July 28, 2015

The EnergyGuide label found on a wide range of appliances and electronics helps consumers learn about how efficiently the appliance or device operates. The Federal Trade Commission requires that manufacturers place the labels prominently on the product or its packaging. It’s especially important to scrutinize this label on cooling equipment since the cooling load in the desert southwest is exceptionally high.

Energy Efficiency Ratings

All air conditioners and heat pumps manufactured after January 1, 2015, must disclose at least two energy efficiency ratings on the label. In the southwestern states, manufacturers need to indicate the seasonal energy efficiency ratio (SEER) and energy efficiency ratio (EER) ratings. The heating efficiency must also be displayed for heat pumps as the heating season performance factor (HSPF) and annual fuel utilization efficiency (AFUE) for combustion furnaces.

These ratings are displayed as numbers, and you’ll also find a line labeled with low to high estimated annual costs placed inside a box. The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) benchmarks the cost of energy based on the national average, along with usage. Central cooling equipment consumes more energy for a longer period in the Phoenix area than the label reflects because summers here are longer and hotter. Conversely, it’s not likely the heating component of a new HVAC system will use as much energy as the label suggests since winters are short and mild.

Other Information

The EnergyGuide label also reveals information about the equipment that includes:

  • The manufacturer’s model name and number, along with the size of the system.
  • Features that set it apart from similar models. HVAC equipment manufacturers typically list the components that improve its energy efficiency.
  • The Energy Star or Most Efficient designation if the product meets the standards set by the DOE. Although these systems cost more, the monthly savings on your energy bills offset their higher initial cost.

To learn more about the EnergyGuide label, contact Wolff Mechanical, Inc. We’ve been providing outstanding HVAC services for greater Phoenix homeowners for more than 20 years.

Our goal is to help educate our customers in the Phoenix Valley area of Arizona about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems).

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