In 1992 the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) started its Energy Star rating program of voluntary labeling of products that met strict energy-efficiency guidelines. Now partnered with the U.S. Department of Energy, the EPA estimates that in the year 2008 alone, this program saved enough energy to avoid the emission of enough greenhouse gases that would be equivalent to those produced by 29 million cars. In addition, it is estimated that customers saved $19 billion in that same year on their utility bills. Since the Energy Star rating was added to home heating and cooling equipment in 1995, and utility costs for heating and cooling amount to about one third of household energy bills each year, this means that homeowners can save a bundle by installing equipment with high air conditioner efficiency ratings.
If your home contains a central air conditioning unit that is more than twelve years old, you might want to consider buying a new, rated model. Air conditioning equipment that qualifies to be rated Energy Star has a much higher efficiency rating than older, standard models do opticlimate . This translates to about a 14% greater efficiency when using the Energy Star model as opposed to a standard model which in turn results in great savings in utility bills and greenhouse gas emissions. Although the initial cost of Energy Star air conditioning units can be greater than that of standard units, the extra cost will be more than offset by lower energy costs during the life of the air conditioner.
It’s very easy to find out which equipment will be the most efficient for your home. The Consortium for Energy Efficiency and the Air Conditioning, Heating, and Refrigeration Institute have developed a website that lists air conditioning units that have efficiency ratings which meet the Energy Star guidelines. You will be able to reference this listing online free of charge in order to determine which equipment has the best ratings and will save you the most money in utility costs. Since the cost of utilities continues to skyrocket, installing new equipment that will increase your air conditioner efficiency will result in the most cost-effective cooling in your home.
From here we can already see the correlation between power consumption and energy efficiency: the lesser the power consumption, the better the efficiency. Now, let us move on to the reduction of carbon footprint. How does lesser power consumption or energy efficiency contribute to the reduction of carbon emission?
Basically, devices that use up more energy burn up more fossil fuels, which lead to the transmission of greenhouse gases. If an AC unit at home is having more working time due to clogged coils and filters, it uses up more energy in its operation, hence, green house gases are being released in more generous amounts into the atmosphere. Meanwhile, a well-maintained unit will be more efficient in its consumption of electricity as there are no problems hindering it from running smoothly.
The excessive amount of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere has contributed incredibly to Global Warming and the deterioration of the Ozone Layer. As a response to these issues, many people are now helping in the prevention of further environmental damage by wisely using the appliances and electric devices at home, especially air conditioners. Manufacturers and air conditioning services are now raising awareness in regards to the importance of regular air conditioning maintenance to boost energy efficiency. Innovation has also been used to an advantage with the production of new models that are more conservative in terms of energy consumption. Other methods, such as proper insulation of homes and weather-stripping of doors and windows are also being recommended in order to lessen power consumption from heating and cooling devices.
In 2004, the Mobile Air Conditioning Climate Protection partnership has released the Improved Mobile Air Conditioning 30/50 project. The goal of the project is to reduce fuel consumption of mobile air conditioners by at least 30 percent and cut refrigerant emissions by 50%.
In addition, in July 20, 2007, the Improved Mobile Air Conditioning project was a success. The teams involved in the project were able to demonstrate that they could reduce the energy used by the vehicle systems by over 30% using commercially available technology. They have also demonstrated that they could cut refrigerant leakage in half by using better parts. Moreover, by using solar-reflective paints and ventilation, they were able to reduce heat load of the passenger cabin by over 10 degrees Fahrenheit.