It is a known fact that HVAC units are the biggest energy hogs. A report from the Rocky Mountain Institute quotes, “Air conditioning accounts for nearly 50% of the energy use in the United States during peak summer months, and air conditioning is responsible for nearly 100 million tons of carbon dioxide emissions every year.”
The rising cost of energy, the residential and corporate boom has increased the energy requirements; it has also led to an increased awareness towards energy consumption and environmental issues. The government and environmentalists are pushing towards “green HVAC” systems. Building owners and contractors are being offered attractive incentive programs to build and maintain the construction and eco-friendly measures and substances.
If you are an existing owner or a tenant with an already installed and working HVAC system, you too contribute towards the going green revolution. You can adopt simple ways to reduce your energy consumption and your share of the carbon footprint.
Here are some ways you could make your existing HVAC system eco-friendly or ‘green’
- Keep the air filters clean and replace them every three months.
- Check out the duct work. Poor ducting can cause around 20% loss in the system efficiency.
- Install a programmable thermostat. Pre-programmed temperature settings for different times of the day can ensure zero energy wastage as energy will not be spent on cooling or heating an empty building. Reports say that adding a programmable thermostat help you save $180 in annual energy savings.
- If you are going for a new air conditioner, select an ENERGY STAR-certified HVAC system. These are based on efficient technology in comparison with traditional systems. They can help you save as much as 50% of your energy costs and are environmentally friendly too. There are attractive tax credit offers also available for such type of upgrades.
- In summer, consider investing in insulated, thermal-backed drapes. Install these drapes on your windows. They will help in keeping the indoors cooler in summer and warmer in winter.
- Consider installing an attic ventilator. Such a ventilator draws cool air upwards throughout the house. This type of air distribution can provide the same level of comfort as an air conditioner. The energy consumed is much lower than an air conditioner. Attic ventilation can also help reduce your winter heating bills too.
- Set the temperature on your thermostat at 77 degrees Fahrenheit on your air conditioner. For each degree set below 75 degrees, you use three to five percent more energy. For most comfort, set your thermostat to 77 degrees.
- Ceiling fans consume lesser electricity than furnaces or air conditioners. You can keep the temperature settings at 77 degrees and use the ceiling fan for air circulation. This will result in at least 30% savings in energy costs.
- Consider upgrading your roof to a reflective one. A reflective roof prevents the heat from the sun’s rays from transferring inside the home or building. It can reduce the roof surface temperature by up to 60 degrees Fahrenheit.
- Ensure that your heating vents are not blocked by the furniture or the drapes in the room. Make sure that the dampers are open. Make a habit of vacuuming out dust and pet hair from the warm air registers and cold air returns. This will make the HVAC systems run more efficiently.