Energy-efficient air conditioners provide more than just comfort in hot weather; they also help reduce pollution and carbon emissions.
Why? Typical AC units consume tons of energy to operate. Unfortunately, most households worldwide still rely on electricity generated from fossil fuels.
Switching to an energy-efficient air conditioner will significantly reduce your electric consumption, thus reducing carbon emissions from burning fossil fuels.
But which energy-efficient aircon unit should you invest in?
Let’s find out.
How to Choose an Energy-Efficient Air Conditioner For You?
Pick the Right AC Unit Capacity
Choosing the right aircon capacity will ensure your room gets cooled without using excess energy.
If an aircon capacity is too small for the space it needs to cool, it will need to work overtime to maintain the room temperature, naturally increasing your electric bill.
On the flip side, an aircon with too much capacity will cool the air faster but will dampen the place.
So, what is the right AC capacity for your room? You can decide after learning about an aircon unit’s BTU.
What is BTU in aircon units?
BTU or British Thermal Unit is a unit of measurement that shows how much energy your air conditioner uses to remove heat from your home within an hour.
The higher the BTU, the more powerful an AC unit is but the bigger the energy it consumes.
According to Consumer Reports, a small aircon unit with 5,000 to 6,500 BTU is enough for a 100 to 250 square feet room, while a 9,800 to 12,500 BTU air conditioner is suited for a living room (or family room) measuring 350 to 550 square feet.
And for more reference, below is a BTU chart for other room sizes. Please note that this is just a general estimate and doesn’t apply to all situations.
|Room Square Footage (Sq. Ft)||Aircon Capacity Needed (BTU)|
|500 to 700||14,000|
|700 to 1,000||18,000|
|1,000 to 1,200||21,000|
|1,200 to 1,400||23,000|
|1,400 to 1,500||24,000|
|1,500 to 2,000||30,000|
|2,000 to 2,500||34,000|
Aircon Size Matters
Besides BTU, make sure that the AC unit you pick will have enough space to be properly installed in the room where you’re planning to use it.
If you have a small room, you wouldn’t want an AC unit that is too big as it will cram up the whole place and might hinder your movements.
Look for ENERGY STAR Certifications
One of the most important things to consider when choosing your new AC unit is to look for ENERGY STAR certification.
Any appliance with an ENERGY STAR certification has met (or exceeded) energy efficiency standards than other similar models.
Opt for AC Units with High EER and SEER Ratings
Aircon units often have EER and SEER ratings on their label. But what do they mean?
The EER (energy efficiency ratio) is a standardized measurement of the energy efficiency of an air conditioner. In technical terms, it is the ratio of your AC unit’s cooling capacity (BTU per hour) to the power input.
So it only makes sense to buy the highest EER air conditioner unit that fits your needs and budget.
On the other hand, the SEER (seasonal energy efficiency ratio) measures how efficiently an AC unit operates over an entire season. SEER is calculated at a variety of outside temperatures.
The higher the EER and SEER are, the more efficient the aircon unit is.
What are the Recommended EER and SEER for Energy-Efficient Air Conditioners?
According to LearnMetrics, aircon units with a higher than 8 EER rating are the most energy-efficient.
Meanwhile, any aircon with SEER over 13 is excellent and could significantly reduce the cost and electric consumption of cooling your home.
If you can’t find the unit’s EER and SEER on an aircon unit you are interested in, you can contact the manufacturer.
Take Note of the AC Noise Level
Unless you want an AC unit that makes a loud humming sound in your room, choose an aircon with a decibel level (dBA) of 55 or less as they create the least noise when used.
Get an AC with Programmable Settings
We can all agree that we forget to turn off our appliances from time to time.
Hence, buying an aircon unit that allows you to schedule when it automatically turns off (among other things) will help you achieve a more energy-efficient home.
Look for Energy-Saving Settings
When shopping for the best energy-efficient air conditioners, choose the one that comes with an energy-saving setting.
The energy-saving feature allows you to turn off the compressor and even the fan of your AC unit once your space has cooled off, eliminating unnecessary energy usage.
Check Aircon Reviews from Other Consumers
And finally, before you make the purchase, make it a habit of reading what other people are saying about the aircon unit you want.
