Going green with your HVAC system is a fantastic idea in more ways than one, not only is it trendy, but it is also more energy-efficient and cost-effective. When heating and cooling the typical home accounts for 51% of your home’s energy consumption, you can save a lot of money by going green.
Install a Geothermal HVAC
Geothermal HVAC systems use the earth’s insulating properties to transfer heat to the home in winter and from the home in summer, according to National Geographic. A geothermal HVAC system typically includes an indoor handling unit and buried pipes called an earth loop. It uses electricity to operate the system’s fan, compressor, and pump, but most of the system works for free by the simple transference of natural heat from the ground. Most geothermal HVAC systems have a coefficient of performance of 3.0 to 5.0, which means for every unit of energy expended, three to five units of heat are provided.
Insulate Your Attic
Insulating your attic can give you a return on your investment within a few months to a few years. By adding insulation to your attic, you prevent heat from escaping in the winter and keep the cool air from escaping during the summer. In addition, installing a radiant heat barrier can reduce the radiant heat transfer in your attic by as much as 95%, according to the U.S. Department of Energy.
Install a Smart Thermostat
A smart thermostat can be accessed via an app on your phone, which means you don’t have to be at home to adjust the temperature. You can save money and energy by lowering the temperature while you’re away and turning it back to your comfort level while you’re at home. Every degree higher you set the air conditioner translates into 3-5% savings in home cooling costs, according to Smarter House.. You may also want to consider a movement-activated HVAC system.
Purchase a Properly Sized Efficient HVAC system
Image via Flickr by USACE HQ
Replacing your old model with a high-efficiency HVAC system can save you money by reducing your energy usage and home cooling costs by anywhere between 20-50%, according to the U.S. Department of Energy. It is vital to make sure the system is the proper size to prevent it from running inefficiently and wasting energy. For a central unit, you want a SEER of 14 or higher, while a window unit calls for an EERE rating of 10.7 or better, according to the California Energy Commission.
Get Your Ducts in a Row
If you have a system with ductwork, you need to make sure it’s properly sealed and insulated. On the other hand, you could consider a ductless unit or split system. A split system will allow you to heat and cool your home by dividing it into zones with their own temperature regulation devices, which is more efficient than central air.
There are many more ways to go green with your HVAC system, ranging from using wind power to heat water which then heats the home to ice-powered air conditioning. Talk to a certified HVAC technician to see if you can save money and energy by going green.