Cleveland HVAC Blog

How To Read An EnergyGuide Label 101

Posted by Paul Wadsworth on Wed, Aug 29, 2012 @ 02:15 PM

Mark Twain once said, "If you don't like the weather in New England right now, just wait a few minutes." It's bound to change. Anyone who has lived in Cleveland for more than five minutes knows how true that is here. In the winter, temperatures can plummet below zero and then soar above 60. In the summer a nasty storm can blow in over the lake and ruin a perfectly fine day. There's nothing you can do about the weather, but you can do a lot about your home's weather tightness, comfort and energy efficiency.

reading energyguide labelsThat starts with becoming informed — about the home-improvement projects you take on and the products you buy. And when it comes to choosing appliances for your home, the Federal Trade Commission's EnergyGuide label can go a long way toward helping you make good decisions.

Reading the EnergyGuide label

The yellow and black EnergyGuide label is required for water heaters, air conditioners — both window and central — furnaces, boilers, heat pumps and pool heaters. It's also required for clothes washers, dishwashers, refrigerators and freezers. It's not required for humidifiers, dehumidifiers, ranges and clothes dryers. It's designed to help you compare the usage cost and efficiency of various makes and models.

The EnergyGuide label contains the following information:

  • Type of appliance or equipment
  • Manufacturer and model number
  • How much energy the unit will use over a year
  • A bar graph that shows how the appliance compares with similar makes and models
  • An estimate in dollars of how much the equipment will cost to operate for one year
  • The Energy Star logo, if applicable, which indicates that the unit is more energy-efficient than the average for this type of equipment

Some labels are appliance-specific. For example, furnace labels don't have operating costs, and dishwasher labels have one cost for electric water heaters and another for gas water heaters — depending upon which one you happen to use in your home. 

There are several variables that affect your actual results as well some basic assumptions that go into these labels, but they can be a good beginning in trying make a decision on what to buy. If you're shopping for a cooling or heating system for your Northeast Ohio home, let P.K. Wadsworth Heating and Cooling answer your questions. We've been serving Cleveland-area homeowners since 1936.

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Paul WadsworthPaul Wadsworth is the President and Owner of P.K. Wadsworth Heating and Cooling. For 37 years, Paul has been providing heating and cooling services to the Greater Cleveland area. P.K. Wadsworth has been a trusted Cleveland HVAC service company for 75 years. The company understand the area's construction and local heating and air conditioning needs. Paul has an MBA from the University of Michigan and a B.S., Industrial Engineering from Purdue University. He's been President of the Cleveland Air Conditioning Contractors of America and a founding member of the local chapter. Paul was born and raised in Cleveland and has been active in the local community. He resides in Cleveland, Ohio with his wife and two sons.

The opinions and statements contained in this article are for general informational purposes only and are not instructions. Only trained, licensed and experienced personnel should attempt installation/repair. The author assumes no liability for the opinions/statements made in this article. Any individual attempting a repair or installation based on this article does so at their own risk of loss.

Topics: water heaters, heat pumps, air conditioners, energy star label

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