You don’t have to add energy-efficient HVAC to the lengthy list of things you’ll never understand. You don’t have to be a genius to figure out the basic steps that indicate whether you’re conserving or losing energy while maintaining excellent air quality. We can teach you a few important definitions and ideas that will help you determine whether or not your home’s HVAC system is energy efficient.
Energy Efficient HVAC Factors
SEER and AFUE Ratings
The Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio (SEER) for air conditioners and the Annual Fuel Utilization Efficiency (AFUE) for furnaces indicate how energy-efficient they are. The higher the rating, the less energy is wasted and the more heat or cool air is converted. Because newer HVAC units have more advanced technology, it’s no surprise that they are more energy-efficient than older designs.
Central Heating and Cooling
Room AC units are substantially less efficient than central air conditioners and heaters. They uniformly heat and cool the residence using far less energy than many units in separate rooms would. The initial investment may be larger, but the long-term savings are well worth it. It all relies on your home’s needs, the location you reside in, and what your home requires.
High-efficiency furnaces can produce heat with less energy for the most part. This reduces the amount of fuel used and eliminates energy waste. Your home will be kept warm to a comfortable temperature, and your heater will adjust to the required power level when the outside temperature drops. Furnaces without the two-stage heating feature will use the same amount of energy every time, regardless of whether it is required or not.
Variable Speed Blower
Variable speed blowers work in the same way that two-stage heating does. When high energy is required, the blower ramps up to a high level, but when it isn’t, it runs at a lower capacity. A variable-speed blower has the additional advantage of assisting your air conditioner in reducing humidity levels, hence lowering temperatures.
Right Size and Installation
A large unit may swiftly cool home but then turn off without lowering humidity levels, while a unit that is too small would struggle to meet your needs. Your HVAC contractor should suggest the appropriate size for your home in order to improve the effectiveness of the unit. Other key aspects to consider are the location of your unit and the quality of your insulation and ducting.
Ignition by electronic means
Gas-powered pilot lights in furnaces must keep a fire going whether the furnace is on or not. Electronic ignition is a more modern modification that only lights a flame when the furnace is turned on.
All available energy will be used in a truly energy-efficient model. A furnace with a heat exchanger, for example, collects escaping gases that would otherwise be vented outside the house. The gases are then used by the furnace to provide extra heating power.
Combustion Chamber in a Vacuum
A sealed combustion feature, which pulls outside air into the unit rather than sourcing pre-conditioned inside air, is another energy-saving technique. This functionality also adds a layer of security.
The Science Behind Energy Efficiency in HVAC Systems
The following are some of the scientific ratings that most energy-efficient HVAC systems will receive:
SEER (Season Energy Efficiency Ratio): SEER stands for Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio, which is calculated by dividing cooling output into British Thermal Units (BTU) by cooling demand in kilowatt-hours. The greater the SEER rating, the more energy-efficient the HVAC ducting you have. Rather than lab-created circumstances, the SEER HVAC rating is based on seasonal cooling conditions.
EER (Energy Efficiency Ratio): An EER rating is another metric that most energy-efficient residential HVAC systems will have. The EER rating does not calculate its ratios using seasonal averages. Instead, it conducts testing under rigorous laboratory conditions. The higher the EER number, similar to the SEER rating, the more energy-efficient the HVAC system is.
Heating Seasonal Performance Factor (HSPF): The HSPF rating is a ratio that measures how effective the HVAC’s heat pump is in producing hot and cold air in both directions. Using the BTU metric divided by the total amount of electricity used by the pump in kilowatt-hours, the HSPF rating determines how much total area heating is required. The higher the heat pump’s HSPF ratio, the more efficient it is.
Tips to Make Your HVAC Unit Energy Efficient
1. Retrofit a Decade-Old System
This is an excellent choice for large, energy-intensive systems that have been well-maintained over time. You can upgrade the system by replacing the compressor, adding condenser fan controls, and installing air-side economizers to take advantage of the cooler air outside.
2. Increase Your Space’s Insulation
You should also ensure that your home is effectively insulated in order to have the most energy-efficient residential HVAC system available. There is less of a risk of air escaping if your home and the unit’s ductwork are properly insulated.
3. Install programmable thermostats and controls.
Programmable thermostats and controls can also help you get the most out of your energy-saving HVAC units. These systems allow temperatures to be automated, allowing them to adjust based on the time of day and relieving the HVAC system of some of the work. When no one is at home, a simple change in temperature during the day can save you a lot of money on your electricity bills.
4. Preserve the System Airflow
It’s critical to keep your HVAC unit clean of dust and dirt in order to keep it running efficiently. Dust, grime, and debris can block up a system, making it work harder and consuming more energy.
Also, make sure that no furniture or curtains are covering any air vents or ducts since this could hinder air from moving properly and effectively.
5. Make Use of Curtains and Blinds
Closing the curtains throughout the day during the summer month will help to block out part of the summer heat, helping your home to stay cooler. However, opening the curtains in the winter will enable sunlight to filter through and gradually heat your home, reducing the need for your HVAC system.