What Does the Energy Star Label Mean?

You find them in all electronic gadgets, office equipment, home and commercial appliances, even in building products. This blue label with inscriptions of energy and a star is internationally known as energy star, a mark most customers look for when they shop for an item. What does the energy star label mean and why do consumers worldwide trust this label?

What is an energy star?

The Energy Star is a program by Environmental Protection Agency or EPA, a voluntary program in the United States that aims to identify and give due recognition to products that are energy efficient. EPA grants manufacturers to attach this label on their products after stringent examination and thorough screening by the agency. Products bearing this label are indeed energy efficient.

How was this label established?
This program was established in 1992 by EPA. Under the Clean Air Act, the Administrator was directed to conduct basic engineering research and develop strategies to reduce air pollution. Years later, the Department of Energy together with the Environmental Protection Agency created a program that aims to reduce energy consumption, reduce pollutions and improve energy security. This involves identification of energy-efficient products and buildings. When these products and buildings meet the highest energy efficiency standards set by EPA, they are granted the Energy Star Label. This will increase their value and reliability.

This program was later adopted by Australia, Canada, European Union, Japan, New Zealand, Switzerland, and Taiwan.

What does the energy label mean to consumers?
Manufacturers, building operators, construction contractors and other entities have to pass some compliance screenings. Because a third party institution tests them, customers are assured that certified products indeed reduce energy consumption. This label translates to a guarantee that the product purchased is energy efficient and environmentally friendly

What does the energy star label mean to manufacturers?
EPA partners with a third party institution to test and certify the products. The products under the Energy Star program are independently certified. This means companies that are producing various products must submit each item for scrutiny. In producing high-quality goods, manufacturers should employ certain measures before, during and after production. They must guarantee that energy is saved without sacrificing the features and functionality of these items.

Manufacturers who are awarded the Energy Star label for all or most items are environmentally conscious. They understand the need of consumers as well as their concern regarding energy consumption. The label in their products means their procedures and practices pass a high standard.

How are products tested?

For product manufacturers, their products have to be tested by a third-party testing laboratory that is EPA-recognized. Products are submitted for up-front testing and off-the-shelf verification testing. This is to satisfy the requirement of EPA that products are not affected by the changes or variations in the manufacturing process.

Homes in the United States need energy efficiency certification by a third party organization if they want to get that Energy Star Label. There are two ways on how to get this. The first option is the prescriptive path where homeowners must meet a set of predefined requirements. The second option is the performance path that depends on a customized set of requirements. In both paths, homeowners must complete the four checklists namely Thermal Enclosure System Rater Checklist, HVAC System Quality Installation Rater Checklist, HVAC System Quality Installation Contractor Checklist, and Water Management System Builder Checklist.

Commercial Buildings are verified by a Professional Engineer or a Registered Architect. These professionals must ensure that the energy used is accurate. Building characteristics are reported correctly. It must conform to the industry standards, and it must fulfill the indoor environment criteria.

A professional engineer must verify the performance score of industrial plants. The information on the report must be certified. The plant must meet the criteria set by EPA for Environmental Compliance.


EPA partners with various companies worldwide to ensure that products pass the standards. When consumed or used by end users, they demonstrate functionality and energy efficiency.
So what does the energy star label mean? They define the quality of products sold in the market. Products with such label are produced with consumers and the planet in mind. Those with the label means the product passes a high-quality performance test. This means that given its functionality and performance, it complies with the highest standard in terms of energy efficiency. Therefore, companies bearing such label in their products and buildings are responsible and trustworthy.
When you shop, look for the energy star label to ensure that the items you paid for are energy efficient and trustworthy.

Is Retrofitting Old Buildings into Green Buildings Good for You?

The government and the private sector are actively campaigning to reduce carbon footprint because of the drastic effects of climate change that claims thousands of lives and leaves millions of traumatized survivors. Tsunamis, excessive flooding, and extreme weather conditions are just a few of the effects of climate change and it shook the world into realizing that Mother Nature is in grave danger. Because of this, the number of people drawn to the idea of sustainable living is growing day by day. Different industries are also leaning towards greener future and adopting the practices that reduce the use of natural and personal resources.

