How to Read and Use the EnergyGuide Label

How to Read and Use the EnergyGuide Label

How to Read and Use the EnergyGuide LabelAt first glance, the yellow EnergyGuide label you see on new home appliances may seem a bit confusing. The bar graph is simple enough, which indicates how an appliance’s efficiency compares to others. However, other information may not be so visually easy to decipher, such as SEER ratings or estimated energy costs. Read on to learn how to read the useful information on EnergyGuide labels and how to use the info to your advantage.

EnergyGuide Program

The EnergyGuide program was introduced back in the 1970s to help consumers easily see the energy efficiency of home appliances. Manufacturers selling appliances like air conditioners, heat pumps, furnaces, water heaters, and clothes washers are mandated to participate in the program by the Federal Trade Commission (FTC).

Deciphering the Label

The following points detail the information on EnergyGuide labels from top to bottom. You’ll see that the labels are actually fairly simple to read.

  • Top left: Key appliance features and designation, such as “heat pump” and “cooling and heating,” are located here.
  • Top right: The appliance make, model, and size or capacity are located in the top right corner.
  • Middle: In the middle of the label, a rectangle box contains efficiency information, such as the estimated yearly operating cost and estimated yearly energy usage. These are based on national averages. You’ll also see a bar graph with the designated appliance’s efficiency location compared to others in the same class.
  • HVAC ratings: Under the estimated energy cost and usage information are the ratings for air conditioners, heat pumps, and furnaces. Just remember the higher the number rating, the greater energy efficiency the product delivers.

Lifetime Cost

So, what do you do with all this information? Your HVAC pro calculates the lifetime cost of each appliance or HVAC system you are thinking of buying. The first cost (i.e. price tag cost) is only the beginning of your new system’s investment. When you factor the energy savings of higher-efficiency units, you’ll see that it pays down the road to install superior HVAC cooling and heating systems.

For more information about the EnergyGuide label, contact Powers Heating & Air.


Our goal is to help educate our customers in Peachtree City, Georgia and surrounding areas about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems). For more information about the EnergyGuide label and other HVAC topics, download our free Home Comfort Guide or call us at 770-487-2040.

Credit/Copyright Attribution: “Public Domain/Wikipedia”

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