Energy Myth: The bigger the air conditioner the better it cools the house.
Fact: Air conditioners cool and dehumidify. An oversized air conditioner frequently cycles on and off which doesn't allow it enough time to remove moisture. A properly sized A/C will operate for a longer period of time during the hottest days which will remove uncomfortable moisture.
Home Series Booklet: Home Cooling (PDF)
Buy a high-efficiency air conditioner. Look for a seasonal energy efficiency ratio (SEER) of 13 or higher (Starting in January 2006, 13 SEER will be the new minimum level of efficiency on the market.) Check out the EnergyStar site for qualified air conditioners.
Make sure that the new central air conditioner is properly sized. Get assistance from an energy auditor or air conditioning contractor. A heating and cooling professional will take in to account the size of your home, orientation of the house and its windows, insulation levels, window efficiency, number of people living in home and how "leaky" the home and duct system are. Appropriate sizing of a new or replacement air conditioner is determined through a MANUAL J heating and cooling load calculation. For more information on the importance of "right sizing" go to the "Bigger is not Better" link below.
U.S. DOE Energy Saving tips for Heating and Cooling
© 2010 Arkansas Energy Office. All rights reserved.
Arkansas Economic Development Commission
Energy Efficiency Arkansas