We all know that when driving, yellow means yield. In the case of shopping for HVAC appliances, yellow means take a second to read the EnergyGuide label before you decide on a product. If you want to save some green, it helps tremendously to understand the EnergyGuide label and what it can mean for your energy bills.
Here’s how to read the familiar bright yellow EnergyGuide label:
- Check the bottom-right corner. If the Energy Star label appears here, it means the appliance has met rigorous energy efficiency and performance standards. and is better for the environment than a standard version.
- Start in the middle. You would usually start at the top and go from left to right but when you read this label, you’ll want to find the horizontal bar in the middle of the label and look for a value as close to the left as you can find. A value on the left indicates that the product costs less in energy expenses than similar models. The further you move to the right, the more it will cost you to operate.
- Look down. The sliding bar in the middle is a good place to start because it helps you compare the model to similar products but it doesn’t tell how much you will actually spend to run it in a typical year. Find the box that says, “Estimated Yearly Electricity Use” and multiply that number by the rate you pay for energy. This can help you calculate your real-life costs so you can decided if a more expensive but more efficient model is worth the higher price. Do not believe the price if quoted, as they are estimated using much lower electrical rates than we see in California.
- Check the top left corner. Here’s where you will find the features that can give one model the edge over another when they are similar by all other measures. For appliances, you probably know what you’re looking for but for air conditioners and larger purchases, you may want to consult with an expert.
If you want to go a step further to ensure you make the best choice for your home’s heating and cooling needs, contact us at Donald P. Dick Air Conditioning. We’ve been serving the greater Fresno area for more than 40 years.
Our goal is to help educate our customers in the greater Fresno, California area about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems). For more information about the EnergyGuide label and other HVAC topics, download our free Home Comfort Resource guide.
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