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In a new public relations campaign, the program suggests that homeowners have their cooling systems evaluated to determine if it is time for an energy-efficient upgrade. By waiting until an air conditioning system breaks down to replace it, Energy Star maintains, homeowners may find themselves without time to make an educated decision, and be forced to spend more money than necessary.
Energy Star suggests that an HVACR contractor inspect a home’s cooling equipment before it gets hot outside. This can prevent future problems and unwanted costs at the height of summer, when product demand is high and supply is low. Inspecting the equipment before the cooling season starts will also help ensure that homeowners have convenient access to a qualified HVACR technician, the program states.
According to the program, Energy Star-rated heating and cooling equipment, sized and installed correctly with a properly sealed duct system supporting it, can save consumers as much as 20 percent of their annual energy costs.
Earning The Energy Star
Contractors Can HelpThe DOE and the EPA note that homeowners can request Energy Star products from their local contractor. Both organizations also encourage consumers to use NATE-certified contractors when possible (www.natex.org), noting that the contractor should be able to properly calculate the needed size, accurately measure airflow, and perform a quality installation.
The Energy Star program notes that there are other ways to save on energy costs and reduce pollution, including properly sealing the home. The more air that escapes through leaky doors and windows, improperly sealed ducts, or poorly insulated walls, the harder the cooling equipment has to work and the more homeowners will pay in fuel costs.
Effective air sealing, combined with the right amount of insulation, can save up to 10 percent on energy bills, according to Energy Star.
For more information, call 888-STAR-YES (888-782-7937) or visit www.energystar.gov.
Publication date: 04/14/2003