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Updated CEER Rating: What You Need to Know

On March 23, 2023, the Department of Energy finalized new energy efficiency standards for window air conditioners. The updated CEER rating aims to reduce carbon dioxide emissions and lower consumer utility bills by pushing for more efficient window ACs.

Here’s everything you need to know about the new CEER standards for 2023. 

What is CEER?

CEER stands for Combined Energy Efficiency Ratio. It measures the energy efficiency of window air conditioners and is expressed by a number between 8 and 15. The higher the CEER, the more efficient the unit is.

The CEER rating is always displayed in the EnergyGuide label mandated by the DOE. EnergyStar certified units typically have a higher CEER rating and are at least 10% more efficient than the federal minimum standards.

energyguide ceer sticker

Sample of a US EnergyGuide and Canadian EnerGuide label showing the CEER

What are the New CEER Standards?

In March 2023, the DOE raised the minimum CEER rating for window air conditioners and portable air cleaners. Under the revised standards, the minimum CEER is increased from the current 11.0 to 12.8 for smaller ACs with a cooling capacity of less than 8,000 BTU/h (DOE 10 CFR part 429 and 430).

The higher minimum CEER will apply to new window air conditioners manufactured or imported in the US by 2026.

Amended Energy Conservation Standards for Room Air Conditioners

AC Class CEER Standard
Room Air Conditioner without reverse cycle, with louvered sides
More than 6,000 Btu/h 13.1
6,000 to 7,900 Btu/h 13.7
8,000 to 13,900 Btu/h 16.0
14,000 to 19,900 Btu/h 16.0
20,000 to 27,900 Btu/h 13.8
≥28,000 Btu/h  13.2
Room Air Conditioner without reverse cycle, without louvered sides
More than 6,000 Btu/h 12.8
6,000 to 7,900 Btu/h 12.8
8,000 to 10,900 Btu/h 14.1
11,000 to 13,900 Btu/h 13.9
14,000 to 19,900 Btu/h 13.7
≥20,000 Btu/h 13.8
Room Air Conditioner with reverse cycle, with louvered sides
<20,000 Btu/h 14.4
≥20,000 Btu/h (13) 13.7
Room Air Conditioner with reverse cycle, without louvered sides
<14,000 Btu/h 13.7
≥14,000 Btu/h 12.8
Casement type AC
Casement-Only 13.9
Casement-Slider 15.3

What Does This Mean for Consumers?

The raised CEER rating intends to achieve two things:

  • Lower carbon dioxide emissions by 106 million metric tons over 30 years
  • Save homeowners approximately $1.5 billion per year on their electricity bills

The higher CEER pushes AC manufacturers to produce more efficient air conditioners, which in turn benefits both the consumer and the environment. The DOE estimates that given 3% discount rate for all benefits and costs, the estimated cost of the

adopted standards is $176.8 million per year in increased equipment costs, while the estimated annual benefits are $815.8 million in reduced operating costs.

CEER vs EER and CEER: What’s the Difference?

Before CEER, window AC units were measured by EER or Energy Efficiency Ratio introduced in 1975. CEER provides a more accurate reading by taking into account how much energy the window AC uses in Standby mode. In simple terms, it measures the “combined” efficiency of AC when it is actively cooling a room, as well as when the unit is switched on in standby mode not cooling.

CEER is also different from SEER (Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio), which is the metric used by larger AC systems like central air and mini splits, and also raised in 2023.

This is the third time the DOE has raised window AC standards since 1990, the two previous amendments being in 1997 and 2011. As a result, today’s window AC units are up to 40% more efficient than their 1990 counterparts. 

What Should I Look for in a New Window Air Conditioner?

If you have an existing window air conditioner purchased during the last 10 years, chances are it’s fine as long as you keep up on the cleaning and maintenance.

However, if you are in the market for a new window AC, it may be better to future-proof your investment by purchasing a model that follows the new minimum CEER, as the standard is set to take effect in 2026.

Other things to consider are:

✔️ The use of A2L refrigerants like R-32, which are more efficient and eco-friendly than the R-410A widely used today.

✔️ Inverter technology, which greatly improves energy efficiency and lifespan.

Our Recommended Window Air Conditioners

Budget window AC with high CEER:

LG LW1022IVSM 10000 BTU Dual Inverter Smart WiFi Enabled Window Air Conditioner – Energy Star

This window air conditioner uses a dual inverter for added efficiency. This enables it to achieve an impressive 15.0 CEER and Energy Star rating.

The inverter technology is used in conjunction with a variable speed compressor and adjusts the motor speed to regulate the room temperature. Rather than shutting off and on repeatedly throughout its use, the compressor “revs up” and down as needed, making it much more efficient. It has a 10,000 BTU capacity and can cool a space up to 450 sq. ft.

This unit also supports LG’s SmartThinQ app. It allows control via smartphone or tablet, as well as voice command control using Amazon Alexa or Google Home Assistant.

LG LW1022IVSM 10000 BTU Dual Inverter Smart WiFi Enabled Window Air Conditioner - 115V - Energy Star - R32 Refrigerant
Price: $445.00 LG LW1022IVSM 10000 BTU Dual Inverter Smart WiFi Enabled Window Air Conditioner - 115V - Energy Star - R32 Refrigerant

For added efficiency, the LG LW1022IVSM is a window air conditioner that includes a dual inverter. LG's inverter technology is used in conjunction with a...

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R32 Window AC with high CEER:

Friedrich CCV12A10A 12000 BTU Chill Premier Inverter Smart Window Air Conditioner – R32 Energy Star

The Chill Premier Series is Friedrich’s premium line of smart room air conditioners with variable comfort / inverter technology. This 12,000 BTU model boasts an EER of 15.1, 15.0 CEER and Energy Star certification. It also uses the newer and more efficient R-32 refrigerant, which is 12% more efficient than R410A and has a lower Global Warming Potential (GWP). The lower the GWP, the better for the environment.

All units in the series feature Friedrich’s QuietMaster technology. It uses heavy duty insulation on the inner wall for sound absorption as well as a stiffened sheet metal casing to help block external noise. Vibration reducing counterweights also help to reduce the sound. Additionally, the wide discharge vents optimize airflow and minimize front panel noise. The result is a stunningly quiet window AC that barely goes above a whisper.

This model also comes with built-in Wi-Fi and Friedrich Go App support, allowing you to control the unit by voice (using Alexa or Google Assistant), set timers and schedules, and integrate it with your smart home routines.

Mickey Luongo

Mickey is the resident heating and air conditioning expert with over 15 years of experience in the industry.

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