Honest feedback from real customers is a gold mine of helpful information on what you can expect when using your new air conditioner.
And with that said, below are our top picks for the best energy-efficient aircon in 2022.
Whether you’re looking to buy a brand new energy-efficient window air conditioner or a split system, we’re confident that you’ll find one perfect for your needs.
Let’s take a look at your options.
Our Top 1 Pick
For Best Energy-Efficient Window Air Conditioner
Keystone Energy Star Window Air Conditioner
Our Top 1 Pick
For Most Energy-Efficient Inverter Air Conditioner
Classic America Ductless Wall Mount Inverter Air Conditioner
Our Top 1 Pick
For Most Energy-Efficient Split System Air Conditioner
Senville LETO Series Mini Split Air Conditioner
Our Top 1 Pick
For Best Energy-Efficient Portable Air Conditioner
Whynter Dual Hose Portable Air Conditioner
Best Energy-Efficient Window Air Conditioners
Window aircon units are typically less costly and cheaper, making them the best budget-friendly aircon choice.
They are also the best aircon for small rooms and spaces.
1. Keystone Energy Star Window Air Conditioner
- 6,000 BTU window air conditioner
- Energy Star compliant with 12.1 EER Rating
- Low noise level at 49 dBA
- Dimension (LxWxH): 18.5 x 15.7 x 13.4 inches
Keystone has one of the best 6,000 BTU AC units today.
With an EER rating of 12.1 and a noise level of 49 decibels, this Energy Star compliant window air conditioner is what you need to cool any room up to 250 square feet efficiently.
Furthermore, it comes with a temperature sensing “Follow Me” remote control so you can say goodbye to uneven room temperatures.
How? The remote has a built-in thermostat that signals the AC to cool the space based on your location.
And for your convenience, a window installation kit comes with the unit for easy setup.
2. GE Energy Star Certified Smart Air Conditioner for Window
- 8,000 BTU window air conditioner
- Energy Star-certified
- Smart AC unit with Eco Mode
- Dimension (LxWxH): 15.31 x 18.56 x 12.63 inches
This window air conditioner by GE is Energy Star certified, meaning its energy-saving capabilities are vetted and recognized by reliable third parties.
It also comes with a smart technology that allows you to monitor, schedule, and control it anywhere.
It is designed to offer superb energy-saving capabilities, provide exceptional comfort with minimal noise, and can effectively cool medium-sized rooms up to 350 square feet.
Moreover, this energy-efficient window air conditioner also comes with 3 cooling modes and 3 fan speeds.
And no need to hire extra labor when you buy this AC. It installs easily in a double-hung window with included EZ Mount window kit and fixed chassis.
And besides having one of the best energy-efficient air conditioners, GE also has one of the most energy-efficient refrigerators.
3. Whirlpool Energy Star Window-Mounted Air Conditioner
- 8,000 BTU window air conditioner
- Energy Star compliant with 12.1 EER Rating
- Comes with remote control with LCD display
- Dimension (LxWxH): 17 x 18.6 x 13.3 inches
The Whirlpool Energy Star compliant 8,000 BTU air conditioner is quiet, energy-efficient, and easy to install.
It quickly cools and dehumidifies a room up to 350 square feet and earns an impressive 12.1 EER rating.
It also features a programmable 24-hour on/off timer, has three cooling speeds, and comes with an eco-mode and sleep mode.
This unit’s cleaning and maintenance are also easy, thanks to its removable and washable air filter.
Most Energy-Efficient Inverter Air Conditioners
One of the most notable features of an inverter-type air conditioner is its ability to control its compressor motor speed to help save electric consumption.
When an inverter AC unit reaches the temperature you set, it automatically adjusts the compressor rotation speed to maintain that temperature without using unnecessary energy.
4. Classic America Ductless Wall Mount Inverter Air Conditioner
- 12,000 BTU inverter air conditioner
- 20.0 SEER rating with 34 dBA noise level
- Eco-friendly refrigerant
- Dimension (LxWxH): 32 x 8 x 11 inches
This highly efficient inverter air conditioner features a Toshiba/GMCC compressor and is charged with R410A refrigerant, which does not harm the ozone layer or cause cancer as R-22 refrigerant does.
