Earning the ENERGY STAR means products meet strict energy efficiency guidelines set by the US Environmental Protection Agency and the Department of Energy.
- ENERGY STAR Qualified Central Air Conditioners have a higher seasonal efficiency rating (SEER) than standard models, which makes them about 14% more efficient than standard models.
- ENERGY STAR Qualified Geothermal Heat Pumps use about 30% less energy than a standard heat pump. They are quieter than conventional heating and cooling systems.
- ENERGY STAR Qualified Oil and Gas Furnaces have annual fuel utilization efficiency (AFUE) ratings of 83% and 90%, or higher, making them up to 15% more efficient than standard models.
Remember, saving energy prevents pollution!
By choosing ENERGY STAR products and taking steps to optimize the performance of your heating and cooling equipment, you are helping to prevent global warming and promoting cleaner air while enhancing the comfort of your home.
Even though ENERGY STAR products can be more expensive to purchase up front, the cost difference will be paid back over time through lower energy bills!
- When buying new equipment, sizing and installation are as important as product quality.
- You can get better heating and cooling performance at home with ENERGY STAR home sealing (insulation and air sealing) and duct sealing.
- Consider regular preventative maintenance to maintain your heating and cooling system performance.
James River Air has preventative maintenance programs for residential as well as commercial that will ensure your heating and cooling equipment runs optimally all year round, while saving money on your energy bills!
The United States EPA / Department of Energy’s Energy Star website offers some great information about energy-efficiency and the role your heating and cooling system plays in the overall efficiency of your home. Below is some of the information from the site.
Improving Heating and Cooling Systems
If your furnace or air conditioner is more than 10 years old, your contract may recommend that you replace it with a unit that has earned the ENERGY STAR label. Installed correctly, these high-efficiency units can save up to 20% on heating and cooling costs. Bu when it comes to heating and cooling equipment, bigger is not always better. A properly-sized unit will make your home more comfortable by providing more consistent temperatures and better humidity control.
Your contractor should also test combustion equipment, such as your furnace and hot water heater, to ensure that it is operating and venting properly.
Most homes have leaky ductwork and insufficient ai flow, resulting in an uncomfortable living environment – regardless of the thermostat setting. Your home performance contractor may recommend sealing your home’s ducts with mastic, metal tape or aerosol-based sealant, and balancing the duct system to optimize air flow to all rooms. Insulating ductwork in attics, crawlspaces, and some basements can also help to ensure that your home will be more comfortable.
Effects of Air Leaks
When You May Want to Consider Making a Change to Your Comfort System:
- Some of your rooms are too hot or cold. Duct problems, inadequate air sealing or insulation could be the cause. No matter how efficient your heating and cooling system is, if your home is not properly sealed and insulated against air leakage, you will not be as comfortable and your system will have to work harder.
- Your home has humidity problems and/or excessive dust. Poorly operating or improperly sized equipment could be to blame. Leaky ductwork can also cause these problems, so having it sealed may be a solution. Monthly maintenance of your heating and cooling equipment’s filters may also help.
- Your cooling system is noisy. Your duct system could be improperly sized or there may be a problem with the indoor coil of your cooling equipment.
- Your equipment needs frequent repairs and your energy bills are going up. In addition to the rise in energy costs, the age and condition of your heating and cooling system equipment may have caused it to become less efficient.
- Your heat pump or air conditioner is more than 12 years old. Consider replacing it with newer, more efficient equipment. And remember, high efficiency levels begin with ENERGY STAR.
- Your furnace or boiler is more than 15 years old. Consider replacing with ENERGY STAR qualified equipment. ENERGY STAR has set high efficiency guidelines for both furnaces and boilers.
- You leave your thermostat set at one constant temperature. You could be missing a great energy-saving opportunity. A programmable thermostat adjusts your home’s temperature at times when you’re regularly away or sleeping.
- Your score on the ENERGY STAR Home Energy Yardstick is below five. That means you’re using more energy at home than most Americans and probably paying more than you need to on energy bills. Get personalized recommendations to improve your home and/or heating and cooling system. Find the Home Energy Yardstick here.