Smarter+Cheaper+Environmentally Friendly = High Efficiency HVACs
The federal government has standards about most things, appliances like HVACs included. An HVAC system with a “high efficiency” label is one that has a higher efficiency rating than that which is required by the federal government. High efficiency HVAC systems deliver more heating and cooling per unit of energy when compared to a standard system.
You can determine the efficiency of an HVAC system by looking at the rating – the higher the rating, the more efficient the equipment is.
Furnaces in the 1980s topped out at about 60% efficiency, but today you can see almost 100% efficiency in the top-of-the-line furnaces. Things such as variable-speed technology and modulating gas valves make the new equipment “intelligent” – it can self-regulate and use only as much energy as is required to heat/cool your home to the desired temperature.
Old furnaces had only one setting: full power. They had only one ability: heat/cool everything the same. With the new HVAC systems, this is no longer true – high efficiency equipment now allows for settings. A homeowner could, for example, set the system to heat the room to 65 degrees during the day while everyone is at work. Then the system could be set to adjust the heat to 70 degrees an hour before everyone arrives home. Or the upstairs bedrooms could remain cooler until bedtime.
High efficiency HVAC units don’t need to run as long as the older, less efficient models – even though they deliver the same amount of heating and/or cooling. This is good for:
Your wallet: units that run less often use less electricity. Using less electricity means lower bills for you. Also, in some areas, homeowners who own high efficiency equipment are eligible for rebates and/or federal tax credits.
The equipment: units that run less often experience less wear and tear – meaning fewer breakdowns, fewer repairs, and fewer replacements.
The environment: units that run less often have less of a negative impact on the environment. The refrigerant that high efficiency equipment uses isn’t harmful to the ozone layer and releases less carbon dioxide into the air. A high efficiency system will give your home a smaller carbon footprint.
Energy consumption has become a worldwide concern. If 80% of American households have air conditioning (which is the number that the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development cites) and an even higher percentage have heat, think of the reduced energy consumption that could be achieved with high energy HVAC systems.
When you decide to invest in a high efficiency HVAC system, the best time to do so is in the spring. Systems are in less demand then because it’s not cold anymore and it’s not hot yet.
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