In the construction industry, retrofitting old buildings into green buildings has become the trend. The demands for the conversion of old buildings and the growth of the construction of green buildings are overwhelming. Families today are aware of the benefits of living in an energy efficient home. Businesses deliberate whether to reconstruct their offices or build a new one to cut energy-related expenditures in the long run.

What is a green building?

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Efficiency of Materials Used

The efficiency of materials used in the construction of building makes a major difference in assessing a sustainable building. EPA lists Environmentally Preferable Building Materials and Specifications to guide building contractors and architects about the specification of materials that goes within the scope of green building.

EPA also provides measures in recycling industrial materials. Because industrial products are usually similar in chemical and physical properties, they can be recycled without sacrificing the quality of the construction. In some cases, this process improves the quality of construction material. In the process of retrofitting old buildings into green buildings, recycling of materials help reduce the cost and quantity of materials used.

The types of materials purchased for the construction of green federal buildings is governed by ETA’s Environmentally Preferable Purchasing Program. This program considers the environmental effects of materials purchased in the process of federal purchasing.

Energy Efficiency

The design of the building affects the consumption of energy. ETA introduced a program that assesses the effects of the architectural design and orientation of the building in amount of energy necessary to power up the building. To improve energy efficiency, the design as a whole must be considered. The appliances installed must be energy efficient. The electrical makeup of the building should be designed in a way that does not increase energy consumption. This program is carried out in partnership with homebuilders, office building managers, and product manufacturers.

Water Efficiency

The third on the list is the Water Efficiency. ETA promotes products that are water reduce water wastage. This constitutes measuring the amount of water used for a specific purpose. Products installed in the building must meet the standard set for an Energy Star Label. Homeowners and building administrators must conform to this. For a building to be water efficient, it must be designed in such a way that water is measured according to purpose.

Indoor Air Quality
Indoor Air Quality is a very critical component in the construction of a green building. The structure must be designed according to the standards set by EPA. The quality of air promotes health, comfort and productivity of occupants. With the installation of energy efficient products, good quality of air will flow within and around the building. Structures must be durable to hold these fixtures.

Toxic Reduction

Building contractors must adhere to EPA’s chemical assessment tools to construct a building that reduces the production and spread of toxic gases, liquids, and other materials.

Retrofitting old building into green buildings is cost-effective. To reduce energy consumption, it is important to redesign old buildings and create a high-performance building that will last longer and increase the value of the building. Upon completion, it must create an environment where occupants live comfortably.

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Building Condition

The building condition must be assessed. As building owners weigh financial investment, it is important to weigh the current state of the building to save. It is also important to consider the positive attribute of the building to cut back on construction materials as the old design can support the majority of the new design.

Materials and Procedures
The procedures and materials used to construct a new structure are constantly evolving nowadays. The trend in building infrastructures lean towards environmental preservation such that the materials used in buildings must be sustainable and energy efficient.

It is important for contractors to look for recyclable materials and to plan procedures ahead to save a considerable sum.

Man challenges technology in various ways. The improvement of the quality of life pushes everyone to innovate and continuously transform electronic gadgets, home appliances, clothing and even infrastructures.

Today, homeowners are motivated to build Green buildings for houses. Construction companies are contemplating on making green buildings. Would you build a green building from scratch or retrofitting old buildings into green buildings sounds better?

How Long Does Home Window Tint Last?

Window tinting adds a high level of protection both to the window and space inside it. For this reason, almost every single homeowner chooses to have this kind of implement installed in his house. However, it is not uncommon for homeowners to have key questions about window tinting films either. The most common among these questions is this: how long does home window tint last? Well, here are some pieces of information that will help you answer this question and lend you a better overall understanding of the nature of window tinting film.

Factors that Affect the Longevity of Home Window Tinting

Much like any other home installation around, there are different factors that affect the length of time during which your home window tinting will be able to maintain its superb appearance and top-notch protection.