The Classic America inverter AC has a wireless remote controller that allows you to select 5 different operating modes and comes with an Auto-Timer function and Auto Restart function.
And did we mention that this AC unit has an impressive 20 SEER rating? This can drive your energy savings to over 30% compared to conventional mini-splits!
It also cools your room super quietly with just 34 dBA of noise level.
5. Midea Energy Star Certified Inverter Window Air Conditioner
- 8,000 BTU smart inverter window air conditioner
- 15.0 SEER rating with 42 dBA noise level
- ENERGY STAR Most Efficient 2022 Certification
- Dimension (LxWxH): 19.17 x 21.97 x 13.46 inches
Thanks to its advanced DC Inverter technology, this AC unit can achieve over 35% energy savings compared to other traditional units.
It is also the first window-type aircon unit to obtain the ENERGY STAR Most Efficient 2022 Certification!
Not only that, but it cools your room 9 times quieter than traditional units, almost as quiet as a library.
And unlike typical window AC units, its U-shaped design allows your window to open, bringing fresh air into your home.
But you don’t have to worry because it comes with an Anti-Theft Mechanism that locks the closed window for added security.
This window-type inverter air conditioner is also Wi-Fi enabled and can be controlled from anywhere using your phone or mobile device.
6. DAIKIN Wall-Mounted Ductless Inverter Air Conditioner
- 9,000 BTU ductless inverter air conditioner
- 11.1 EER rating, 17.0 SEER rating, and 51 dBA noise level
- 10 Years Limited Warranty
- Dimension (LxWxH): 32 x 31 x 31 inches
This energy-efficient air conditioner is ideal for single rooms and is specially designed to blend in discreetly with any home design and style.
It features an intelligent inverter technology with an inverter variable-speed compressor that efficiently maintains desired room temperatures.
Besides energy efficiency, this air conditioner is also super quiet and will support good lasting sleep.
The unit includes an indoor fan coil, outdoor condensing unit, remote control, 15 feet installation kit, and wall bracket.
Most Energy-Efficient Split System Air Conditioners
Split air condition units are mounted high and designed for cooling large spaces.
They generally have a completely ductless design which helps your energy savings and is a lot more security-friendly than a window unit.
Some of the most efficient air conditioners are split systems.
7. Senville LETO Series Mini Split Air Conditioner
- 12,000 BTU mini-split aircon
- 19.0 SEER rating with 28 dBA noise level
- 4-in-1 AC unit with 5 years warranty
- Dimension (LxWxH): 26 x 10.43 x 21.26 inches
This mini-split air conditioner has a built-in heat pump and dehumidifier and features a high-efficiency DC inverter compressor.
It is also Alexa enabled, so you can use either voice or an app to control this air conditioner from anywhere with Internet access.
And with a SEER rating of 19.0, you can enjoy a cool, comfy room with up to 40% energy savings.
The unit includes an indoor air handler, outdoor condenser, remote control, 16 feet line set, and communication wire.
You also get to enjoy a 5 years warranty on parts replacement and 5 years on compressor.
8. Pioneer Wall Mount Ductless Mini Split Aircon
- 9,000 BTU mini-split aircon
- 18.0 SEER rating
- Free tech support and 5 year warranty
- Dimension (LxWxH): 28.5 x 7.5 x 11.5 inches
This 9,000 BTU split system AC unit comes with a variable speed, high-efficiency DC inverter compressor.
The unit includes a wireless remote digital controller that allows you to select among the 4 operating modes.
It also has an attractive flat front panel, a dimmable LED display, automatic swing air discharge louvers, permanent washable air filters, and a multi-speed fan motor.
Additional features include:
- An automatic switchover mode.
- A timer function.
- A night mode function automatically adopts the temperature settings to the naturally changing body temperature levels during the night.
This unit also has a cloud programmable, wireless Internet, and remote access function.
It also comes with 5-year parts (selected) and a 5-year compressor warranty.
9. Cooper & Hunter Ductless Mini Split Aircon Unit
- 24,000 BTU mini-split aircon
- 17.0 SEER rating, AHRI Certified
- Limited 7 year warranty on the compressor; 5 year parts warranty
- Dimension (LxWxH): 36 x 32 x 36 inches
This split aircon unit is super efficient with a 17 SEER rating and AHRI certification.
