There are many factors to consider when making your home or business more friendly to the environment. Windows, ducts, and insulation all contribute to the efficiency of your heating and cooling units. When you call General Air, we can help you identify areas of loss and design a heating and cooling system to meet your needs in the most efficient and cost-effective way. We recommend only products that meet or exceed government recommendations. What does it really mean to “go green” in the heating and cooling industry?
According to the Department of Energy, Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy, heating and cooling your home uses more energy and drains more energy dollars than any other home-based system. Typically, 56% of your utility bill can be contributed to heating and cooling. What’s more, heating and cooling systems in the United States together emit 150 million tons of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere each year, adding to global climate change. They also generate about 12% of the nation’s sulfur dioxide and 4% of the nitrogen oxides, the chief ingredients in acid rain.
There are many ways to achieve a more environmentally-friendly home. Our approach to designing a heating and cooling system focuses on energy efficiency and increased occupant health. Ultimately, our goal is to help reduce your carbon footprint. One of the biggest ways to make a difference in reducing your energy consumption is through your heating and cooling equipment. Installing a high efficiency heating and cooling system can reduce the total annual energy consumption in your home by as much as 30%.
One of the primary areas that greatly impacts energy efficiency is the ductwork in your home. According to the Department of Energy, the average air leakage for a home’s duct system is 20%. We have been testing many duct systems and we have been seeing leakage averaging 40-50%. The average leakage for a duct system that we install in a “Green Home” is less than 3%. All of our ductwork systems for new construction Green Homes are certified by a third party energy rating company.
As environmental concerns have become more paramount to public concern, we are seeing a new system being implemented in the way we use air conditioning. The existing system which many people refer to as “freon” is actually what is termed “R-22.” The R-22 refrigerant is being replaced by the R410a refrigerant, which is a much more environmentally-friendly and energy-efficient system. This overhaul will completely replace the R-22 with the R410a because they work on two opposite pressure systems.
The copper lines that the R-22 uses will need to be changed out or flushed because it uses mineral oils that break down into damaging carbons that are speculated to be large contributor to climate change. R-410a will use synthetic oil that will be able to sustain at much higher temperatures than that of the old system. So if you have an older system which uses R-22 coolant, now is the time to upgrade.
If energy bills and wasteful consumption are weighing heavily on your mind, contact General Air. We are experts in saving you money and maximizing your home’s energy efficiency.
Energy Saving Tips
No matter what kind of heating, ventilation, and air-conditioning system you have in your house, you can save money and increase your comfort by properly maintaining and upgrading your equipment. But remember, an energy-efficient furnace alone will not have as great an impact on your energy bills as using the whole-house approach. By combining proper equipment maintenance and upgrades with appropriate insulation, air sealing, and thermostat settings, you can cut your energy use for heating and cooling and reduce environmental emissions from 20% to 50%.
Heating and Cooling Tips from The Department of Energy, Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy:
[list icon=”moon-checkbox” color=”#ee1f24″]Set your thermostat as low as is comfortable in the winter and as high as is comfortable in the summer.[/list]
[list icon=”moon-checkbox” color=”#ee1f24″]Clean or replace filters on furnaces once a month or as needed.[/list]
[list icon=”moon-checkbox” color=”#ee1f24″]Clean warm-air registers, baseboard heaters, and radiators as needed; make sure they’re not blocked by furniture, carpeting, or drapes.[/list]
[list icon=”moon-checkbox” color=”#ee1f24″]Bleed trapped air from hot-water radiators once or twice a season; if in doubt about how to perform this task, call a professional.[/list]
[list icon=”moon-checkbox” color=”#ee1f24″]Place heat-resistant radiator reflectors between exterior walls and the radiators.[/list]
[list icon=”moon-checkbox” color=”#ee1f24″]Turn off kitchen, bath, and other exhaust fans within 20 minutes after you are done cooking or bathing; when replacing exhaust fans, consider installing high-efficiency, low-noise models.[/list]
[list icon=”moon-checkbox” color=”#ee1f24″]During the heating season, keep the draperies and shades on your south-facing windows open during the day to allow the sunlight to enter your home and closed at night to reduce the chill you may feel from cold windows.[/list]
[list icon=”moon-checkbox” color=”#ee1f24″]During the cooling season, keep the window coverings closed during the day to prevent solar gain.[/list]
[list icon=”moon-checkbox” color=”#ee1f24″]For long-term savings, select energy-efficient products when you buy new heating and cooling equipment.[/list]