Energy-Efficient Air Conditioning
Cool It: All About AC
Conventional air conditioning often uses more electricity than anything else in your home, so it’s important to install AC systems properly and maintain them regularly.1 Through our Quality Maintenance and Quality Installation programs, we offer cash rebates to help offset the costs of AC maintenance, repair, and installation performed by qualified contractors. Keeping your AC system in tip top shape will help maximize energy efficiency and savings on your bill.
Conditioning Training: Energy Efficiency
Saving money and energy while staying cool involves reducing heat gain in the home. While most people initially look to conventional central or room AC systems, there are other space-cooling technologies that can accomplish the same job with greater energy efficiency, and passive measures—like shades and cross breezes, that can help you stay cool with no electricity at all.
Size and Place: Choosing the Right Location & Contractor
If you’re planning on installing a cooling system, you should first consider your climate and lifestyle, as well as your home’s size, orientation and type of building shell. When requesting a size and installation quote, choose a contractor that follows ASHRAE and Air Conditioning Contractors of America guidelines. A qualified installer can help you get the most from your new AC system.
Heat Pumps: All-Season Air Conditioning
Residential heat pumps can be used for heating and cooling – removing heat from inside the home during the summer months and bringing heat into the home from outside during the winter months. There are 2 main types of residential heat pumps: air-source, and ground-source, also known as geothermal / geo-exchange heat pumps.
Ground-source models usually have a higher upfront cost, but a very low operating cost, and often require access to a large yard, surface water, or underground water. Air source heat pumps are more common, and suitable for smaller homes.
Evaporative Coolers: A Cool Dry Place
If you're looking for an alternative to traditional AC, consider an evaporative cooler. In dry climates like California's, evaporative coolers typically use less than 1/4 of the energy as conventional AC units, and can save you hundreds of dollars a year on home-cooling costs.2 They’re also cleaner, since they don’t require the use of toxic chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs) or other refrigerants. Evaporative coolers come in portable, fixed-room, and whole-house systems. Modern systems are efficient, use little water, and provide years of trouble-free service to cool and clean the air.
Conventional Air Conditioners
There are 2 main types of air conditioners: central and room AC. Central units are ducted systems and the most commonly used to cool an entire building. Room AC units are generally smaller, individual units that are able to cool only a single room or a few small connected rooms. Room air conditioners are typically mounted on a wall or in a window, although there are portable units that can be moved all over the house. As reported by Rocky Mountain Institute, the average air conditioned home uses over 2,200 kilowatt hours of energy, costing the homeowner around $374 per year or more.3,4
Find More Info
- American Council for Energy Efficient Economy
- California Energy Commission
- Energy Guide Home Analyzer & Energy Calculators
- Home Energy Advisor
- Department of Energy Home Energy Saver
- Workforce Education
- Our Energy Centers
- Cool Roof Rating Council
- Department of Energy Roof Savings Calculator
- Energy Star Tax Credits
Places to Buy
 Yardi, Ramola, Wang, K., Smith, A. (2004). Home Energy Briefs: #3 Space Cooling. Snowmass: Rocky Mountain Institute. Retrieved September 28, 2012, from http://www.rmi.org/rmi/pid217 (p. 8).
 Yardi, Ramola, Wang, K., Smith, A. (2004). Home Energy Briefs: #3 Space Cooling. Snowmass: Rocky Mountain Institute. Retrieved September 28, 2012, from http://www.rmi.org/rmi/pid217 (p. 2).
 Yardi, Ramola, Wang, K., Smith, A. (2004). Home Energy Briefs: #3 Space Cooling. Snowmass: Rocky Mountain Institute. Retrieved September 28, 2012, from http://www.rmi.org/rmi/pid217 (p. 6).
 This assumes an electricity rate of $0.17/kWh, Calculated using the average annual conventional air-conditioned household kWh usage from Rocky Mountain Institute's Home Energy Briefs#3 Space Cooling.
This program is funded by California utility customers and administered by Southern California Edison under the auspices of the California Public Utilities Commission.