The Cooper & Hunter Ductless Mini Split Aircon and Heating unit also features a Whisper Technology for a superb quiet operation.
The unit is ready for installation and comes with a 16 feet copper line set, communication wires, and a drainage extension.
You are also well protected by a limited 7 year warranty on the compressor and a 5-year warranty on parts.
Best Energy-Efficient Portable Air Conditioners
One of the best things about a portable air conditioner is, as the name suggests, portability.
You can move it from room to room in your home – in the kitchen, on your porch, office, and even into your garage.
Moreover, portable air conditioners are very easy to install. Just take them out of the box and plug them in without any additional need to alter your window frame.
10. Whynter Dual Hose Portable Air Conditioner
- 14,000 BTU portable air conditioner
- 11.2 EER rating with >56 dBA noise level
- Eco-friendly CFC free Green R-32 refrigerant
- Dimension (LxWxH): 19 x 16 x 35.5 inches
Whynter has the best 14,000 BTU unit in the market.
This CFC-free and high-energy-efficiency portable air conditioner will cool your home while keeping with better environmental standards and reducing energy consumption.
It also has a 24-hour programmable timer, CFC-free green R-410A refrigerant, and lead-free RoHS-compliant components.
Moreover, it features patented advanced auto drain technology, which uses and recycles moisture collected during the cooling process, and a dual-hose operation that provides ultra-fast cooling.
11. Midea Ultra Quiet Portable Aircon
- 12,000 BTU portable air conditioner
- 42 dBA noise level with an 8.9 EER rating
- Features variable speed inverter technology
- Dimension (LxWxH): 16.73 x 19.53 x 32.48 inches
This portable air conditioner can form balanced air circulation indoors, preventing hot air from seeping into the room through gaps around doors and windows.
And thanks to its variable speed inverter technology, Midea Duo’s portable AC unit cools more using considerably less electricity than traditional portable AC units.
You might be thinking, how much energy can it save? This portable aircon unit can save more than 40% energy compared to U.S. federal standards.
It is also one of the most quiet air conditioners, operating at only 42 dBA!
Perfect for parents with newborn babies or for people sensitive to noise.
12. hOmelabs Portable Air Conditioner
- 14,000 BTU portable air conditioner
- 53 dBA noise level
- Features automatic vertical swing function
- Dimension (LxWxH): 15 x 17.91 x 30.7 inches
Another popular choice among consumers looking for the best energy-efficient air conditioner that is portable is this unit by hOmelabs.
It quietly cools any 450 to 600 square feet room, has an automatic vertical swing function that evenly distributes airflow, and is very easy to install.
This portable AC unit also has a built-in sleep function that decreases energy use, a washable filter for easy cleaning, and LED indicator lights.
With energy-efficient air conditioners, you can enjoy guilt-free comfort against hot weather.
With a lessened energy consumption, you effectively help reduce emissions and pollution, especially if you live in areas where electricity is generated through burning fossil fuels.
Reducing your energy consumption also means fewer expenses on your monthly bills!
Energy-Efficient Air Conditioners FAQs
Which air conditioner is the most energy-efficient?
AC units with highest EER and SEER rating are the most energy-efficient. When it comes to type, split and inverter air conditioners are the best when it comes to reducing energy consumption.
Which air conditioner is best for less electricity?
Energy Star Certified air conditioner units that have the highest EER and SEER rating are the most energy-efficient and helps save electricity.
Are new air conditioners more energy efficient?
Upgrading your old AC unit to a newer model may cost you an upfront investment. However, getting rid of your old AC and replacing it with an energy-efficient air conditioner can lower your energy consumption significantly and save you money on your electricity bill.
Which AC takes less electricity, window or split?
While split system air conditioners are generally more energy-efficient, both a window and split type AC unit can be both equally efficient when it comes to electric consumption. It all depends on the EER and SEER rating of the unit, and if they are Energy Star Certified similar to the ones we featured on this list of the best energy-efficient air conditioners.
Do air conditioners filter pollution?
No. AC units do not filter pollution.