When you buy an AC unit, the upfront cost and the lifetime cost are both concerns. The least expensive model may cost you more over its lifetime – in fact, it often does. Conversely, a more expensive unit may save money in the long run. The most energy-efficient AC units cost 20%-50% more to buy than less efficient units but pay off over three-to-eight years in a climate like ours because of their lower operating costs.
How are you to judge? Fortunately, the US Department of Energy’s Energy Star ratings takes the guesswork out of shopping for AC units. We know exactly which AC units are the most energy-efficient and by how much.
Of course, the energy efficiency of any unit is dependent on your home conditions. If you clean and replace the air filters, use a programmable thermostat, employ ceiling fans, insulate your attic and walls, seal cracks and install energy-efficient windows, you can make any AC unit more efficient.
The most important measure for cooling in the humid heat of the Texas coast is EER, energy efficiency rating. To make Energy Star’s list, an AC unit must score 13 or higher.
Here are 10 units that will reduce your bill and treat the environment gently by sipping electricity:
1. Lennox Signature Series XC25
Lennox is the most committed brand to high efficiency, with three models on the list. With variable-control, split-system central air – i.e., you can control the upstairs and downstairs separately – replacing an old unit with this 16.5 EER unit can reduce your cooling bills by more than half every year.
2. Carrier Infinity 20 24VNA0
A two-stage system –it isn’t fully variable but runs fill tilt or turned down to about 70% capacity – Carrier is particularly efficient in hot climates. That’s pretty ironic: the company is based in Syracuse, NY, the snowiest city in America. With a 15.5 EER, this unit is extremely energy efficient.
3. Lennox Signature Series XC21
Another Lennox, this one a two-stage. With a 15 EER, and lower price and ease of repair, two-stage AC units are less expensive in the long run. However, Lennox does not include warranties with these products.
4. Carrier Infinity 21 24ANB1
Seeing a pattern here? Also rated at 15 EER, this two-stage model tends to be less expensive than its Lennox counterpart and offers a warranty.
5. York YXV, Coleman AC21B, Luxaire AL21B, Champion AS21B, Fraser-Johnston AL21B
All made by Johnson Controls, these identical variable-speed models are rated at 14 EER and can be adjusted for a more humid climate.
6. Amana AVXC20 & Daikin DX20VC
A 14 EER and the best warranties in the business. Amana offers a lifetime warranty on the compressor.
7. Lennox Elite XC20
Yes, another Lennox. 14 EER.
8. Armstrong Air & AirEase SCU/BCE Series
These brands are subsidiaries of Lennox. The rate at a still-great 13.5 EER and cost less than the mother brand.
9. Maytag M1200 PSA1BG
The Maytag model is rated at 13.5 EER and comes with a 10-year warranty.
10. Rheem Prestige RA20 & Ruud UA20
Japanese brands with a 13 EER, this is their first model year for variable-control units.
Since 1996, the Keep It Cool team of expert and qualified technicians has proudly provided superior HVAC services to the Corpus Christi area. Whether it’s A/C repair, air conditioning service, furnace repair, window units or heat pump installs, they can do it all. Visit them at KeepItCoolACandHeating.com or call 361-850-7845 to see how they can serve your home comfort needs.