Achieve a more energy efficient HVAC

An HVAC System is an essential part of any home or building. The HVAC system is made to help control the environmental conditions within a building to create a comfortable environment through heating and cooling the space, regardless of the time of year and weather outside. You’ll want to have an energy efficient HVAC unit, because they require less energy to work, which means you’ll spend less money in the long run.

What makes an HVAC system energy efficient?

When it comes to devices and machines, energy efficiency is the first thing people look for. It is no different for HVAC systems, which can take up a significant portion of energy costs in a home.

Different factors will make an HVAC system energy efficient. From the type of system, you have to how it is maintained can all affect the energy efficiency. Because of this, even small changes to an existing system can help make it more energy efficient.

The science behind energy efficiency in HVAC systems

When it comes to finding the most energy efficient HVAC system, it helps to understand the science behind them. Here are some of the different scientific ratings. Most energy efficient HVAC systems will be rated as:

  • Season energy efficiency ratio (SEER): SEER is the measured ratio of cooling output, which is measured in British Thermal Units (BTU) and then divided by usage, measured in kilowatt hours. For the SEER rating, the higher the number, the more energy efficient HVAC ducting you have. The SEER HVAC rating uses seasonal cooling conditions rather than lab-created conditions.
  • Energy efficiency ratio (EER): Another rating most energy efficient residential HVAC systems will have is an EER rating. The EER rating does not use seasonal averages to get its ratios. Instead, it uses strict laboratory conditions for its testing. Like with the SEER rating, the higher the EER number, the more energy efficient the HVAC system is.
  • Heating seasonal performance factor (HSPF): The HSPF rating is the ratio for how efficient the HVAC’s heat pump is, which cycles in both directions to produce hot and cold air. The HSPF rating measures exactly how much total space heating is necessary, using the BTU measurement divided by the total amount of electricity used by the pump in kilowatt-hours. The higher the HSPF ratio, the more efficient the heat pump is.

Tips to make your HVAC unit energy efficient

1. Retrofit an old system

This is a great option for large, energy intensive systems that have been well-maintained through their lifetime. You can replace the system’s compressor, add condenser fan controls, and add air side economizers that help take advantage of the cool air outside.

2. Invest in a whole new system

Alternatively, if you plan on staying in the same home for a long time, you may want to consider installing a whole new energy efficient system with energy efficient HVAC ducting. This is especially true if you have an old system. Check for units with high SEER ratings and Energy Star-Rated models that adhere to strict energy efficiency guidelines.

3. Increase the insulation of your space

To have the most energy efficient residential HVAC system possible, you also want to ensure your home itself is well insulated. By insulating your home and the unit’s ducting properly, these is less of a chance of air escaping, so the unit will not have to work as hard to heat and cool your home overall.

4. Install Programmable Controls and Thermostats

Programmable thermostats and controls also help to make the most of energy efficient HVAC units. These systems allow temperatures to be automated, so they can change depending on the time of day, and take some of the workload off of the HVAC system itself. A simple change of temperature during the day when nobody is home can drastically decrease the amount you spend on your utility bills.

5. Preserve the system airflow

Keeping your HVAC unit free from dust and debris is essential in maintaining an energy efficient unit. Dust, dirt, and debris can all clog a system and force it to work harder to push out hot and cold air.

Also, you want to ensure that your furniture and curtains are not blocking any of the air vents or ducts, which could prevent air from flowing smoothly and efficiently.

6. Make use of curtains and blinds

During summer months, keeping curtains closed during the day will help block out some of the summer heat, allowing your home to maintain a cooler temperature. Alternatively, opening the curtains during winter will allow even the smallest amount of sunlight to come through and naturally warm your home, so your HVAC system works less.

7. Perform regular maintenance

It may seem like common sense, but people surprisingly overlook the importance of performing regular maintenance on their unit. At both the start and end of every season, you want to get your system inspected to ensure everything is in working order. By having regular maintenance checks, you can avoid being caught by surprise with a system failure and costly repairs.

8. Watch the thermostat

If you set your thermostat closer to the outside temperature, then the HVAC system will not have to work so hard to heat or cool your home. This is also why installing a programmable thermostat is such a good idea–that way, it will change automatically, without you having to watch it constantly.

9. Change air filters regularly

As the HVAC system is used, the air filter inside of it gets clogged with dirt, dust, and other types of debris. The dirtier the filter gets, the harder the system is forced to work to do its job, making it use more energy and costing you more on your utility bill. By changing the filter regularly, you can ensure that your HVAC system always has a clean air filter, so it can function at its best.

10. Watch when you run the dryer and oven

When a dryer is used, it draws warm air into the home while an oven simply creates additional heat. So, when these appliances are used during the hottest point of the day in summer, they increase the home’s temperatures. This, in turn, forces your HVAC system to work harder in cooling your home, costing you more money in the long run.

11. Take advantage of fans

Whether it is a ceiling fan or a floor fan, fans are instrumental in your HVAC energy efficiency. No matter if your system is set to cooling or heating, fans will help to circulate the air throughout the house better. That way, all areas of the house are getting evenly distributed hot and cold air, so the system does not use as much energy.

12. Clean your drain line

Keeping this drain line clean will help with creating the most energy efficient residential HVAC system set-up. To clean this line, you can flush a cup of chlorine bleach through the drain, followed by a gallon of water to help rinse it through. Doing this will help keep your drain clean all summer and will ensure your basement does not flood due to a blocked drain.

13. Trim plants and clean gutters

Another thing you can do to create good conditions for more energy efficiency is to ensure any plants nearby are kept trim and the gutters are cleaned out regularly. These things harbor moisture, and if moisture gets onto or into the HVAC system, it can cause it not to function properly. So, keeping it free from fallen foliage and moisture is vital.

These days, there is an emphasis on energy efficiency in every aspect of life. Having the most energy efficient HVAC system is one of the best things you can do for your home. You do not have to invest in a whole new system to increase energy efficiency; just check these tips in this article to for some money-saving adjustments that can make a huge difference in your utility bills and overall HVAC energy consumption.

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