Some newer, small GE units that are very well-reviewed at one professional testing organizations are Energy Star Certified, but they are not yet available at retail. Because of that, this is the only category where we were not able to recommend an Energy Star Certified small AC unit. We will continue to monitor this report and modify it if and/or when these GE room air conditioners do come on the market. These include the GE AEM05LV and the GE AEM06LV.
But even the best of us can eventually feel like the walls are beginning to close in on us. And with the ready to begin its season long roasting, plus the fact that smaller spaces get hotter faster and tend to retain heat, even the most conscientious of us can end up going a bit stir crazy.
First, be under no delusions that your little piece of heaven will quickly turn into a little piece of hell as soon as summer heat and humidity sets in. The obvious solution is an air conditioner, but smaller spaces normally don't come equipped with a central AC. Installing a central AC is also out of the question because 1) it's not functionally practical and 2) it's far too costly an installment for such a small space.
When deciding on a portable unit, you'll have to choose between single or dual hose systems. A single hose system uses just one tube to pump hot air out of the building. The trouble is that this reduces the air pressure inside your home. This causes more hot air from the outside to come in through cracks in doors and windows. The A/C unit has to work extra hard as a result, which is a terribly inefficient system. It's not a huge concern if you're trying to cool a small space, and these devices are generally less expensive. For a larger home, though, the extra energy costs can rack up fast.