The HVAC system represents a significant portion of energy costs. That is why improving the energy efficiency of HVAC systems is important whether you are a homeowner or when running a business. To help you on the way of saving thousands of dollars through an energy-efficient HVAC system, here are tips that can help you achieve these. However, for starters, we would like to introduce you to several industry-related terms that will help you with the article.
SEER Rating: Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio
This ratio is defined by the cooling output in BTU (British Thermal Units) over the electricity usage in kilowatt-hours. Higher energy efficiency means a higher SEER rating. The SEER rating applies to real seasonal cooling instead of controlled laboratory conditions.
EER: Energy Efficiency Ratio
The calculation considerations are similar to the SEER rating. However, the EER applies to strict laboratory conditions instead of real seasonal averages. Like the SEER rating, the higher the EER, the more efficient HVAC systems are.
HSPF: Heating Seasonal Performance Factor
HSPF is the ratio for heat pump efficiency. Heat pumps, such as air-source heat pumps, go both ways when producing hot or cold air. This measurement is to define the total space heating needed in BTU divided by the total electricity used by the heat pump in kilowatt-hours. The higher the HSPF value, the more efficient the heat pump.
Tips To Achieve an Energy-Efficient HVAC System:
Energy-efficient HVAC systems are relatively new, with various factors affecting efficiency, either absent or limited. These systems may have real-time system monitoring and are used properly by the occupants. To ensure you can achieve an energy-efficient HVAC system, here are the essential tips:
Retrofit Older HVAC Systems
If you have HVAC systems that are ten years old and need new repairs, you might need to consider retrofitting. There are other reasons why you need to retrofit. Retrofitting major components might do the job if you are moving to a new location or need to buy time before investing in a new system. Moreover, retrofitting is an excellent option if you are looking to increase your HVAC energy efficiency for better comfort.
Studies by the Department of Energy have found that you can achieve energy savings of up to 35% annually if you add or replace parts. You may retrofit your air conditioners and heating systems, such as gas furnace heating systems.
Retrofitting options are the following:
- Adding condenser fan controls
- Replacing compressors
- Adding demand-controlled ventilation
- Adding air-side economizers to make the most of cool air outside the building
Invest in Energy-Efficient HVAC Equipment
While we are fresh from discussing retrofitting ten-year-old systems, you can replace your old air conditioning systems with newer models with higher SEER ratings. Moreover, you may consider selecting Energy Star-rated models, which are more efficient than models made a decade ago.
Use Programmable Thermostats and Controls
Though you don’t need to turn your air conditioners off when leaving the office, keeping them on at an optimal level will save you power because you don’t need to strain your air compressors to chase the set levels on the thermostat. One way to ensure energy efficiency is to program your conditioned air at fixed schedules.
Keep Your HVAC Sytems Free From Debris, Leaves, and Dust
Preserving air flow helps keep the performance of your HVAC system at a high level of efficiency. Moreover, ensure that furniture and curtains don’t block your vents and ducts. Taking this for granted might necessitate HVAC repair later on.
Insulate to Keep Conditioned Air
Properly insulating your interiors will help prevent straining your compressors. Efficient HVAC systems should have all the trapped air (cooled air or heated air) kept in controlled areas as possible. Add insulation on walls and windows. Pipes, outlets, and ducts should also have proper insulation. Choose insulation materials that have a high r-value. Even if you have a wall-mounted home air conditioner, keeping the seems around the air conditioner, as well as the windows and interiors insulated, can provide extra energy efficiency.
Keep a Regular Maintenance Schedule
Regular maintenance help keep your equipment running properly at highly efficient levels. Ensure that you keep your seasonal maintenance schedules, at least at the start and end of the heating or cooling seasons. A dependable HVAC company can provide you with appropriate maintenance schedules, for instance, to help keep your furnace’s annual fuel utilization efficiency at a maximum or to keep your HVAC system to deliver extreme humidity control if needed. Taking this essential item for granted will cost you money later in expensive HVAC repair costs.
Change Air Filters
Blocked or dirty air filters are one of the most common causes of issues related to HVAC energy efficiency. With blocked filters, your equipment will work harder to reach the set levels on your thermostats, leading to higher energy consumption. Aside from blocking the airflow, dirty filters can enter the system and collect on fan blades and motor parts, slowing your air conditioning unit down. Replacement or cleaning should be every one to three months.
Set Your Thermostat Closer to The Outside Temperature
People may find a tweak of three degrees Fahrenheit higher imperceptible. If it is hot outside, an HVAC system set at 78 degrees uses 39% less energy than setting it at 72 degrees. Programmable thermostats can help you save energy further by turning the temperature up when people are not present in rooms.
Use VRF (Variable Refrigerant Flow) HVAC Systems
Newer systems, such as those using Tandem and Scroll compressors, help increase HVAC energy efficiency by delivering cooling only when and where they are needed. The latest energy-efficient AC unit using these systems works well with smart systems. Combining these with an intelligent wall-mounted system, a variable-speed air conditioner can contribute further to a very efficient system. They can also power down at the low outdoor operating temperature without you having to pay attention. As for VRF systems, these can provide cooling and heating simultaneously in different zones. Moreover, compressors in these systems have variable speeds and run at full power only when needed.
Keep Your Electronics and Appliances Powered Down
Electronics, such as computers, machinery, and appliances, can present substantial heat loads when in use. If you don’t use them, turn them off. You can save power further by unplugging idle appliances because these contribute up to 10% of your total energy use.
To Help Keep HVAC Energy Consumption Down Through Maintenance, call Gladiate Air Conditioning & Heating for Help
Keeping high HVAC efficiency levels may require constant vigilance. Not the least of which is by observing strict maintenance schedules. However, there might come the point when you detect tell-tale signs that your HVAC systems might be in trouble, especially if they give out noise despite usually working at quiet operation noise levels. That is when you call Gladiate Air Conditioning & Heating for help. With decades of experience working with air conditioners and heaters in HVAC systems in Arizona, we have what it takes to help you maintain a highly efficient system and save you money in the long run. To learn more about our services or to book an appointment, call us at (623) 249-4536 or fill out the contact form on our appointment page.