These days, many of us are doing everything we can to reduce our carbon footprint. Turning off lights when we leave the room? Check. Using canvas tote bags instead of paper or plastic at the grocery? Check. Taking public transportation whenever you can? Check! But did you know that by using less energy in your heating, ventilation and air conditioning you can multiply the effects of everything else you do? If that sounds like a daunting task – after all, we depend a lot on our HVAC – don’t worry, it’s not. Here are eight energy efficient HVAC solutions. And the best part is that using less energy isn’t just good for the planet, it’s good for your wallet, too!
- If you’re thinking about upgrading your heating system, look into a solar option. Your bills will drop almost to zero once it’s installed – it should pay for itself within five years. You can rely on it for up to 80% of your heating needs, including water heating and pools.
- Get a local company to send a certified technician to test the quality and composition of the air in your home. Many will do it at no cost to you. The technician will probably recommend some steps and adjustments you can make to improve your air quality.
- 3. If you’re building a home from the ground up, consider radiant floor heating which uses tubing in the floors to circulate hot water and heat the home. This can be a relatively expensive option and is recommended for new homes over those already built – it would require tearing up all the floors. But many homeowners love it, whether they use it in the whole house or just one room.
- If you’re looking to make a gradual change, try a hybrid heat pump. It blends energy efficient technology with traditional heat pumps, bringing the best of both options. They work like hybrid cars – they only use conventional sources of energy, like your gas furnace, when it’s necessary.
- 5. Another easy way to become more energy efficient, that doesn’t require any major systemic changes, is to have an expert come over to check your house’s insulation. Small cracks around windows can be caulked to make huge efficiency differences in your home’s HVAC needs.
- Ground source pumps are extremely energy efficient and environmentally friendly. Making them even better – they are also inexpensive. By using the ground’s relatively regular temperature to heat your home in the summer and cool it in the winter, this pump makes a tremendous use of a resource you’re already sitting on. They can decrease your home’s heating bills by up to 70%!
- Setting up a timer is a basic way to save energy. You can use them on the lights, the air conditioner, and the heat. In the winter, for example, make sure the heat gets lowered – we sleep better in cooler temperatures anyway! Schedule lights to turn off just incase you forget to turn them off yourself.
- Cover more of your floors with rugs and carpeting. As you probably can tell, tiles don’t hold heat – and so they don’t keep your room as naturally warm as a rug or carpeting. It’s also a good excuse to do some redecorating!
About the Author: Jim Klossner has been writing about environmental concerns for Cahill’s North Shore HVAC Services for several years. When he’s not writing, Jim enjoys camping and fishing with his two sons.