Schedule an Appointment

Send Message

Subscribe to our RSS Feed Articles & Tips

Understanding High Efficiency Air Conditioner Ratings Makes Shopping Easier

Rescue your money by selecting the right AC unit for your home.If you've been shopping for a ductless air conditioner for your Virginia home, you may have noticed efficiency rating numbers in addition to the price tag numbers of various systems. Read on to learn how high efficiency air conditioner ratings are at the heart of the matter for lifetime costs and cool return of your A/C investment.

Why Air Conditioner Ratings Are Important

Efficiency ratings are important tools to use for any investment in a home system, such as an Energy Star Most Efficient ductless air conditioning system, refrigerator and water heater. Here’s why:

  • Lifetime cost - The lifetime cost of a high-efficiency ductless system is the sum of purchase and installation costs, electricity consumption, maintenance and repairs for the estimated life span of the system, not merely the number on the price tag.
  • Return on investment (ROI) - High-efficiency systems typically cost more than standard systems. That’s understandable since there is substantial advantages to performance, continuous comfort and lifetime energy savings. Work with your Mitsubishi Electric contractor to determine the ROI of potential installations—the point at which energy savings offsets the higher price tag. At this point, you're in essence being paid to enjoy greater comfort through lower energy bills.
  • Comparing systems - With lifetime cost and ROI in hand, you can better compare ductless air conditioning systems that will suit your needs. Two more factors to this equation are local weather (average highs and lows) and the specifications of your project, whether you need cooling for a converted basement, cooling for a home office or whatever your needs.
  • Regional weather - Regional temperature averages and the comfort preferences of household occupants are obviously important. Higher-efficiency Mitsubishi air conditioners easily handle any cooling demands imposed by hot and humid weather extremes in the Virginia region. So, the choice will be more based on the intended use (zone) and specifications of the installation.
  • Project specifications - The location where you're installing a ductless air conditioner is important. It determines how often the system will be used, which is a factor needed for ROI. For instance, if you plan on using the new system frequently, such as for an upstairs bedroom, home office, converted attic space, kitchen or family room, it pays to select a higher-efficiency system. If the system is going to be used infrequently, such as for a spare bedroom, a mid-efficiency system may make better long-term financial sense.

On the other hand, if you're installing a whole-home cooling system for an older or historic home with no ductwork, a high-efficiency ductless multi-split is a practical and often best solution.

High Efficiency Air Conditioner Ratings

The efficiency ratings and programs to look for in air conditioning systems are seasonal energy efficiency ratio (SEER), energy efficiency ratio (EER) and the federal Energy Star program.

  • SEER - SEER is factored by calculating energy input by cooling output during the course of the cooling season. SEER testing involves changes to variables and temperatures to simulate a typical cooling season, and factors electricity input to cooling output to determine the SEER number.
  • EER - Like SEER, the EER number is a factor of electricity input to cooling output. However, EER testing is a steady-state test without the variables and "weather" changes of SEER testing.
  • Energy Star - Energy Star is a voluntary federal program enacted to promote the development and manufacture of high-efficiency comfort systems and appliances which consumers may easily identify by the blue Energy Star logo.

To be labeled an Energy Star-qualified air conditioner, a minimum of 14.5 SEER and 12 EER are required. Or, why not select Energy Star Most Efficient ductless air conditioner for your project, and enjoy minimum 20 SEER and 12.5 EER.

Beyond the Ratings

Ductless systems are inherently more energy efficient than central ducted air conditioners of the same efficiency ratings since there are no air ducts involved in the delivery of cooled airflow to the living spaces. Air ducts are notorious for wasting energy by way of air leaks, poor design that restricts premium airflow, heat conduction through duct walls and more.

Moreover, ductless air conditioners are point-of-use cooling systems that offer genuine zoned temperature control. The air handling unit is installed inside the zone and offers the choice to cool the zone only as needed to save energy. Depending on the installation, this could save a great deal of energy.

For the best return on your ductless cooling system investment, consult with a certified Mitsubishi Electric contractor ductless systems specialist near your Virginia home.

Back to Articles