Breathe Easier at Home with Clean, Cool, Dehumidified Air

With spring rains upon us and summer heat right around the corner, now is a great time to plan how you’ll keep the air in your home clean, dry, and cool. (And we wouldn’t complain if you took a few other easy steps to address the changing seasons.) If your air demands attention — whether because of a musty smell, irritants making you sneeze, or just too much heat — some solutions are better than others. 

Read on to find out why we love the benefits you get from ENERGY STAR appliances — and which ones are right for addressing air issues at home. 

Cool a room without breaking your energy budget

When you want to replace or add a room air conditioner, you have a lot of good reasons to go for an ENERGY STAR option. A/C units that meet ENERGY STAR standards: 

  • Use 20% less energy than standard models, on average
  • Offer improved sealing and insulation around the unit to keep the cool air where you need it and reduce energy consumption
  • Can include connected functionality that lets you control settings remotely and schedule temperature settings
  • May use a lower-impact refrigerant called R-32, which reduces an A/C unit’s impact on the climate by two-thirds. 

Looking for the ENERGY STAR seal can narrow your options, but another important consideration is size: It’s important not to install a unit that could cool an airport terminal in a 100-square-foot bedroom. Or any bedroom, really. You also don’t want to overwork a unit that’s too small for your room. Before you shop, figure out what size A/C unit you need.  

Consider also whether the room you intend to cool is in a shady or sunny spot. For shady rooms, you need 10% less capacity than normal, and you want 10% more for sunny rooms. Kitchens come with their own challenges, and ENERGY STAR recommendations advise increasing A/C capacity by 4,000 BTUs. 

Try a home air cleaner to filter allergens and pollutants

Pollutants can make themselves at home despite your best efforts, and they’re big trouble for people with allergies or asthma. Never opening your doors and windows, running the furnace, or firing up your stove probably aren’t appealing options. Enter the home air cleaner, a neat little tool for pulling pollutants (and, in many cases, odors) from the air in your home. You can get cleaner air with less energy when you look for an ENERGY STAR air cleaner. These models are 25% more energy efficient than standard models but are just as great at removing pollutants that can affect your health. 

A home air cleaner is intended to clean the air in a single room at a time, and just as with an air conditioner, size matters. Air cleaners are assessed by a clean air delivery rate (CADR), which you can match to your room by looking for a CADR that’s about two-thirds of the square footage of the room where you’ll use it most. For example, the minimum CADR for a 100-square-foot room is 65, and for a 200-square-foot room, it’s 130. Learn more about choosing an air cleaner here

Reduce moisture in the air with a dehumidifier

You probably know the cracked lips and dry skin that indicate your air isn’t humid enough, and if you’re experiencing the opposite — high humidity (over 60%, according to the EPA) — you’re likely to run into problems like these: 

  • Allergy problems because of increased mold, mildew, and dust mites
  • A higher number of in-home pests, like spiders, roaches, and silverfish 
  • Higher energy bills during summer, when your air conditioner has to work harder
  • Mold damage to walls, floors, or furniture
  • Musty odors

A dehumidifier pulls water from your air and the unpleasant problems it causes from your life. ENERGY STAR certified dehumidifiers do all that by using highly efficient refrigeration coils, compressors, and fans so you use about 13% less energy than you would with a standard model.  

When you’re ready to choose a dehumidifier, consider the size of your space and how much water is in the air. You want to err on the side of more — that is, if your home requirements put you on the edge of two sizes, opt for more power. Ensuring you can get within the healthy humidity range is critical, and the dehumidifier will stop running when it gets there. 

Breathe easy knowing you’re saving energy

Home should mean comfort, and these energy-efficient solutions can help you get there by keeping you cool and keeping your air free from moisture and allergens — all while reducing your impact on the air outside. And you don’t have to stop there: We have even more tips for improving the air quality in your home.