Tips to Make Your HVAC Unit More Energy Efficient
HVAC systems contribute a major chunk to your energy consumption and monthly utility bills. Based on that, it is a wise idea to make your unit more energy efficient and get the most out of it, but while reducing costs.
Apart from installing energy efficient systems, in the first place; there are many ideas that can help keep your house hot or cool without overusing your heat pump or air conditioner. These will help conserve energy, maintain a comfortable indoor environment, and put less pressure on your Northern California system, reducing wear and tear of parts. So, you will also save on repairs and costly replacements.
Here are a few frequently used terms related to HVAC energy efficiency. Understanding these can help you choose the right system and comprehend the performance of your HVAC unit.
- Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio (SEER)
The ratio of cooling output divided by electricity usage is known as the Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio. The cooling output is calculated in BTU (British Thermal Units) while the electricity usage is measured in kilowatt hours. Higher the number, higher is the SEER of your system. The SEER is calculated based on real seasonal cooling conditions.
- EER- ENERGY EFFICIENCY RATIO
This ratio is similar to the SEER but instead of calculating real seasonal conditions, it is measured under strict laboratory conditions. Higher EER indicates better energy efficiency.
- Heating Seasonal Performance Factor (HSPF)
While the EER and SEER indicate the efficiency of air conditioners, the HSPF is an efficiency ratio for heat pumps. Heat pumps can be used to cool or heat, alternatively, depending on the season. The HSPF calculates the total heating needed in BTU, over the total electricity consumed by the pump in kilowatt hours.
Tips to help increase HVAC energy efficiency of your system
- Undertake retrofitting
Adding or replacing parts increases overall energy efficiency and puts off total upgrades. Retrofitting includes replacing the compressor, adding demand-controlled ventilation, adding condenser fan controls, replacing the compressor or adding side air economizers.
- Install a programmable thermostat
Indoor temperature must be tweaked according to the temperature outside. As seasons change, forgetting to change temperature settings in your home leads to a lot of energy wastage. Indoor temperature can be regulated in different rooms and at different times using a programmable thermostat.
- Insulate your home
Walls, doors and windows that have cracks and gaps in or around them, let expensive conditioned air escape from your house. Insulate your house properly to avoid wasting the air heated or cooled by your system.
- Ensure smooth airflow
Ensure smooth airflow so that pressure on the HVAC system can be avoided. Keep all units clear of dust and debris. Do not block air vents with furniture or drapes. Change air filters periodically.
- Invest in regular maintenance
Regular maintenance improves energy efficiency. It also helps save money spent on expensive repairs as any minor problems are detected in time.
- Switch to VRF systems
Variable Refrigerant Flow systems allow the compressor to run at different speeds and only when required.