Going green is a big trend in America today, and the heating, ventilating, and air conditioning industry has embraced this new movement enthusiastically. There are a great variety of ways that you can make your house more energy efficient with new technology that has become popular in the past few years. While some of these upgrades might seem expensive, all of them will save you money in the long run and reduce your carbon footprint.
Gas furnaces you can buy today can have an AFUE rating of 97 percent, which means that 97 percent of the fuel burned in your furnace goes to heat your house. This incredible efficiency is possible because of some key features in the design of the furnace itself. These furnaces have sealed combustion, in which the air flow to the combustion chamber is carefully controlled and the exhaust heat can be recaptured to heat air as well. A high efficiency furnace will also have two stage gas values, so your furnace is no longer just ‘on’ or ‘off’. If your house only needs to be heated a little, your furnace can go on a low setting to bring your home to the desired temperature. If there is a sudden burst of cold outside, you furnace can switch to the high heat setting so that you can get the warmth you need. This allows for optimal efficiency no matter what the temperature.
To go with your new furnace, a programmable thermostat will give you unprecedented control over the temperature and energy consumption in your house. This new type of thermostat can be programmed to keep your house at different temperatures during different times of day, so you won’t waste energy heating or cooling your house when everyone is at work or school. Tied with a zone control system, you can also heat each zone of your house individually to completely customize your home comfort. For instance, if you have a rarely used guest room, you can keep the temperature low in that area and only turn the temperature up when it is necessary. Turning down your thermostat even for part of the day can lead to big energy savings, and a programmable thermostat makes it very easy to monitor and control your home’s temperature.
The technology for heat pumps is very old, but it only recently has become popular as an energy efficient home heating and cooling solution. An air source heat pump runs on electricity, and it moves heat from the outside to your home’s interior instead of generating it through combustion. The heating efficiency of these devices is amazing, with a range of 150 – 300 percent, which means that they produce up to 3 times as much heat energy as the amount of electricity they use. Heat pumps and air conditioners made today use R-410A refrigerant, which doesn’t have ozone depleting hydrochloro-fluorocarbons. Unlike older heat pumps, these new, more energy efficient devices have a minimal impact on the environment.
Other types of green equipment that have become increasingly popular today are geothermal heat pumps and solar powered heating and cooling systems. These upgrades are more expensive to make to your home and extensive installation, but they are good choices for people willing to make an investment in greening their house. Any upgrade to your heating and cooling system is almost certainly going to improvement the energy efficiency of your home as HVAC technology continues to improve.
This information is provided by HVAC contractor Cal-West Air Conditioning, who provides heating and air conditioning installation, maintenance, and repair to the San Diego, California metropolitan area.