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The first and the most important of these factors is weather condition and climate. Obviously, the kind of climate in your area of residence will play a big role in determining whether you will be able to use your home window tint for a long time or whether you would have to keep replacing it every so often. Since the high intensity of heat will cause the adhesive on the film to deteriorate, window tinting films that are installed in homes located in relatively hot areas will need frequent removal and reinstallation. If you live in a hot area, then there is a good chance that your window tint will bubble and deteriorate after some years.

The nature of installation will also have an effect on how long your home window tint will last. You have two choices when it comes to choosing how you will have your tint installed: inside or outside. You can either install the film or the sheet on the interior side of the glass or the exterior side. Obviously, window tinting film that is installed on the exterior side will be able to maintain its pristine condition for a much shorter time, if compared to window tinting that is installed on the interior side. This is mainly because it will be exposed to rain, dust, dirt, and other elements that will cause it to deteriorate. If you want to be able to maintain your home window tinting for a substantial amount of time, then choose and use one that you can install from within.

The type of window tinting film also has an effect on the longevity of your tinting job. Obviously, different kinds of films are made from varying materials, thus causing them to have different staying and adhesive power. To get good value for your money, you are better off limiting your options among types of film that will last the longest. However, they tend to be on the more expensive, too. Ask help from your professional contractor and get the guidance that you need to make the right choice. With assistance, you should have no problem in finding the right type of film that will last you the right amount of time and cost you the just the right amount of money.

Believe it or not, the kind of glass on which the window tinting film will also be installed has an effect on product longevity. Most window tinting film uses a kind of adhesive that will stick to any glass surface. However, there are certain kinds of glass that will require a special kind of adhesive agent. To be on the safe side, consult with a professional contractor before you buy your home window tint. Schedule a home appointment and get your contractor’s opinion by showing him the windows where you plan to install your home window tint. Determining the right tint for the kind of glass that you have should take a professional eye only a few minutes.

The final, yet most important, factor that will affect how long your home window tint will last is maintenance. The longevity of your window tint will highly rely on how you take care of it. What do you use to clean your windows? How often do you clean the surface? What kind of polish do you use regularly? Different agents present in cleaning and polishing solutions can deter the adhesive on your home window tint, so you better make sure that you use cleaning solutions that will be compatible with the window tint that you have. Make sure that you use just the right amount pressure, too, to avoid scraping off parts of the tint.

How Do I Remove Old Window Tinting Film that has Bubbled or Distorted?

No matter how much you take care of your window, you will need to remove your window tint, especially if it has started to show signs of wear and tear. If you have enough money for professional help, then you can simply call on professional installation personnel who would be happy to do the job for you. However, you should know that spending money on professional fees and charges is not a necessity. With the right tools and a can-do attitude, you can go about this task by yourself. No need for professional fees. All that you need is some elbow grease!

There are two things that you should look out for in assessing whether you should already replace your window tinting: purple film and bubbling film. Purple file refers to the uncharacteristic discoloration that happens when the non-metallic dyes in the film starts changing their hue. Bubbling film is evident when certain parts of the film start detaching from the surface where it is applied, usually caused by the deterioration of the adhesive that was used to install the film. Once you notice any of these signs, then it is time that you remove your old window tinting and apply a new layer.

There is no doubt that you have asked this question: how do I remove old window tinting film that has bubbled or distorted? Well, here are four simple ways through which you can deal with this kind of problem and bring your windows back to its former glory.

Use Ammonia and Sunlight

If you choose to go with this technique, then you have to make sure that you remove your window tinting film during a hot day and when the sun is up. To start, cut garbage bags to mirror the size and shape of your window and use your cut sheets to protect the window’s frame. Apply a thin layer of ammonia on the glass where the tinting film is applied and use another sheet of plastic to cover this part. Make sure that it is completely secured because ammonia fumes can be flammable and harmful. Leave your makeshift removal system under the sun for a few hours. After some time, your old window tint should peel off with the plastic, leaving your window like new.

