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Office of Energy Efficiency Links


Business: Industrial


Heating, Ventilation and
Air Conditioning

High-Efficiency Unitary
Air-Conditioning Units
(19 to 73 kW):

Purchasing Tips

The simplest way to ensure that you purchase a high-efficiency air-conditioning unit is to select a model that is ENERGY STAR® qualified. You can also include ENERGY STAR compliance in your specifications for purchasing air conditioners.

  • ENERGY STAR: For a list of all manufacturers that make packaged air-conditioning units that are ENERGY STAR compliant.

To further assist your purchase decision, the Air-Conditioning and Refrigeration Institute (ARI) has developed a comprehensive database of unitary air-conditioning equipment. This searchable database, available free of charge through ARI's Web site (see below), is a valuable tool that will enable you to compare a wide range of manufacturers' products and model features, including energy efficiency, when making your purchase decision.

  • For a database of packaged air-conditioning units.

High-efficiency packaged units are also being developed with alternate, environmentally friendly refrigerants. Watch for them and request these units in order to further assist in Canada's greenhouse gas reduction efforts.

Other Energy-Efficient Purchasing and Operating Tips

Proper sizing. Choose your systems based on your building's calculated cooling load. Unitary air-conditioning equipment is often oversized, which can significantly reduce efficiency and humidity control. At low loads, the efficiency can be less than half of the full load efficiency.

Select efficient features. Energy-efficient features, such as economizers, flexible-flow positions and programmable controls can further improve your unit's operation. In many cases, simply adding a programmable thermostat to reduce the amount of cooling provided when the building is unoccupied can reduce your energy costs by a further 10 percent.

Duct design and commissioning. The performance of any air-conditioning system depends on its air-distribution system. Comprehensive testing, adjusting and balancing of the installed unit and its controls will maximize installed efficiency.

Ongoing operation and maintenance. To preserve the long-term efficiency of your air-conditioning system, proper operation and regular maintenance is essential.

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