What Does That Energy Star Logo Really Mean?

If you value efficiency when it comes to home appliances like furnaces and air conditioners (and who doesn't), then you are probably familiar with the Energy Star logo. It's a logo with a lightbulb in the center that can be seen on appliances that use less energy. But how much do you really know about this logo? Do you know what organization determines which products deserve it, or how they decide which appliances are Energy Star qualified? Learning these facts will allow you to be a more informed consumer when shopping for efficient appliances.

Who awards appliances with the Energy Star logo?

The Energy Star designation is awarded by the United States' Environmental Protection Agency, or EPA. The program was designed for the protection of the environment. Its intent is to encourage people to purchase appliances that use less energy, since this reduces the release of pollution and the use of limited resources like fossil fuels. As an added benefit, homeowners save money on their energy bills when they purchase Energy Star appliances.

How does the EPA determine which products earn the Energy Star sticker?

Products are put through rigorous testing in EPA-approved laboratories in order to evaluate their energy consumption and measure whether they meet guidelines to qualify for the Energy Star certification. Standards for qualification vary between appliances. For instance, a furnace has to use less than a certain amount of energy to qualify, whereas a dishwasher must use less than a different amount. Companies must pay in order to have their appliances tested against Energy Star standard, which is one reason why Energy Star appliances tend to cost a bit more than non-Energy Star ones. However, the buyer ends up saving in the long run by buying an Energy Star appliance, since the cost of operating the more efficient appliance is lower.

Are all appliances with the Energy Star logo equally as efficient?

Not necessarily. Any appliance with the Energy Star logo has met the EPA's efficiency standards. However, some products go above and beyond these standards. If you're buying a large appliance like a furnace or air conditioner, it is important to not only look for the Energy Star logo, but also compare the listed efficiency ratings between appliances. For instance, one Energy Star furnace may be 95% efficient, while another one is 97% efficient.

When shopping for efficient appliances, looking for the Energy Star logo is a good way to start. For information about the Energy
Star ratings, contact professionals in the specific industry. For instance, in order to discover the most efficient EPA-approved air conditioning units, contact a company like JV Systems Air Conditioning And Heating of Tampa Bay Inc. You can count on the fact that the appliances have been tested and rated by a reputable organization, and that they offer benefits for the environment and for your wallet.