Here's What You Should Know About Energy Star Guidelines

October 4, 2016

Here's What You Should Know About Energy Star Guideline

Winter or summer in Des Moines, efficient HVAC equipment helps you save on utility bills. But how does a homeowner know what to shop for when replacing an air conditioner, a furnace or a heat pump? One of the best ways is by looking for the distinctive blue Energy Star logo and comparing similar models. The products will bear labels that tell on average how much energy the products use, as well as calculated annual savings.

Buying energy-efficient appliances, electronics, and equipment for your home can be a little overwhelming as you try to sort through all of the available information. Energy Star-certified products are an easy answer to this dilemma, providing certifications that indicate household products that are as energy efficient as possible. The following is a brief explanation of the Energy Star program and what those certifications mean.

The Background of the Energy Star Program

The Energy Star program started in 1992 as a voluntary labeling program of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. The program provides education and information on energy conservation and efficiency and helps consumers understand the best energy-saving options available to them.

The Energy Star certification program tests a variety of electronics and appliances for energy efficiency. The most efficient of them are granted the right to display the Energy Star logo, which indicates the highest possible level of efficiency. Further, the Energy Star Most Efficient label identifies products that are the most efficient among their category. Computers, heating and cooling equipment, household appliances, office equipment, lighting, water heaters, and pool pumps can all be granted Energy Star certification.

The Energy Star label now appears on more than 50 types of products, including furnaces, air conditioners, air cleaners, boilers, ductless heating and cooling, heat pumps, ventilation fans and water heaters. Homeowners can be sure that by choosing products bearing the Energy Star label, they are choosing equipment that will save them money on energy bills and reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

The Meaning of Energy Star Guidelines

These guidelines of the Energy Star program ensure that the products granted certification will provide a high level of energy efficiency.

  1. Energy efficiency of the product must be demonstrable through testing.
  2. Product must offer features and performance that consumers want in addition to efficiency.
  3. The product must offer efficiency and significant energy savings nationwide.
  4. If the device costs more than a comparable low-efficiency model, the monthly savings it provides must be sufficient to allow the purchaser to recover the cost of the product through savings alone over a reasonable span of time.
  5. Labeling of the product will sufficiently distinguish it from similar models.

Benefits of Energy Star Products

HVAC equipment consumes more energy than any other appliance in your home, so it's crucial that it is efficient. Energy Star-rated products are 15 to 20 percent more efficient than their counterparts without the rating. Rigorously tested in EPA-approved laboratories and reviewed by third party certification, Energy Star-rated products must provide a level of performance and the same in-demand features that consumers look for in other models available in the marketplace. Also, Energy Star-rated products, which may cost more than less efficient models, should be efficient enough so that homeowners can expect to recover the difference in purchase costs through energy savings over a reasonable period of time. Another important benefit is that Energy Star-rated products help reduce a household's carbon footprint. The EPA says that since the Energy Star program was launched, the environment has been spared an estimated 2 billion metric tons of greenhouse gas emissions.

To learn more about how the Energy Star logo can help you make better HVAC equipment choices, contact Lozier Heating and Cooling. We serve the heating and cooling needs of central Iowa. Our goal is to help educate our customers in the greater Des Moines, Iowa area about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems).