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How to Use Energy Star to Select the Best Ductless Mini Split for Your Needs

Monday, March 03, 2014

When you're considering a ductless mini split for your home, choosing one that has earned Energy Star certification will assure you that you're getting an energy-efficient system that will perform to your expectations. Mini splits are inherently more energy efficient than forced-air HVAC systems because they blow conditioned air directly from the air handler. Combining that feature with the U.S. EPA's distinctive Energy Star program will cut your conditioning costs even more.

What is Energy Star?

The EPA developed the Energy Star program in 1992 to help consumers quickly identify products that manufacturers have proven use less energy under a variety of conditions. According to the EPA, in 2012 consumers, whether private, public or commercial, who chose these products saved $12 billion in energy costs. Since heating and cooling costs consume about half your energy budget, looking for the bright blue star on a ductless system will save you energy and money for years.

What Qualifies for Energy Star Approval?

To qualify for the Energy Star program, the mini split heat pump must have these minimum efficiencies:

  • A seasonal energy efficiency ratio (SEER) rating of 14 or better. Each increase in the SEER indicates the system uses 10 percent less energy under laboratory conditions.
  • An energy efficiency ratio (EER) of 12 or higher. While the SEER is a good measure of the cooling efficiency, the EER can sometimes be a better indicator. These ratings are tested under different conditions. Engineers test the SEER over a season with a wide range of outdoor temperatures to cool a space to 80. The EER is a spot-check rating when temperatures are 95 degrees outside to cool a space to 80. Since summer temperatures in Virginia often exceed 82 degrees, looking for a high EER as well as the SEER will cut cooling costs.
  • A heating season performance factor (HSPF) of 8.2 or more. Since it can be cold in Virginia during the winter, choosing a mini split with a high HSPF will cut heating costs.

The same cooling efficiency ratings apply to mini splits that are air conditioners only. 

To learn more about Energy Star ductless systems in Virginia, please contact us to find a Mitsubishi Electric dealer near you. 

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