Cooling and ventilating equipment

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Keeping cool is a growing energy use

With hot, humid, sunny summers in much of the country, more Canadians are using cooling and ventilating equipment to keep our indoor environments comfortable. Overall, space cooling accounts for two percent of the energy we use in our homes.

Residential energy use in Canada by activity, 2010

Residential energy use in Canada by activity, 2010

Source: Energy Efficiency Trends in Canada 1990-2010, Natural Resources Canada.

Text version

A pie chart representing energy consumed in the average Canadian home is divided into five sections: space heating, 63%; water heating, 17%; appliances, 14%; lighting, 4%; and space cooling, 2%.


(In commercial/institutional settings, space cooling accounts for five percent of energy use. Find information on commercial air conditioners, chillers, heat pumps.)

Always consider the “second price tag”

Equipment’s first price tag—the sticker price—is obvious. Smart consumers also consider the “second price tag”: the cost of operating the device over its lifetime. Operating costs can be higher over the long term than purchase and installation costs.

A number of factors determine operating costs for central and room air conditioners: the cost of electricity in your area, the cooling capacity of the unit (expressed in British thermal units per hour or Btu/h), the Energy Efficiency Rating (EER) of the unit and the amount of time that it operates.

Buy ENERGY STAR® for high efficiency

Since it pays to buy energy-efficient equipment and products, buy the most efficient model you can. NRCan can help you comparison shop.

Be aware that:

  • Some cooling and ventilating equipment-room air conditioners, central and commercial air conditioners, and heat pumps-must meet minimum energy performance standards set by Canada's Energy Efficiency Regulations.
  • Room air conditioners have a mandatory EnerGuide label that shows how much energy that model uses and how it compares to similar models. Central and commercial air conditioners may display a voluntary EnerGuide label in product literature.
  • The model displays the ENERGY STAR symbol if it qualifies as high efficiency.

For details on specific products, choose from the menu at left.

Searchable product list

Go to our searchable product list to compare different models sold in Canada.

For general information, look at our publications:

The ENERGY STAR name and symbol are administered and promoted in Canada by Natural Resources Canada and are registered in Canada by the United States Environmental Protection Agency.