ACHRNEWS

Sept. 25, 2008: The 2 Degree Pledge Is Designed to Help Reduce Energy Bills

September 25, 2008

ARLINGTON, Va. - With average heating costs expected to increase by nearly 20 percent from last year, homeowners are looking for ways save money on their energy bills. To help address this challenge, the Air-Conditioning, Heating, and Refrigeration Institute (AHRI), in collaboration with the Association of Home Appliance Manufacturers, Edison Electric Institute, U.S. Energy Association, and North American Technician Excellence (NATE), has launched the 2 Degree Pledge initiative. The Pledge offers simple steps - installing a programmable thermostat, ensuring proper maintenance and a quality installation of heating and air conditioning equipment, and adjusting thermostats - all of which can help homeowners achieve lower energy bills through greater energy efficiency.

“The 2 Degree Pledge urges consumers to think about their heating system efficiency now, before the winter heating season,” said Stephen Yurek, AHRI president. “With just a couple degrees of change … homeowners can simply and significantly reduce their energy costs, without compromising their comfort.”

Because residential heating and cooling can account for up to 50 percent of total energy bills during the winter months, said the organizations, the 2 Degree Pledge calls on homeowners to contact a heating professional to have their heating system serviced and optimized for efficiency and comfort.

Central forced-air systems that are improperly installed or maintained can be up to 50 percent less efficient than they should be, the organizations said. In fact, more than half of all heating systems in U.S. homes do not perform to their rated efficiency as a result of improper installation, according to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

“It is time that we as a nation address the efficiency loss that occurs when heating and cooling equipment is not installed correctly, maintained properly, or used wisely,” said Yurek. “The nation will never reap the energy savings more efficient equipment can deliver if we don’t address these three issues as soon as possible.”

To further save energy, the campaign encourages consumers to change filters, seal ducts and windows, and insulate walls. These steps can result in savings of up to 20 percent on energy bills.

Consumers can learn more about the 2 Degree Pledge and make their commitment official by signing up at www.2degreepledge.org. The Website includes tools and calculators to help homeowners determine if an upgrade to a more efficient heating or cooling system makes sense for them in an era of high energy bills. It also features maintenance and quality installation checklists to review with their heating and cooling system technician or contractor to make sure their system’s performance is being optimized for efficiency and comfort.

Publication date: 09/22/2008