Steam it Off

Using a steamer is perhaps the easiest way through which you can remove old window tinting film that has bubbled or distorted. Using your normal garment steamer, heat the surface by steaming it from an inch away. This will melt that glue that holds the film in place and, slowly but surely, melt the tint off of your window. Continue the process until the tint has completely peeled off. Just a word of caution: the result will not look as clean as you would want it to be. Don’t worry because using a piece of cloth, some adhesive remover, and some elbow grease will remove all unwanted residue.

Use the Old Fashion Way

If you have more than enough time in your hands, soap, newspaper, a razor blade, and a good dollop of adhesive remover should help you remove old window tinting film. Apply a good amount of detergent on the film surface and use sheets of paper to cover it. Leave the surface to dry for about an hour or two. Make sure that you reapply another coating of detergent every 15 minutes or when the newspaper starts going dry. Get your hands on a razor blade and use it to scrape off the newspaper and the film. Make sure that you use long strokes when doing this. Use the adhesive cleaner to remove any residue.

Peel it Right Off

Once window tinting film has started to bubble and distorted, it is a sign that the adhesive used to apply the film has already started to deteriorate. Believe it or not, if you are careful enough, you can use your bare hands to peel the film right off! Peel off one edge and use both of your hands to peel off the film, one big chunk at a time. Easy does it. Do not pull or tug hard for this will cause the film to break. The slower you do it, the more you will be able to leave the film intact and remove it in one smooth pull. However, it will be possible that some residue will remain on the surface. Don’t worry for your trusted soap and water will be able to detach them from your window and clean them right off.

Laws Regarding Window Tinting for Autos

According to some people, vehicle window tinting can help lower the temperature inside the vehicle. There are also people who believe that window tinting can help improve their vehicle’s aesthetic appeal. Nonetheless, window tinting can be very dangerous as it can block the driver’s vision when driving. Therefore, it is important that this practice needs to be regulated. As a driver and vehicle owner, it is your responsibility to know more about the laws regard window tinting for autos in your state.


The Basics of Windows Tinting

What is window tinting in the first place? Window tinting is a term that refers to the methods that prevent certain levels of light from passing through a vehicle’s safety glass, may it be from the side windows, rear window or the windshield. Most vehicles sold in the market nowadays are already treated and manufactured with some degree of window tinting in place. This is to help block the harmful ultraviolet or UV rays to get inside the vehicle. Since the tinting is done during the manufacturing process, it is almost always in compliance with the state and deferral window tinting laws and regulations.

Window Tinting Laws

The laws in window tinting vary from state to state, and the available statutes can usually be found in the state’s traffic code and vehicle. Your state’s vehicle code may consider “window tinting” to include but not limited to the following:

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• Applying after-market tinting methods to the vehicle is strictly prohibited. This process is done by heat-shrinking a tinted sheet of film to a vehicle’s window or windshield, usually applied on the inside surface of the glass
• Making use of a thin, horizontal strip of tint or shade band at the top of the vehicle’s windshield is considered violations of the state traffic and vehicle code
• Using other sunscreen or sun-blocking devices that are temporarily attached to the inside surface of a vehicle’s windows and windshield is not allowed. One good example of these sunscreen devices is a plastic shade device that is usually affixed to a passenger window and held in place with suction cups

Most state laws on window tinting are primarily concerned with the levels of light transmittance that the vehicle’s safety glass allows. It means that the major factors that need to be considered are the amount of light that can get through and how much visibility the glass allows. For example, the state law requires that windows of vehicles in the state are tinted to such a degree to allow 75% of light transmittance. If the vehicle’s light transmittance level is below what the state requires, it means that the vehicle does not comply with the state’s vehicle code and the owner or driver may be issued a citation. Most state vehicle codes require different levels of light transmittance for the windshield when compared with the window tinting standards for the rear and side windows.

Know the State’s Laws and Regulations

It is difficult to measure the level of light transmittance. Therefore, you may need to have your vehicle inspected to determine whether it passed or failed the state’s window tint laws. A private licensed professional or a government inspector can check your vehicle’s light transmittance level by making use of a device called photometer. In order to know more about the laws of window tinting for autos, you may need to get in touch with your local traffic and vehicle regulation authority to know more about your state’s window tinting laws.