Cooling Your Home the Energy Efficient Way

Cooling Your Home the Energy Efficient Way
  • Opening Intro -

    Want to keep your home cool?

    Just turn on your A/C and let it run, right?

    Well, it's not as simple as that.

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With the right modifications, the U.S. Department of Energy estimates that you could spend anywhere from 20 to 50 percent less to operate the air conditioning in your home. Some key technologies and strategies can improve your HVAC’s energy efficiency and push down your total annual expenses. At the same time, you won’t have to sacrifice comfort for lower heating and cooling bills.

Proper Maintenance Saves You Money

An HVAC system that’s not properly maintained can turn into an unexpected money leak. Inefficiencies that shoot up your costs can result from mundane things such as dirty filters, unsealed ducts or the inability to adjust temperatures during the day. The Environmental Protection Agency recommends several steps that will ensure your cooling equipment’s optimal, efficacious operation:

  • Yearly checkups by an HVAC maintenance professional
  • Sealing your heating and cooling ducts
  • Changing your air filter every one to three months
  • Installing a system with a programmable thermostat

There’s a logic to each of these suggestions, as they all are designed to close crucial performance gaps that could be siphoning out your hard-earned dollars. Annual tune-ups enable a technician to spot potential problems early, especially with components such as the blower, refrigerant mechanisms, condenser coils and temperature controls. Leaks in ducts can lead to excess air escaping, and a dirty filter impedes air flow and makers your HVAC system work harder. Programmable thermostats allow your unit to run at higher temperatures when you’re not home, so you don’t spend money cooling an empty house or apartment.

Should You Replace Your A/C Unit?

While eliminating inefficiencies in your current HVAC system is a smart move, there are some instances in which you’re better off replacing it. The Department of Energy advises swapping out your heating and cooling units based on several age and performance factors:

  • Your air conditioner or heating pump is more than 10 years old
  • Frequent repairs are needed while your energy bills increase
  • The presence of uneven temperature zones, more dust or excess humidity
  • Your HVAC system makes a lot of noise

Thankfully, more energy-efficient units have been manufactured in the last 10 years. One recent innovation is the usage of R410A, a newer refrigerant that operates at higher pressures than older versions. The result is a quieter operation that uses less energy than R22, which has mostly been discontinued due to concerns over its environmental impact. Other upgrades include split-system coolers that consist of a condenser outside the house paired with an evaporator component indoors. In these mechanisms, heat is carried out the home and dispersed with a fan as refrigerant circulates in a closed loop.

If you do opt to replace an older air conditioning system, it’s important to examine each product’s SEER rating, or seasonal energy efficiency ratio. It’s a measure of a unit’s cooling output during the season versus its total electrical input and usually appears as a mixed decimal or whole number. The government requires a minimum SEER of 13 or 14 depending on the region in which you live. However, your HVAC provider may be able to supply you with a product that scores as high as 25.

Get Optimum Comfort While Staying Energy-Smart

It is possible to stay comfortable when temperatures soar while reducing your energy expenses. The two goals aren’t mutually exclusive, but you need to do your due diligence to achieve both. You must maintain your current HVAC units in top condition while replacing older, less efficient systems. Finding an experienced, top-quality professional heating and cooling company is the key to ensuring you keep cool while saving money.

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Categories: Heating and Cooling

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