The Gradient: A closer look at our climate-friendly AC
We’re so excited to start shipping Gradients around the U.S. this summer and to give people the chance to experience the unit in person.
Until then, read on for a closer look at some of the most important features of the Gradient.
First, how big is the Gradient?
The Gradient was designed to replace bulky, loud window AC units. It also gives you your view back by dropping below the surface of your window. Both the indoor and outdoor portions of the Gradient are 24 inches in height, so you’ll need at least that much clearance on both sides of your window.
They’re also 24 inches wide.
The depth of the assembled unit depends on the depth of your window (which can be between 6 inches and 16 inches), but the indoor unit is 8 inches deep, and the outdoor unit is 24 inches deep.
The outdoor unit of the Gradient gets installed first, and it weighs 90 lbs. You’ll install the indoor unit next; it weighs 50 lbs. To ensure your safety, the unit should be assembled by two people.
Note: the Gradient works only with windows that are single- or double-hung. Check if it fits yours.
Is the Gradient really quieter than a traditional window AC?
With the Gradient, you can take calls, put the baby down for a nap, or enjoy dinner conversation without pausing to turn off your noisy AC.
The louder, bulkier components of the unit will sit outside your home, so your window will help block the noise that would come from a traditional AC. The Gradient’s saddlebag shape gives you both comfortable air and a calm home.
Just how quiet will it be? Here are the Gradient’s current noise level readings:
✔ High mode: 53 dB
✔ Medium mode: 49 dB
✔ Low mode: 43 dB
If those numbers sound a little confusing, not to worry. Purdue University’s Chemistry Department explains:
✔ 60 dB is like a conversation in an office or background music.
✔ 50 dB is like a quiet suburb or conversation at home.
✔ 40 dB is the "lowest limit of urban ambient sound" — similar to a library.
But of course, noise levels aren't everything. You also need power.
So how powerful is the Gradient?
But with the Gradient’s BTU rating of 9,000 for cooling (recommended for rooms up to 450 sq ft), you don't need to sacrifice power or a calm environment.
Unlike a traditional window AC, the Gradient is also a heat pump. That means it can be used all year round as a heating system for homes in moderate climates (where the temperature is usually 46°F or higher), and as a way to supplement your main heat source in colder climates.
Given that the Gradient is so powerful, you might be concerned about your home’s electrical capacity. Not to worry: unlike most mini-splits, which require a 220V outlet, the Gradient plugs into a standard 120V outlet.
Energy efficient air comfort
Our commercial grade heat pump technology is more efficient than traditional window AC units, which saves on energy consumption.
And we’re proud to report that the Gradient’s Combined Energy Efficiency Ratio (CEER) number is 10.8, making it high enough to qualify for EnergyStar – a joint program of the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the Department of Energy (DOE) with the goal of promoting energy efficiency.
You won’t find a heat pump window AC on the market with a higher CEER.
Planet-friendly heating and cooling
Up until now, cooling the home has meant warming the planet because of the refrigerants used in air conditioners. Commonly used hydrofluorocarbon (HFC) refrigerants, like R410a, are climate super-pollutants. They’re more than a thousand times more potent than carbon dioxide and accelerate planet warming which, in turn, increases our need for air conditioning.
That's why the Gradient uses R32, a next-generation refrigerant that efficiently carries heat and has lower environmental impact.
Thanks to R32 and our advanced heat pump technology, we estimate a 75-percent carbon reduction when the Gradient is used to both cool and heat and when the system is powered by low-carbon electricity.
Of course, our end goal is to achieve a 100% carbon reduction. But the current model is a very important and very big first step toward that goal – and we can’t get there without you.
If you’re ready to start using a more climate friendly AC, pre order your Gradient today.