Room Air Conditioner

When the weather heats up, a new ENERGY STAR certified room air conditioner can help you keep your cool AND save energy!

In fact, ENERGY STAR room air conditioners use 10 percent less energy and, on average, cost less than $70 per year to run.

Room Air ConditionerNew ENERGY STAR room air conditioners come with better materials and clearer instructions to improve sealing and insulation around the unit, so costly and uncomfortable air leaks are minimized.

ENERGY STAR room air conditioners with connected functionality offer additional convenience, comfort and energy-savings, including the ability to:

  • turn off the unit remotely using your phone or computer;
  • schedule changes to temperature settings based on your needs;
  • receive feedback on the energy use of the product.

These products are also 'smart-grid ready', potentially allowing you to take advantage of special energy bill savings programs some local utilities are starting to offer. If all room air conditioners sold in the United States were ENERGY STAR certified, the cost savings would grow to more than $350 million each year, preventing more than 6 billion pounds of greenhouse gas emissions annually – equivalent to the emissions from over 570,000 vehicles.

Learn how to size your AC for comfort and savings

Current Specification Effective Date: October 26, 2015

  • Room air conditioners originally qualified for the ENERGY STAR label in October, 1996. ENERGY STAR certified room air conditioners are 10% more efficient than non-certified models.

Room Air Conditioners Key Product Criteria: ENERGY STAR

Learn How a Product Earns the Label

What else should I look for when buying a room air conditioner?

Remember that bigger is not always better! Buying an air conditioner that is too large does not provide better cooling. An oversized air conditioner is actually less effective — and wastes energy at the same time. Make sure your unit is properly sized.

images of room air conditionersProperly Sized Room Air Conditioners

Room air conditioner sizing is all about matching the room size to the air conditioner size.   A unit that is too big will be less effective and offer reduced air conditioner efficiency. Air conditioners remove both heat and humidity from the air. If the unit is too large, it will cool the room, before it has a chance to remove the humidity. The result will be a room that's not very comfortable to spend time in That cool moist air will make the room feel damp and clammy.

The most energy efficient air conditioner is sized to the square footage of the space to be cooled. Getting the right size means getting the comfort and the energy efficiency right.

What else should I look for when buying a room air conditioner?

1. Determine the room's square footage

Determining the floor square footage of the area to be cooled takes simple math.  Just use the following formulas.

9 in = .75 ft.

6 in = .5 ft.

3 in = .25 ft.

Always measure in feet, converting the inches to fractions of a foot

For example: 12 ft., 6 inches, is 12.5 ft.

Square and rectangular rooms:

Multiply the full length of the room by its width.
Square Room
Rectangle Room

Triangular rooms:

Multiply the length of the area by the width and divide by two.
Triangle Room
Triangle Room

Complex room shapes:

Sub-divide into squares, rectangles and triangles.  Then use the formulas above to determine the total square footage.
Complex Room
Complex Room

If the shape of your room is more complex, ask your sales associate where you plan to purchase your air conditioner to help you determine the square footage.

2. Find the correct cooling capacity for your room size

With the cooling capcity chart, find your room's square footage in the "Area To be Cooled (square feet)" column, then use the "Capcity Needed (BTUs per hour)" column to choose the correct cooling capacity for your room air conditioner. Cooling capacity is shown in British thermal units (BTUs) per hour.

Area To Be Cooled (square feet) Capacity Needed (BTUs per hour)
100 up to 150 5,000
150 up to 250 6,000
250 up to 300 7,000
300 up to 350 8,000
350 up to 400 9,000
400 up to 450 10,000
450 up to 550 12,000
550 up to 700 14,000
700 up to 1,000 18,000
1,000 up to 1,200 21,000
1,200 up to 1,400 23,000
1,400 up to 1,500 24,000
1,500 up to 2,000 30,000
2,000 up to 2,500 34,00

3. Adjust as necessary

Make any adjustments for the following circumstances:

Heavy shade icon

If the room is heavily shaded, reduce capacity by 10 percent.

very sunny icon

If the room is very sunny, increase capacity by 10 percent.

more than 1 person icon

If more than two people regularly occupy the room, add 600 BTUs for each additional person.

kitchen icon

If the unit is used in a kitchen, increase capacity by 4,000 BTUs.

air flow icon

Consider where you install the unit. If you are mounting an air conditioner near the corner of a room, look for a unit that can send the airflow in the right direction.

The Cool Choice for Room AC Banner

When the weather heats up, make the cool choice of a new ENERGY STAR certified room air conditioner. You’ll get cool comfort, energy savings, and improved sealing and insulation around the unit – and it’ll cost less than seventy dollars per year to run! Some ENERGY STAR models come with smart functionality offering you even more control. Be sure to choose the right size for your space and install it properly to get the coolest savings this summer.



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  • image of room being meassured for an AC unit

    Choose the right
    size for comfort
    and savings

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    Ask the Expert:
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    a room AC

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    Proper sizing and
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Start Saving With My ENERGY STAR

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