If you’re planning to replace your home’s HVAC equipment, you need an easy way to compare the efficiency and operating costs of all the different models in your price range. The bold yellow EnergyGuide label displayed on HVAC equipment can help.
The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) requires manufacturers of HVAC equipment and other select major appliances to include these labels to make it easier for consumers to compare equipment energy efficiency ratings and anticipated costs.
Here’s how to use EnergyGuide labels to your advantage:
- Check the product details: The upper left portion of the label tells you the type of equipment and its key features. On the right, you’ll learn the manufacturer, model and equipment size. These details allow you to make side-by-side comparisons of different brands and models within your budget.
- Investigate the efficiency rating: In the middle portion of the label, you’ll learn more about the energy efficiency of the equipment. If you’re comparing central air conditioners, you’ll see the seasonal energy efficiency ratio (SEER) listed here. If you’re shopping for a heat pump, you get both the SEER rating and heating seasonal performance factor (HSPF). On a boiler or furnace, the annual fuel utilization efficiency (AFUE) rating is included.
- Compare the unit’s efficiency: The scale found right underneath the rating tells you how a particular unit’s efficiency ranks against other models with similar features.
- Estimate energy consumption and costs: Just a bit farther down on the label you’ll find the estimated annual electricity consumption listed in kilowatt hours. Multiplying this figure by the rate charged by your electrical supplier can give you a good idea of how much you’ll spend on energy annually.
- Look for the Energy Star logo: If you want the most efficient option available, look for HVAC equipment that has the Energy Star logo on the bottom right. These units offer the greatest potential for energy savings, since they’re up to 15 percent more efficient than similar standard models.
For more tips on using the EnergyGuide label to make choosing your HVAC equipment easier, contact the Portland home comfort experts at Roth Heating & Cooling.