ENERGY SAVINGS SOLUTIONS
Dual-Fuel Comfort - Heat Pump
Another fuel-efficient option is to combine a gas furnace with an electric heat pump in a dual-fuel system. Whenever the weather becomes too cold for the heat pump to operate efficiently (at about 32˚F), the furnace provides the extra power you need to stay warm. While this home heating solution uses gas to heat your home, it does so only when necessary.
ENERGY STAR® is a U.S. government-sponsored program that guides businesses and homeowners toward purchases that save energy and help the environment. When you choose ENERGY STAR qualified heating and cooling products, you know you’re making a smart decision that can significantly reduce your monthly utility costs.
Heat & Cool Efficiently
As much as half of the energy used in your home goes to heating and cooling. So making smart decisions about your home's heating, ventilating, and air conditioning (HVAC) system can have a big effect on your utility bills — and your comfort. Take these steps to increase the efficiency of your heating and cooling system. For more information, see our Guide to Energy Efficient Heating & Cooling [PDF] (708KB).
Change your air filter regularly
Check your filter every month, especially during heavy use months (winter and summer). If the filter looks dirty after a month, change it. At a minimum, change the filter every 3 months. A dirty filter will slow down air flow and make the system work harder to keep you warm or cool — wasting energy. A clean filter will also prevent dust and dirt from building up in the system — leading to expensive maintenance and/or early system failure.
Tune up your HVAC equipment yearly
Just as a tune-up for your car can improve your gas mileage, a yearly tune-up of your heating and cooling system can improve efficiency and comfort.
Install a programmable thermostat
A programmable thermostat is ideal for people who are away from home during set periods of time throughout the week. Through proper use of pre-programmed settings, a programmable thermostat can save you about $180 every year in energy costs.
Seal your heating and cooling ducts
Ducts that move air to-and-from a forced air furnace, central air conditioner, or heat pump are often big energy wasters. Sealing and insulating ducts can improve the efficiency of your heating and cooling system by as much as 20 percent — and sometimes much more.
Focus first on sealing ducts that run through the attic, crawlspace, unheated basement, or garage. Use duct sealant (mastic) or metal-backed (foil) tape to seal the seams and connections of ducts. After sealing the ducts in those spaces, wrap them in insulation to keep them from getting hot in the summer or cold in the winter. Next, look to seal any other ducts that you can access in the heated or cooled part of the house.
Consider installing ENERGY STAR qualified heating and cooling equipment
If your HVAC equipment is more than 10 years old or not keeping your house comfortable, have it evaluated by a professional HVAC contractor. If it is not performing efficiently or needs upgrading, consider replacing it with a unit that has earned the ENERGY STAR. Depending on where you live, replacing your old heating and cooling equipment with ENERGY STAR qualified equipment can cut your annual energy bill by nearly $200. But before you invest in a new HVAC system, make sure that you have addressed the big air leaks in your house and the duct system. Sometimes, these are the real sources of problems rather than your HVAC equipment.
Ask about Proper Installation of your new equipment
Replacing your old heating and cooling equipment with new, energy-efficient models is a great start. But to make sure that you get the best performance, the new equipment must be properly installed. In fact, improper installation can reduce system efficiency by up to 30 percent — costing you more on your utility bills and possibly shortening the equipment's life.
Our calculator will help you determine the efficiency of your current cooling or heating system as compared to a newer, more efficient system. You may need to refer to the instruction manual that came with your system to identify tonnage, SEER , AFUE and MBTUH output. Your local contractor may also be able to help you locate this information.
Click on the link below to calculate your energy savings
Repair or Replace?
Newer units, especially those with ENERGY STAR® labels, operate more efficiently, reduce your energy bill, increase your comfort and even help protect our environment. You may not realize the amount of money you waste with a unit that is less efficient by today’s standards, even if your heating or cooling system is properly maintained.
A service check may actually detect a problem before you notice it, and catching it in time may extend your unit’s life. Although it’s important to keep in mind that a temporary repair may end up costing you more in the long run. Ask yourself the following questions:
How old is the equipment?
Has it been serviced on a regular basis?
Is it energy efficient?
Does it use today’s new efficiencies or was it efficient ten or twenty years ago?
You should also be aware that there are standard efficiency ratings that make it easy to compare the performance of different systems:
Air conditioners use SEER (Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio).
Furnaces use AFUE (Annual Fuel Utilization Efficiency).
Heat pump units are also rated by SEER for cooling efficiency and HSPF or Heating Seasonal Performance Factor for heating.
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