Party politics aside, almost everyone agrees that conserving on energy use saves money and valuable resources. For those reasons Congress in 1975 set in motion a process to reduce greenhouse gas emissions through a collaborative effort of manufacturers, consumers, and government agencies. The Energy Policy and Conservation Act provided a policy, but it wasn’t until 1992 that ENERGY STAR was created by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to provide a certification for desktop computers and monitors that met guidelines for minimal power consumption.
The EPA expanded the ENERGY STAR certification three years later and now includes building products, residential homes and commercial buildings. Not only does the program set the guidelines for lower energy consumption, the EPA disseminates information on conserving energy. It can save you money by familiarizing yourself with the information and use the ENERGY STAR website for research on products such as windows, doors, and insulation. Since many of the products covered on this website carry the ENERGY STAR label, the information here has been condensed from many government articles and presented as a quick overview. To view the ENERGY STAR descriptions for the ratings of the label at right visit the ENERGY STAR website for windows. Products will carry different ratings, the label here carries the U-Factor, Solar Heat Gain Coefficient (SHGC), and Visible Transmittance (VT) ratings.
Here are seven tips for saving energy in the Summer as offered by the EPA:
- Change to More Efficient Light Bulbs. New CFL light bulbs can provide equivalent lighting for less wattage. They have come down in price and are offered in many styles now.
- Find the Best Thermostat Settings. Programmable thermostats work great for many HVAC systems. Check with an HVAC contractor when installing on a home with heat pumps or electric baseboard heaters as requirements are different for each. Certainly you can adjust the thermostat of any kind to a higher temperature in the summer when leaving the home for extended periods of time.
- Use Ceiling Fans Optimally. Ceiling fans circulate cool air, but turn them off if you leave the room.
Maximize Shade. Curtains, blinds and shades work well to block the Summer heat from entering the house.
- Reduce Oven Time. Anything that adds heat to a house increases energy usage at the source and adds cooling time to your AC. Microwave ovens are an option.
- Check Air Conditioner Filters. Check it monthly, the EPA recommends that you change it at least once every quarter.
- Plug Duct System Leaks. Your local hardware store or big box home improvement store has tape products to use on HVAC ducts. Also look for disconnected ductwork.
For more information on ENERGY STAR you can start with the consumer related publications. There you will find publications on household energy conservation. This EPA guide details household energy saving tips and explains qualifications for ENERGY STAR certification. Help yourself save energy through education, the ENERGY STAR program is celebrating 20 years to provide this information for your use.Air conditioner, conserve energy, Duct, ENERGY STAR, Environmental protection agency, EPA, greenhouse gas emmissions, HVAC, summer cooling