Keeping your home energy efficient used to be as simple as good insulation practices, remembering to turn off the lights when you left the room and closing your front door right away so that you're not heating the whole neighborhood. Sadly, those less complicated days are in the past and there are a whole host of things to consider these days when trying to keep up with the latest trends and guidelines in energy efficiency. On the upside however, there are wonderful state of the art energy efficient products out there that, though initially higher in cost, can save you money in the long run as well as helping you do your part to improve the environment. Let’s look at what has changed.
In 1992 regulations were put in place by the Department of Energy (DOE) for HVAC equipment with minimum efficiency level requirements. These nationwide regulations make sure that homeowners use the most up to date, energy efficient products.
The following are the three criteria used to measure HVAC systems broken down by type.
Seasonal energy efficiency ratio (SEER) This applies to air conditioners and the higher the rating, the more efficient your air conditioner is.
Heating Seasonal Performance Factor (HSPF) This factor measures how much energy your heat pump uses to heat your home.
Annualized Fuel Utilization Efficiency (AFUE) A furnace is rated by how much heat is produced per dollar of fuel that is used.
Different regions throughout the US have different standards. These national guidelines, however, shift and change from time to time and can be difficult to keep up with for the HVAC community as well as the consumer. For example, as of January 1st, 2023, SEER ratings for AC units will increase from 13 to 14 in northern states. In southern states and the southwest region that increase will be from 14 to 15.
Innovations like programmable controls and thermostats can help you make the most of your energy efficient HVAC unit by monitoring and controlling the performance of heating, ventilation, and air conditioning systems. These components also make it possible to automate temperatures so that they can change depending on the time of day. Something as simple as lowering the temperature during the day when nobody is home can dramatically reduce your energy bill.
These technological advances though, truly marvelous, are no substitute for common sense. At the end of the day it is up to the homeowner to do the simple yet effective things like taking advantage of fans, making use of curtains and blinds, changing air filters regularly, paying attention to when you use the oven and dryer and very importantly, get regular maintenance. Brilliant innovations coupled with basic common sense will go a long way in keeping HVAC energy costs down.
Call Auburn Heating, Plumbing & Air Conditioning - 440-543-1777 or toll free - 1-888-543-HEAT (4328) for the latest HVAC Energy Efficient Technology.