This summer has been a scorcher in NYC, but the right air conditioner can keep you from feeling the burn in your wallet too. If you’ve got an outdated AC or one that isn’t a good fit for your apartment, you may be paying a lot more on your monthly electricty bill than you need to. That’s why the good folks over at the Environmental Protection Agency came up with this helpful video outlining a few easy steps you can take to select the right ENERGY STAR-certified air conditioning unit for your space, which can save you money and help the environment by using at least 10% less energy. The EPA estimates that if all of the room ACs sold in the U.S. were ENERGY STAR-certified, the cost savings would grow to more than $350 million per year, and would save the same amount of greenhouse gas emissions as taking 570,000 vehicles off the road! So if you’ve been using the same old AC for years, or aren’t sure if your AC is an appropriate match for your room, take a few minutes to watch the video above to learn how to upgrade to a model that will keep you and your budget more comfortable.
HOW TO SELECT THE RIGHT AIR CONDITIONER FOR YOUR APARTMENT
FIGURING OUT YOUR BTUs
The term BTU (British thermal unit) might sound intimidating but all it is is a measurement of the amount of work needed to raise the temperature of one pound of water by one degree Fahrenheit. If the BTUs of your room AC are too low, you might never feel cool, and if they’re too high, your room might feel damp because there is too much humidity in the air.
1) To find out what BTU level your AC should be, first multiply the length and width of your room, and then look up the recommended cooling capacity for your room size here under the Buying Guidance tab.
2) You may need to make capacity adjustments depending on other factors: For a sunny room, increase your number by 10% and if there are typically more than three people in your room, increase your capacity by 600 BTUs for each additional person.
3) Finally, round your total down to the nearest thousand for the number you should look for when choosing your unit.
THINGS TO LOOK FOR WHEN SHOPPING
In addition to making sure your room capacity is correct, keep an eye out for the ENERGY STAR label. In addition to saving energy and keeping costs down, ENERGY STAR-certified ACs have clearer instructions (always a good thing) and even come with better materials to help you seal your unit. If you’ve ever tried to cover up the sides of your AC with cardboard and duct tape, you can imagine what a blessing side panels that are specifically fitted to your AC can be.
Many ENERGY STAR models come with other cool features like smartphone connectivity that lets you turn your unit off remotely, schedule temperature changes and receive feedback on your energy use. ENERGY STAR room ACs released this year also use a new EPA-approved refrigerant called R-32, which impacts the climate two-thirds less than the refrigerant used in other ACs.
Ready to go buy your new and improved AC unit? Visit PSEG Long Island’s rebate page to save up to $50 on your purchase.