A Focus on the Star: Energy Star’s Ties to Insulation

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Energy StarIn the past two decades, the blue Energy Star logo has multiplied and made its way from computers, to lighting, to home electronics, office electronics, and to heating and cooling systems. When this blue logo marks an appliance, you know that you can count on that appliance to work both effectively and efficiently.

Insulating your home is the first step towards an energy efficient household, but the energy savings don’t have to stop there. Energy Star helps you add to your savings within the warm walls of your insulated home.

Energy Star’s mission to create a more energy efficient world began about twenty years ago, when computers were growing more and more popular in the workplace. 30-40% of computers were not ever turned off, even during the night. These computers were not energy efficient, so they sat around wasting energy all night. The creation of Energy Star sparked the beginning of a journey to make the world more energy savvy.

From 1994 to 2012, Energy Star’s savings increased by a huge margin. Today, Energy Star appliances prevent over 150 million metric tons of harmful gasses from polluting the environment annually. The country’s energy use decreases by nearly 15% of what it would otherwise be every year. Combine those savings with the energy you will save on your heating bill this winter when you insulate your home, and the amount of energy conserved soars.

Energy Star launched in 1992 to combat the changing climate by reducing energy use in various parts of life. This program has been so successful due to the people who choose energy efficiency. Consumers make a conscious choice to go with the appliance with the blue star, just like you make an energy-saving decision to insulate your home.

Heating and cooling equipment was the second group to be added to Energy Star’s list of products. After computers initially inspired Energy Star, heating and cooling systems became Energy Star-sanctioned as well. These products were so high on Energy Star’s list due to the massive impact that temperature control in your home has on energy consumption. By coupling insulation and air sealing with efficient heating and cooling systems, your home will be saving massive amounts of energy each year.

Now for some tips on Energy Star’s first inspiration: computers.

Computers, along with many other electronics, have settings that make them ready on standby—for example, turning off your computer’s monitor but not your actual computer, or closing your laptop without turning it off. Although this conveniently allows you to simply pop the screen back up to where you left it, these techniques drag energy out of the computer and laptop faster.

Energy Star began a campaign back in 2001 that encouraged sleep. The advertisements read phrases such as: “sleep is good,” to advocate for the use of the “sleep” setting on computers. So, next time you go to close your computer, put it to sleep and save energy.