Things to Look for When Buying
Air Conditioners and Heat Pumps

Air Source Heat Pumps

Look for the EnergyGuide label that contains the Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio, or SEER, and Heating Seasonal Performance Factor, or HSPF. The former measures energy efficiency during the cooling season and the latter measures energy efficiency during the heating season. If the heat pump has earned an Energy StarŪ label, the product is in the top 25 percent for efficiency. To finance the purchase of a heat pump with a 5% Dollar and Energy Saving Loan, the SEER rating must be at least 12.00 and the HSPF must be at least 7.80.

Central Air Conditioners

Look for the EnergyGuide label with a SEER rating for central air conditioners. To earn an Energy StarŪ, the minimum efficiency level is 12 SEER. These exceed federal energy efficiency standards by at least 20 percent. Air conditioners that bear the Energy StarŪ label may be twice as efficient as some existing systems. Dollar and Energy Saving Loans can finance central air conditioners that have a SEER of 12.00 or higher.

Room Air Conditioners

Look for the EnergyGuide label with an Energy Efficiency Ratio, or EER. The higher the EER, the more efficient the unit. Energy StarŪ units are among the most energy efficient products. Room air conditioners financed with Dollar and Energy Saving Loans must have an EER of 10.0 or higher.

When buying a room air conditioner, consider these factors:

Area in Square Feet...........Btu/hour
100 to 150..............................................5,000
150 to 250..............................................6,000
250 to 350..............................................7,000
350 to 400..............................................9,000
400 to 450............................................10,000
450 to 550............................................12,000

550 to 700............................................14,000

700 to 1,000.........................................18,000

Return to the Spring 1999 Newsletter