We Can Save Energy at Home!
How can I improve my HVAC efficiency? That’s a question that our technicians hear time and time again, and for good reason. While electronics and other appliances claim a growing portion of our daily energy usage, the US Department of Energy states that almost half of our energy consumption still comes from heating and cooling.
So what happens if we improve our home HVAC energy efficiency? We get huge savings on our utility bills! Today, we’ll talk about how to reduce heating and cooling costs each day. By the end of our discussion, you should be able to craft your own winning energy strategy! Let’s get started.
How to Reduce HVAC Power Consumption
Thanks to modern advancements in HVAC energy efficiency, you’re almost guaranteed to find a heating or cooling system that offers improvements over your current model. While that obviously represents a significant investment, the energy savings are usually worth the cost (especially if you already need a replacement). However, you will need to make sure that your new system’s output matches the demands of your home or business.
What is a Good Energy Efficiency Rating?
There are three efficiency ratings that consumers should pay attention to: EER, SEER, and HSPF. EER examines the amount of electricity an AC unit consumes and compares that figure with its cooling output. Think of it as a snapshot of your system while it’s working under difficult conditions. Some of the most highly rated HVAC products fall between 12 – 14 EER ratings.
SEER measures the same figures, albeit under more favorable temperatures over an entire season. Government required minimums start at 13 or 14, but scores may go as high as 25. While any score within that range offers capable efficiency, many homeowners aim for a score between 20 – 21.
HSPF, or heating seasonal performance factor, is basically the same as SEER, but for heating systems. It examines heating performance over an entire season. Aim for a score between 9.5 – 12.
What is the Most Efficient HVAC System?
Heat pumps (especially geothermal) are widely regarded as one of the most cost-effective energy efficient HVAC systems available on the market. For homeowners that prefer a room-by-room heating and cooling setup, mini split systems offer a great alternative. Just make sure you get the ductless variety so you can avoid potential leak problems.
EnergyStar.com offers a very strong list of efficient HVAC products. If you’re searching for well-rated brands, they highly recommend Amana, Armstrong, and AirEase.
How Much Does it Cost to Replace an HVAC System?
If you choose to replace both your heating system (furnace, boiler, etc.) and your air conditioning at the same time, you can expect to pay up to $15,000. Your cost will depend on your city, state, product choice, brand, and ductwork requirements.
Does HVAC Maintenance Save Energy?
While upgrading to a newer, more efficient HVAC model is nice, not every homeowner has the budget or need to replace their system. In fact, there are numerous ways to save that don’t require making a large purchase. Maintenance and usage habits make a greater impact on your energy consumption than you realize!
Leave it On?
Is it More Efficient to Leave Air Conditioning On?
While some would try to complicate the issue, the answer comes down to simple math. More run time, even in the most advanced air conditioning systems, equals more time where energy is consumed. Air conditioning systems may reach peak efficiency at maximum output, but that doesn’t mean you should always keep your system turned on.
How Can I Reduce Heating and Cooling Costs?
There are plenty of opportunities to enhance your HVAC energy efficiency in your current heating and cooling systems! First, consider installing an ECM motor for your AC blower. Most traditional HVAC motors utilize simple on-or-off settings, which wastes energy every time you turn on the air conditioning. ECM motors provide variable speed settings, allowing a gradual build up of power until your system achieves the desired temperature.
Nest thermostats also offer fantastic ways to save by cutting out wasted run times. These intuitive products learn your heating and cooling usage patterns. With this information, a Nest thermostat can turn off your system during work hours and reduce power during sleeping hours.
Of course, regular maintenance also supplies easy savings through reducing waste caused by leaky ducts, obstructed airways, and failing parts. Homeowners can complete many of these simple tasks (seen below), and the energy savings are worth the effort!
Ways to Reduce HVAC Power Consumption
- Regularly replace your furnace and AC unit filters.
- Keep your condenser and evaporator coils clean.
- Clean out your air ducts (or have a professional do it).
- Ensure your air ducts are properly sealed.
- Install a variable speed ECM motor for your HVAC blower.
- Install a Nest thermostat to reduce energy waste during away times.
Find Your Energy-Saving Options!
Want more information about enhancing your home’s utility savings? Our team at Main Street Heating and Cooling would love to talk with you about HVAC energy efficiency in Salt Lake City and Sandy, UT. Consult with one of our friendly, knowledgeable HVAC technicians at 801-930-5151!