Eco-friendly air conditioner capacity

When people talk about the AC’s size, they don’t mean the physical size of the cooling unit, they mean how fast the unit can cool a room entirely. For efficient energy use, you should set an air conditioner with the right capacity for every room. Placing a big cooling unit in a tiny room is inefficient, as well as the other way around.

Some air-cons have stronger engines than others and they can cool huge rooms in minutes. To keep your air conditioning eco-friendly. choose the capacity according to the size of the room.

Have a look at this table by ENERGY STAR for determining the capacity you need.

Small rooms

Room size
ft² (m²)
Capacity
BTUs/hour
100 – 150 (9-14)5K
150 – 250 (14-23)6K
250 – 300 (23-28)7K
300 – 350 (28-33)8K
350 – 400 (33-37)9K
400 – 450 (37-42)10K
450 – 550 (42-51)12K

Big rooms

Room size
ft² (m²)
Capacity
BTUs/hour
550 – 700
(51-65)
14K
700 – 1,000
(51-92)
18K
1,000 – 1,200
(92-112)
21K
1,200 – 1,400
(112-130)
23K
1,400 – 1,500
(130-139)
24K
1,500 – 2,000
(139-186)
30K
2,000 – 2,500
(186-232)
34K

ENERGY STAR also mention other factors that might affect the recommended capacity for energy efficiency. For example, if the room is heavily shaded or sunny, active throughout the day (e.g living room) or not (e.g closent room) or if the room contains heat generating appliances (e.g kitchen).

All these factors should be taken into account when buying a new cooling unit. It might also be a good idea to consult a cooling professional to fit your exact needs.