If you’ve gone shopping for a portable air conditioner in the past year you may have noticed the “Seasonally Adjusted Cooling Capacity” (SACC), the new rating system for portable ACs. The new SACC rating system was put into place by the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) based on federal test standards established by the Department of Energy (DOE) for implementation starting Oct. 1, 2017.

To better explain this new rating system, we’ve broken down some prominent questions regarding the change:

What changed?

To help better reflect the energy efficiency of each portable air conditioner, the FTC rolled out new labeling requirements to improve accuracy. In past years, portable ACs were rated similarly to other air conditioning systems using the ASHRAE standard, which was unintendedly misleading customers to compare portable units to stationary units.

What is SACC?

Taking into account environmental factors that affect portable ACs, the new SACC rating provides a weighted average performance of BTU/ hour, taking into account extreme conditions, the effect of infiltration air and duct heat transfer. The previous ASHRAE standards were not as thorough in accessing these factors that impact a portable AC unit.

With the change in testing, the new SACC ratings therefore may appear lower than previous ratings on unit packaging, even though the model has not changed.

How does this effect my portable AC or future portable ACs?

All future and current portable ACs manufactured after 2017 will have an SACC rating listed. Some manufacturers may choose to list both the ASHRAE and SACC ratings on their portable AC packaging for consumer comparison.

Bottom Line

SACC ratings are the standard for portable ACs. As you start to see these ratings on future marketing materials, it is important to keep in mind that while the new SACC ratings may appear lower than ASHRAE ratings, the construction and capacity of all Perfect Aire portable ACs has not changed.