27 Jun Efficiency Ratings: What They Are, and How You Can Save Money Over the Long Term
Summer is here and for many homeowners, energy costs will soar. Even in Michigan, temperatures can get uncomfortable on occasion. While your heating/cooling system is one of the biggest users of energy in your home, you can save money by choosing appliances that are energy-efficient. If you’re not familiar with efficiency ratings, here’s a quick explanation of what they are, and how you can use them to your advantage, saving a substantial amount of money over time.
Efficiency ratings are simply a measure of an appliance’s energy efficiency and how much energy it consumes to operate. These ratings can generally be found on refrigerators, microwaves, water heaters, clothes washers and dryers, dishwashers and HVAC systems. The U.S. Department of Energy requires that all major home appliances meet energy conservation standards, but the fact is many go beyond these requirements and offer exceptional efficiency, costing you less to operate. Other than your heating/cooling system, these appliances are typically responsible for approximately 20% of your energy consumption, so you can see why it’s important to choose those that have high efficiency ratings.
How can you be sure you’re buying appliances that are energy efficient?
- Look for EnergyGuide labels. These labels provide you with information such as the estimated annual energy consumption for freezers, water heaters and refrigerators. For pool heaters, heat pumps, air conditioners and other large appliances, the labels will provide the energy efficiency rating.
- Keep your eyes open for the EnergyStar logo. Most people are familiar with this logo; products that display the EnergyStar label are significantly more efficient than other comparable models.
- Compare the energy efficiency of competing brands using the EnergyGuide labels. These labels provide information about the energy usage of the model you are considering, along with the range of all similar models so that you can see where the model you are looking at falls in this range. The labels also include the model’s estimated annual operating cost.
If you have questions and need more information or cannot find the efficiency ratings on the appliance you are interested in, ask the dealer for the manufacturer’s product literature. Whether you’re shopping for a new heating & a/c unit or household appliance, efficiency ratings can help you save a considerable amount of money over the course of a year, and the lifetime of the appliance.
At Haley Mechanical, we’ve been helping customers in the Southeast Michigan area save money on energy costs since 1998. Let us help you save money this summer!