The Air-Conditioning, Heating and Refrigeration Institute (AHRI), in collaboration with the Association of Home Appliance Manufacturers (AHAM), the Edison Electric Institute, the U.S. Energy Association and North American Technician Excellence, has launched the 2 Degree Pledge initiative. The Pledge offers simple steps — installing a programmable thermostat, ensuring proper maintenance and a quality installation of heating and air conditioning equipment, and adjusting thermostats — all of which can help homeowners achieve lower energy bills through greater energy efficiency.
"The 2 Degree Pledge urges consumers to think about their heating system efficiency now, before the winter heating season," said AHRI President Stephen Yurek. "With just a couple degrees of change, such as installing a programmable thermostat and setting the thermostat a few degrees higher when they leave the house for the day, homeowners can simply and significantly reduce their energy costs, without compromising their comfort."
Because residential heating and cooling can account for up to 50% of total energy bills during the winter months, the 2 Degree Pledge calls on homeowners to contact a heating professional to have their heating system serviced and optimized for efficiency and comfort.
AHRI says that central, forced-air systems that are improperly installed or maintained can be up to 50% less efficient than they should be. In fact, AHRI says that more than half of all heating systems in U.S. homes do not perform to their rated efficiency as a result of improper installation, according to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).
"It is time that we as a nation address the efficiency loss that occurs when heating and cooling equipment is not installed correctly, maintained properly, or used wisely," said Yurek. "The nation will never reap the energy savings more efficient equipment can deliver if we don't address these three issues as soon as possible."
To further save energy, the campaign encourages consumers to change filters, seal ducts and windows, and insulate walls. These steps, AHRI says, can result in savings of up to 20% on energy bills.
Consumers can learn more about the 2 Degree Pledge and make their commitment official by signing up at www.2degreepledge.org, which also includes tools and calculators to help homeowners determine if an upgrade to a more efficient heating or cooling system makes sense for them in an era of high energy bills. It also features maintenance and quality installation checklists to review with their heating and cooling system technician or contractor to make sure their system's performance is being optimized for efficiency and comfort.
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