Understanding the Energy Star rating

energy star ratingThe Energy Star ® certification is used to help consumers identify high-efficiency products, such as large and small appliances, electronics, HVAC systems, fans and windows. Appliances can often be overlooked as a major source of energy use in our homes and businesses, but depending on their size, age, function and use, appliances can potentially have a large impact on your energy bill. This post will help you understand how much energy appliances really use, as well as explain the Energy Star ® certification logo seen on a number of common appliances.

Understanding Energy Use

Energy use is measured in Kilowatt-hours, commonly abbreviated to kWh. When we receive our electricity bills, we are billed by how many kWh of electricity we use, which represents our total consumption. A kWh is 1,000 watts of electricity expended in one hour (there’s a good explanation on the Hydro One website). Depending on the time of use, there may be different costs associated with a kWh of energy use, such as on-peak, mid-peak or off-peak costs. The products we use in our home, such as large and small appliances, electronics, HVAC systems and fans, all use various amounts of energy to run. This energy is called a watt, but is measured in 1,000-unit increments – a kilowatt.

Understanding how much energy an appliance uses depends on two factors: How long it is in use for, and how much energy it uses. To calculate kWh, you take the wattage of the device, which can usually be found on a manufacturer’s label, and multiply that by the number of hours that you predict it will be used for. You then divide this by 1,000, which will give you your kilowatt-hour usage. For example, if you use a 100-watt incandescent bulb for 25 hours, the calculation would be as follows: 100 x 25 = 2500 / 1000 = 2.5 kWh. Thus, you have consumed 2.5 kWh of electricity. If you consider the billing cost of electricity, you can estimate the cost of running your appliance.

Understanding Energy Star ® Certification

The Energy Star ® certification is used to help consumers identify high-efficiency products, such as large and small appliances, electronics, HVAC systems, fans and windows. Energy Star products help consumers to shop and identify products that are tested and certified to meet specific guidelines for energy performance. This means the product will help save energy, without any compromise in performance.

The Energy Star certification program is managed by the United States Government through the Environmental Protection Agency. The program initiative was developed to help consumers make smart purchasing choices, save money, and to reduce the environmental impact of their purchases. By monitoring and administering the program through third-party certification, this helps to ensure consistent certification among various products.

Saving Energy Tips

Look for products with the distinctive Energy Star ® certification logo; this means the product you are buying is independently certified to save energy without sacrificing features or functionality. Saving energy helps to save money, prevent climate change and help protect our environment. Energy Star also provides an annual ratings list of the most efficient products that qualify for Energy Star Certification. If you are looking for the most energy efficient product, check out the list here for more details.

Another tip for energy reduction includes unplugging items to avoid standby power draw. Standby power draw occurs when an appliance uses power, even when the item itself is not actually in use (digital readouts or power lights are a couple of examples). Standby power use can contribute to up to 25 per cent of a home or businesses’ energy bill. Power bars are a great way to reduce energy use, as appliances can be easily powered off and back on when needed.

Cool Connections, Inc. is a locally owned and operated business. We have thousands of customers and the experience for HVAC service, repair and installations for furnaces, heat pumps, air conditioning (AC), and air quality systems. Contact us at Cool Connections, Inc. in the Jacksonville, Florida area for all your air conditioning and heating needs.