How to Choose the Best Energy Efficient HVAC System
The buzzword in home building these days is efficient. From appliances to lighting solutions, everyone is looking for a more efficient way of doing things. This not only creates less stress for the environment, but it also keeps your energy costs down. So, of course you should want an energy efficient home.
Choosing appliances and a heating and cooling system that is energy efficient can slash your energy costs, plus it will extend the life of those items since they will be doing more work with less energy demands.
A major expense for most homes and businesses is their heating and cooling costs. Whatever system you choose, your utility bill will likely be one of your biggest expenses per month. It just makes sense to choose the best system for your needs, but you may still be in the dark about how to do that.
Here are a few tips about choosing the best, most energy efficient HVAC system:
Look at the efficiency ratings
This immediately narrows down your choices, if you are having a hard time deciding on an HVAC system. Air conditioners have a specific rating, called the SEER. It stands for Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio, and it should be 16 or higher for a very good system. Gas furnaces and heat pumps also have specific standards, called the Annual Fuel Utilization Efficiency (AFUE) and the Heating Seasonal Performance Factor (HSPF). The AFUE should be 94% or higher, and the HSPF should be at least 9.2 for a very efficient system.
Consider systems with energy-saving features
Energy-saving features include variable speed blowers and fan-only switches in air conditioners. You may also run across a system that has a programmable thermostat for controlling the temperature even when you aren’t home. These features are usually found on products that are already high efficiency. You may find that appliances and other systems that have an Energy Star rating are more expensive in their initial cost, but be well advised that the cost of an energy efficient HVAC system will more than pay for itself in the long run.
Choose the right size system for your space
If your HVAC system is the right size for your home or business, it could decrease the system’s operating costs and improve efficiency by up to 30 percent. A small unit that has too much stress on it could have a significantly shorter life, and a system that is too big will cost much more to operate and won’t save you a penny. The only sure way to know what size system your home or office will require is to talk with a professional heating and air conditioning company like Tex-Perts Cooling & Heating in San Antonio.
In addition to these three key points, you will also need to consider some other factors when choosing an energy efficient HVAC system for your home or business.
First of all, is natural gas an option for powering your HVAC system? If not, you’ll be limited to total electric systems. If it is available in your area, you’ll need to find out what the minimum monthly charge for gas hookup is. Most places, it’s about $12-15. Figure out if you will use enough gas to justify this charge.
You will definitely want to compare the cost of running an HVAC system with gas to that same cost using electricity. You can find out how high electric rates run in your area and decide which option will be more economical.
Next, think about how you will heat water, dry clothes and power your stove. If you prefer one method over another for these tasks, it’s a good idea to stick with that same heating method for your space heating to avoid paying higher rates for two different heating options.
If your HVAC system is older than 10 years old – and definitely if it is over 15 years old – it’s time to start looking into a more energy efficient replacement. You shouldn’t wait until your HVAC system goes out completely to start looking for a new one. You’ll feel rushed and probably won’t be able to give this important decision the research it needs.
It’s most effective to replace your heating and cooling system at the same time. If you have separate systems now, you can easily upgrade to an all-in-one HVAC system. Talk with an expert like the ones at Tex-Perts Cooling & Heating to learn more about specific brands and models.