ENERGY STAR1 Overview
ENERGY STAR® is a U.S. Environmental Protection Agency voluntary program to provide guidance to homeowners and businesses to help identify ways to be more energy efficient.
For Heating & Cooling equipment, the voluntary ENERGY STAR program was created in 1992 to promote awareness of energy-efficient products. The Amana brand has worked with the ENERGY STAR program to denote a number of our high-efficiency systems with regards to furnaces, central air conditioners and air-sourced heat pumps. Additional information on why a more efficient unit can result in improved home comfort can be found here (include link to Why High Efficiency Page Jason is submitting this week).
ENERGY STAR Requirements for Furnaces
On February 1, 2013, the updated ENERGY STAR specification on furnaces took effect. The key product criteria for ENERGY STAR furnaces are:
| Gas Furnaces Key Product Criteria
|| Rating of 90% AFUE or greater for U.S. South gas furnaces
| Rating of 95% AFUE or greater for U.S. North gas furnaces
| Oil Furnaces Key Product Criteria
|| Rating of 85% AFUE or greater
| Gas and Oil Furnaces Key Product Criteria
|| Less than or equal to 2.0% furnace fan efficiency
| Less than or equal to 2.0% air leakage
Full details on the specification can be found here.
ENERGY STAR Requirements for Central Air Conditioning & Heat Pumps
On September 15, 2015, the updated ENERGY STAR specification on central air conditioners and air source heat pumps took effect. The key product criteria for ENERGY STAR central air conditioners and air source heat pumps are:
| Air-Source Heat Pumps
|| ≥ 8.5 HSPF/ ≥15 SEER/ ≥12.5 EER* for split systems
| ≥ 8.2 HSPF ≥15 SEER/ ≥12 EER* for single package equipment including gas/electric package units
| Central Air Conditioners
|| ≥15 SEER/ ≥12.5 EER* for split systems
| ≥15 SEER/ ≥12 EER* for single package equipment including gas/electric package units
Full details on the specification can be found here.
Finding Certified ENERGY STAR Equipment
The Consortium for Energy Efficiency (CEE) and the Air-Conditioning, Heating, and Refrigeration Institute (AHRI) have developed an online database which identifies high efficiency equipment that has been tested to the federal test procedures established by the U.S. Department of Energy and tested by an EPA-recognized Certification Body such as AHRI. Additionally, complete ENERGY STAR details are available from your local Amana dealer.
Key Definitions for ENERGY STAR Standards
Annual Fuel Utilization Efficiency (AFUE):
For the exact definition of AFUE, refer to the federal test method 10 CFR 430, Appendix N to Subpart B. In general, the percentage of the heat in the incoming fuel which is converted to space heat instead of being lost.
Air Leakage (Qleak):
The percent of the rated airflow of the fan that is required to maintain the applied pressures, accounting for air that leaves or enters through cracks, joints and penetrations in the furnace cabinet rather than through supply and return ducts installed in accordance with manufacturer’s instructions.
Air-Source Heat Pump (ASHP):
An air-source unitary heat pump model is a product other than a packaged terminal heat pump, which consists of one or more assemblies, powered by single phase electric current, rated below 65,000 Btu per hour, utilizing an indoor conditioning coil, compressor, and refrigerant-to-outdoor air heat exchanger to provide air heating, and may also provide air cooling, dehumidifying, humidifying circulating, and air cleaning.
Central Air Conditioner (CAC):
A central air conditioner is a product, which is powered by single phase electric current, air cooled, rated below 65,000 Btu per hour, not contained within the same cabinet as a furnace, the rated capacity of which is above 225,000 Btu per hour, and is a heat pump or a cooling unit only.
Energy Efficiency Ratio (EER):
EER is the ratio of the average rate of space cooling delivered to the average rate of electrical energy consumed by the air conditioner or heat pump. This ratio is expressed in Btu per watt.h (Btu/W.h).
Furnace Fan Efficiency (“e”):
The ratio of the furnace fan electrical consumption to the total energy consumption of the furnace during the heating mode.
Heating Seasonal Performance Factor (HSPF):
HSPF is the total space heating required in region IV during the space heating season, expressed in Btu, divided by the total electrical energy consumed by the heat pump system during the same season, expressed in watt-hours.
A heating unit with a heat input rate of less than 225,000 Btu per hour whose function is the combustion of fossil fuel (natural gas, propane, or oil) for space heating with forced hot air. Unit must include burner(s), heat exchanger(s), blower(s) and connections to heating ducts. A heating unit that meets this definition and also provides hot water for domestic or other use may be considered a furnace for purposes of this agreement.
Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio (SEER):
SEER is the total heat removed from the conditioned space during the annual cooling season, expressed in Btu, divided by the total electrical energy consumed by the air conditioner or heat pump during the same season, expressed in watt-hours.
A single package unit is an air source heat pump or central air conditioner that has all major assemblies enclosed in a single cabinet.
A split system is an air source heat pump or central air conditioner that has one or more of the major assemblies separated from the others.
1 ENERGY STAR® and the ENERGY STAR mark are registered trademarks owned by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. ENERGY STAR products are third-party certified by an EPA- recognized Certification Body. Products that earn the ENERGY STAR prevent greenhouse gas emissions by meeting strict energy efficiency guidelines set by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.
4 Proper sizing and installation of equipment is critical to achieve optimal performance. Split system air conditioners and heat pumps must be matched with appropriate coil components to meet ENERGY STAR criteria. Ask your contractor for details or visit www.energystar.gov.