The ENERGY STAR rating is a multi-national standard applied to products that promote energy efficiency. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) tests these products to ensure their adherence to energy efficient standards established by the organization.
This article looks more closely at the ENERGY STAR and why it’s important to you and your family.
History of the ENERGY STAR
In 1992 the U.S. EPA and the U.S. Department of Energy developed standards for energy efficiency across a wide variety of products. These standards require the product to use 20% to 30% less energy than required by federal standards. Today, Australia, Canada, the European Union, Japan, New Zealand, and Taiwan have all joined the United States in utilizing this label.
The EPA sets key guidelines for ENERGY STAR products, requiring that:
· These products contribute significant energy savings.
· They deliver high-performance.
· If the product is more expensive than the non-ENERGY STAR competitor, the ENERGY STAR certified product would provide ROI to offset the additional cost.
These products are tested regularly to be sure they meet or exceed the federal guidelines.
Types of ENERGY STAR Products
You’ve probably seen the ENERGY STAR label on products in your home. Some of the typical ENERGY STAR products include:
· Building products such as doors and windows
· Computers and electronic office equipment
· Furnace and HVAC systems
· Kitchen appliances like freezers, refrigerators, washers, dryers, and dishwashers
· Lighting and ceiling fans
· Other electronics
Buildings can also be evaluated under the ENERGY STAR program as being exceptionally efficient. The energystar.gov website had an online tool called Portfolio Manager to track your building’s energy consumption. Entire cities use the tool, including New York, Boston, and Seattle, and even the Candian government.
Furnace and AC ENERGY STAR Ratings
An ENERGY STAR rated furnace or air conditioner will save you money on your monthly utility bills. Modernize.com says you can save up to 20% each month if you select a high rated heat or AC unit. That’s money in the bank for you and your family.
Air conditioning units are rated with a Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio (SEER) somewhere between 13 to 23. The higher the number, the more efficient equipment, and the more money you will save.
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ENERGY STAR Tax Write Off
You may be eligible to receive a tax write off or cash rebate when you purchase a new air conditioner or furnace. There may even be state or local incentives that will help you save even more money. Check with your accountant and your local utility companies to find out what’s available in your area.
Why ENERGY STAR Matters
Heating and cooling your home utilizes half of your home’s energy consumption each year, or about $1900. This is a significant expenditure. But the energystar.gov website says that ENERGY STAR has saved businesses and residential homeowners more than $430 billion on energy costs since 1992. ENERGY STAR has also helped prevent greenhouse emissions by 2.5 billion since 1992.
To learn more about how a new Lennox furnace or air conditioner can help you improve your energy efficiency, contact Ambient Edge today!