In a joint effort of the U.S Department of Energy (DOE) and the Environmental Protection Agency, Energy Star was born in the 1990s. Its purpose? To reduce pollution and increase savings for consumers. And it has done its job well.
Energy Star created an easy way for consumers to compare systems. While the Energy Star label you see on an air conditioner or furnace doesn’t guarantee the specific savings printed on it (because every home differs in how it uses energy, its seal and insulation, and how a system is installed), you can use it to get a very close assessment of expected savings.
Not just any piece of equipment can qualify as Energy Star. It must first pass a set of criteria established by the organization and prove itself through tests to show efficiency performance; provide increased energy savings for consumers over less efficient equipment; and emit less pollution.
Whether you are looking for a heat pump, air conditioner or furnace, you can trust the Energy Star label to guide you. There are a few terms you need to know in order to navigate through products ratings:
- Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio (SEER): This rating shows the efficiency of an air conditioner or a heat pump (air conditioner) over the entire season of use, and it shows how well the system consumes electricity to produce cooled air.
- Energy Efficiency Ratio (EER): Designed for rating the cooling process, EER shows the efficiency of a system’s ability to remove heat.
- Heating Seasonal Performance Factor (HSPF): This rating is specifically for heat pumps only, and it measures efficiency over the entire heating season, much like SEER. It is a calculation comparing a system’s heating capability to how much electricity it uses.
- Annual Fuel Utilization Efficiency (AFUE): Furnaces carry an AFUE rating, and the rating shows how much heat is produced from the total energy the system consumes.
Energy Star uses these ratings to show equipment performance, so get familiar with these terms before you shop. And look for the Energy Star label when you want energy-efficient equipment. Contact the experts at Arpi’sfor help with selecting qualified systems.