Very rarely do you make a major purchase without doing your homework. That’s because most major purchases, whether it’s a house, a car or a new HVAC system, have associated costs long after the initial purchase. Fortunately, when you’re buying HVAC equipment, the EnergyGuide label can answer most of your pre-purchase budget-related questions.
The EnergyGuide label is attached to all refrigerators, freezers, water heaters, clothes washers and HVAC equipment by order of the federal government. It’s there to provide consumers with information to compare similar units on a cost-to-run basis. Some appliances (clothes dryers, kitchen ranges and microwave ovens) are exempt from displaying the EnergyGuide label due to the insignificant changes in energy consumption between models. If you’re familiar with the information on the EnergyGuide sticker, you can save money at the cash register as well as in the long run.
The label is easy to read and doesn’t require any special knowledge of the equipment. Different appliances will have information specific to them, but it’s not complicated.
The label starts with a description of the product – manufacturer’s name, specific model number, category and capacity along with key features for comparison.
In the center of the label is a large, bold number. This tells the average yearly operating cost of the equipment. It is based on average energy costs and is updated every five years. Just below the cost figure is a bar chart that compares the energy consumption with models in the same category.
The estimated annual electrical consumption is shown beneath the bar chart. For HVAC equipment, you can use this figure to determine whether a lower-priced unit will end up costing you more in the long run. The sticker will also say whether the appliance you’re inspecting has Energy Star certification, the mark of energy-efficient excellence.
Doing your homework is important when it comes to buying HVAC equipment. Thankfully, the EnergyGuide label makes it much easier. Reading the label will help you stay in control of your energy budget.
For more information about the EnergyGuide label, contact the experts at Comfort Systems, Wichita’s only locally based Home Warranty company.
Our goal is to help educate our customers about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems). For more information about EnergyGuide labels and other HVAC topics, download our free Home Comfort Resource guide.