Seek Out ENERGY STAR Products
The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) enacted the Energy Star program
as a way for consumers to easily evaluate the energy efficiency of appliances
and electronics. The program certifies energy efficient appliances in
a wide range of categories. Considering how much electricity we use throughout
our daily routines, the Energy Star program has the potential to save
consumers a significant amount of money while also reducing energy use.
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The Energy Star label can be found on HVAC systems that meet the EPA's
guidelines for energy efficiency. Some units may be awarded silver or
gold ratings on top of the basic Energy Star recognition. The EPA estimates
that homeowners can save as much as $200 a year on their heating and cooling
bills when they switch from an older HVAC system to a new unit that has
earned Energy Star approval. Rating numbers denote specific details about
each unit's efficiency; the ratings to pay attention to are the unit's
"seasonal energy efficiency ration" (SEER) and "energy
efficiency ratio" (EER). Higher SEER ratings indicate a more efficient
unit. Although these figures can give consumers a good idea of which unit
is best for them, consulting a professional HVAC specialist before purchasing
Choose a Correctly-Sized Unit
The energy efficiency rating of an HVAC system can be of little help if
you choose a unit that is too large or small for your home. We have a
tendency to think that bigger is always better, but in the world of HVAC,
that is not necessarily the case.
Stephen M. Scott
While a larger unit might cool a given area more quickly, that speed causes
the HVAC to cycle on and off much more frequently, especially when used
in a small building. This is bad for both energy consumption and the mechanics
of the unit. Repeated heating and cooling of the elements within the HVAC
consumes more energy. This same principle applies to gas mileage and vehicle
maintenance; avoid heavy acceleration and braking, and maintain a steady
speed for maximum efficiency. Plus, when the unit's motors, pumps
and fans are frequently starting and stopping, it causes increased wear
and tear on the system.
Upgrade Your Thermostat
When you're in the market for an eco-friendly and energy-efficient
HVAC system, be certain to team it up with a good thermostat. There is
a wide range of programmable thermostats on the market today. You can
even set them up to run the HVAC less when no one is home.
There are even "smart" thermostats on the market that keep track
of your habits and automatically adjust temperatures in your home based
upon those habits. These smart thermostats can also sense when you're
not home, triggering an energy saving mode.
Only Employ Licensed Professionals for Installation
By now you probably realize that selecting and installing a modern, high
efficiency HVAC system requires knowledge and experience. The only way
to get the most out of your new system is to work with a licensed professional
to complete your installation. Utilize online review services to find
out which technicians in your area are most committed to quality work
and up-to-date knowledge. This research will be helpful when it comes
time to do system maintenance as well.
Investigate Heat Pumps
So far we've only discussed HVAC systems. When talking to your HVAC
professional, he might also suggest heat pump options. In some climates
these pumps are able to use the temperature difference between the air
outside your home and the air inside your home for heating and cooling.
They can be very energy efficient. Also included in this category are
geothermal heat pumps, which take advantage of the constant temperature deep in the ground to
maintain the temperature of your home. Following these steps and consulting
with your local heating and air professional can help you select the optimal
HVAC system for your home - saving you time and money while also reducing
Contact Tom's Mechanical for more information.