There must have been times when you have noticed a blue energy star on electric appliances, lighting, and other electronics. It is very common in America, and it signifies environmentally-friendly performance, accompanying a reduction in carbon footprint. When you see the blue star on your refrigerator or your air conditioner, you can assure yourself that you are saving energy.
With the increasing levels of pollution and carbon emission, it is imperative to be able to do your bit. ENERGY STAR certified appliances and electronics use power more efficiently than non-certified ones.
What if you could scale up the properties of energy conservation from fridges and TVs to buildings and industrial plants? Isn’t it logical to believe that more prominent constructions that care about conservation and emission levels will make more of a difference than smaller electronic equipment? What are these ENERGY STAR certified buildings and industrial plants?
Are only commercial buildings capable of achieving this status? Aside from reducing emissions and exacerbating the causes of global warming, what other advantages do these ENERGY STAR certified structures provide? Are the ENERGY STAR qualified buildings the same as ENERGY STAR certified ones?
What is the difference between energy star qualified and energy star certified?
The blue ENERGY STAR is a signifier of quality and savings. There is no reason to believe that homes cannot be environmentally-friendly or ENERGY STAR certified. Here, we must clarify that many homeowners believe in the existence of two types of smart buildings – ENERGY STAR qualified vs. certified.
No matter what your peers or neighbors have told you, EPA does not define the two terms separately. As long as your home is ENERGY STAR compliant, you can call it ENERGY STAR certified or qualified.
The terms are interchangeable as there is just one process for approval of the status. Commercial buildings can achieve their star by updating the utility bill details along with the building information on EPA’s free online tool – Portfolio Manager.
Very recently, we went all out for embracing the smarter and more efficient way of living on an energy budget. We had tried everything from limiting the air conditioner timing to a couple of hours to sticking to a strict thermostat regime, but nothing seemed to bring the utility bills down. So we decided to go for a professional energy audit. Alternatively, you can update the energy expenditure details on the Energy Performance Indicators.
These tools will calculate your ENERGY STAR score that should be somewhere between 1 and 100. A score of 75 or higher determines the eligibility of a building to apply for an energy star certification. Right now, 21 kinds of buildings and facilities can earn ENERGY STAR qualified status.
Why should you consider getting the blue energy star?
Homeowners are gunning for the ENERGY STAR, thanks to the rise in awareness about energy conservation and eco-friendly practices. Here are a few undeniable benefits of turning that we are enjoying right now –
- Better quality – aside from giving something back to the environment, you will enjoy better standards of construction and equipment. You will enjoy value-adding energy efficiency features that can deliver better performance for years to come.
- Enhanced comfort – heating and cooling systems that conform to the ENERGY STAR requirements are more efficient. You can forget the whirring noise of the air conditioner in the summers or the uncomfortable crackling noises the room heater makes during the winter months. Embracing a more efficient heating-cooling system will not only feel different, but it will also sound different.
- Indoor air quality improvement – once your air conditioning and heating systems show progress, there is no way you can ignore the drastic improvement of the indoor air quality at home. Get ready to enjoy fresh air, devoid of pollutants and allergens inside.
- Peace of mind – adopting better energy practices will reduce your monthly energy costs. That is bound to usher in mental peace since you know that you are saving a fortune in the long run. Our home has had several inspections by professionals over the last few months, and we can guarantee that it has eased our worry about the quality of construction and safety.
- More savings – currently, our home expends 15 to 30% less energy than other homes of similar square footage. Even the newer homes in the market, without energy star qualification, usually require 50% more power than their energy-efficient counterpart.
How can the average US home get its energy star?
We have turned out humble abode into an energy saving haven, by upgrading our electronic systems, electronic appliances and energy utilizing systems. These systems will include –
- The thermal enclosure system – this system is a result of the combination of several sub-systems including insulation, high-performance windows, and air sealing. These are high payout jobs that decrease the energy consumption.
- Water management – we have thoroughly reviewed and repaired the water drains, gutters, walls and foundations, insulation on the roofs, flashing and moisture barriers prevent mold damage. ENERGY STAR certified homes enjoy protection from water damage due to better construction and waterproofing practices.
- Lighting and appliances – the ENERGY STAR qualified lighting, bulbs and fixtures are highly varied. We found out that light and other electronic devices account for over 11% of our household energy consumption. By switching from regular incandescent lighting or conventional LEDs to ENERGY STAR certified ones, we were able to save more than a hundred dollars per year on utility bills.
- Heating and cooling system – the living space inside the ENERGY STAR certified homes has a constant circulation of pure, filtered air, devoid of pollutants and allergens at all times. Ever since we adopted energy efficient air circulation systems, I haven’t had to worry about morning sniffles or runny noses inside the house.
The average American household pays energy bills worth $2,060 per year. According to the US Department of Energy, this amount depends on your state of residence. People residing in Connecticut pay the highest amount of $380 per month, and the residents of Washington DC currently enjoy more manageable rates around $219 per month. The need for heating contributes to the lion’s share of the energy costs. With little need for room heaters in Florida and Hawaii, their overall average energy costs per month are much lower than that of Alaska or Michigan.
ENERGY STAR qualification and certification from the EPA are one and the same. No matter where you live and what kind of a home you own, you can help your savings by turning your house into an eco-friendly hub.
At Comfy Home Corner we are dedicated in providing the best tips and product reviews to assist you with creating a better environment for your home.