ARLINGTON, Va. - The Air-Conditioning, Heating and Refrigeration Institute (AHRI), in collaboration with the Association of Home Appliance Manufacturers, the Edison Electric Institute, the 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.

According to AHRI, average heating costs are expected to increase by nearly 20 percent from last year and homeowners are looking for ways to put money back in their wallets while promoting a cleaner planet. “The 2 Degree Pledge urges consumers to think about their heating system efficiency now, before the winter heating season,” said Stephen Yurek, president, AHRI. “With just a couple degrees of change, such as installing a programmable thermostat and setting the thermostat a few degrees higher when they leave the house for the day, homeowners can simply and significantly reduce their energy costs, without compromising their comfort.”

According to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), more than one-half of all heating systems in U.S. homes do not perform to their rated efficiency as a result of improper installation. This is a costly concept for homeowners. According to AHRI, central, forced-air systems that are improperly installed or maintained can be up to 50 percent less efficient than they should be. The 2 Degree Pledge is calling on homeowners to contact a heating professional to have their heating system serviced and optimized for efficiency and comfort.

“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,” said AHRI.

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Publication date:09/29/2008