Heating and Cooling Features: Tips for First Time Homebuyers

Buying a home for the first time? If so, you know the numerous decision making challenges you are facing. Buying a home is not something you do every day. You want to buy a home that meets all your expectations and reflects the true value of your investment. The HVAC system is one vital component that merits your attention. You don’t want to make a down payment for a house without this vital facility. But what are you going to consider as far as this system is concerned? Look for these heating and cooling features before you buy.

Heating and Cooling Features for First Time Homebuyers

Here are just a few things that you can check for when looking at HVAC systems in potential homes:

Type of HVAC System

Broadly speaking, these systems come in two categories: room air conditioners and central air conditioners. The first are room-specific while the later are meant for the entire house. Central air conditioners are more efficient than room conditioners. This implies that it makes more economic sense to buy a house fitted with a central air conditioner. This type of system will lower your energy costs by using less energy than room air conditioners.

Design and Type of Ductwork

Ensure the ducts are sized and properly balanced for comfortable and even air conditioning. It is better if the ducts are round and externally insulated; these are the most efficient. Say no to long runs of flexible duct as these will waste a lot of energy.

The Refrigerant

Check the type of refrigerant that the system uses. Some refrigerants are not environment-friendly. Avoid such systems and if possible ask for a replacement.

Adjustment of Heating and Cooling Temperatures

The system should have well calibrated and effective temperature controls. These controls should give you a reasonable range to manipulate the preferred temperatures in the house. A programmable thermostat comes in handy here. It will give you flexibility to program your system to deliver preferred temperatures without you having to keep making adjustment at different times of the day. For more convenience and remote operations you can check if the HVAC comes with a smart thermostat. This will enable you to control and adjust temperature settings from the comfort of your smartphone. For the thermostat to function correctly it should be located away from heat sources such as supply registers and windows.

Air Filter Location

These filters should be situated where it is easy for you to access them. This will make it easy and convenient for you to replace these filters about every three or so months.

Return-Air

Bear in mind that for conditioned air to enter the room, a similar amount of air must leave the room to create space for the conditioned get into. Ideally each room should have a return-air diffuser and an entering air diffuser.

Location and Installation of the Air Conditioner

Make sure the HVAC system is installed and located correctly. This way, it will serve you efficiently for many years without it raising any major issues.

Noise

The system’s condensing unit should be conveniently located where its noise will not irritate you or your neighbors.

As you contemplate on buying your first house, seek the inputs of heating and cooling experts. For more information on the heating and cooling features to consider as first time homebuyer, contact us for a consultation. We are always happy to serve our clients promptly & affordably.

 

How States Are Helping To Increase Energy Efficiency

In order to reap the multiple benefits offered by increased energy efficiency, Governors are actively looking for ways of advancing this cause. According to the United States Department of Energy Research, the country has made great strides in energy efficiency. According to the National Governors Association paper, published in September 2013, the country saw a 10% reduction in energy used in relation to the economic output between 1985 and the year 2004.

States have played, and are still playing, an important role in the drive towards increased efficiency in the energy sector. In 2012, they agreed upon 75 policy actions meant to increase energy efficiency, as described in the paper titled, An Energy Efficiency Primer for Governors.

Governors are pursuing measures to advance energy efficiency in order to cut the states’ expenditure on energy by lowering demand, help consumers lower their energy costs, protect the environment by minimizing emissions, improve the energy system reliability and suspend investment in new power plants.

Governor Neil Abercrombie, from the state of Hawaii, stated that greater energy saving opportunities exists, and that states are looking for ways of increasing efficiency in order to benefit private citizens as well as businesses.

Working with energy regulators, legislators and other interested parties, Governors have taken different actions to advance energy efficiency. Some of these actions include:

  1. Carrying out energy planning and analysis activities in order to have a better understanding of the states’ energy demands and the issues that affect demand, in order to come up with potential energy saving options and adopt best practices.
  2. Improving energy efficiency rules and standards such as building benchmarking, appliance standards and more.
  3. Offering different types of incentives in order to promote higher utility investments geared towards energy efficiency.
  4. Encouraging the private sector to invest in energy efficiency by coming up with innovative and investment friendly financing and repayment programs such as property assessed clean energy programs, on-bill payment, clean energy bonds and many more.
  5. Educating individuals and businesses, through information technology, about the different energy saving techniques.
  6. Collaborating with the private sector and universities in energy saving research and development in order to encourage and lay the groundwork for the next generation of energy saving programs.

Apart from the cost savings made by the states, energy saving initiatives present massive job creation opportunities, through investments in different energy saving services and products. Businesses also enjoy lower energy costs, with the savings transferred to other productive uses.

Despite the many benefits associated with energy efficiency, progress is significantly slowed down due to several challenges. Key among these challenges is the high initial cost of most energy efficiency initiatives. Poor awareness among policy makers and consumers about the benefits has also been a major limitation.

http://www.nga.org offers an in depth analysts of these actions as well as more National Governors Association efforts.

The Department Of Energy Invested 11 Million Dollars For A Cleaner Future And Energy Saving Technologies

An investment of approximately 11 million dollars from the Energy Department with an additional 1 million dollars from private funding will pay for 12 projects that will work to improve heating and cooling technologies. The main goal for this $11 million Energy Department investment is to develop innovative heating cooling and insulation technologies.

David Danielson the Assistant Secretary of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy stated; “”Energy efficient technologies — from improved heating and cooling systems to better windows and lighting — provide one of the clearest and most cost-effective opportunities to save consumers money while curbing greenhouse gas pollution, user-friendly tools that quickly and cheaply analyze energy use will also help businesses and homeowners make better use of those technologies to save energy and lower their utility bills.” Experts agree that these projects are a step towards a greener, more cost-effective future for the heating and cooling businesses.

Half of the budget will be allocated to nine projects developing energy efficient building technologies. This is due to the projections stating that in the United States emissions of HFC’s from cooling systems are expected to triple in the next two decades, doubling the greenhouse gas emissions.

$750,000 of the budgeted money will go to Sandia National Laboratories and United Technologies Research Center. Their goal is to demonstrate a rotating heat exchanger technology for residential HVAC systems. This new residential heat pump could improve the efficiency of HAVAC systems, and reduce annual energy cost for the people.

$750,000 will go to Thermolift, Oak Ridge National Laboratory, Stony Brook University and National Grid with the goal of commercializing a natural gas heat pump to provide heating, and cooling, as well as hot water to both residential and commercial buildings. What makes this natural gas heat pump stand out is that it will not use HFC refrigerants and will likely triple heating efficiency.

Five Million dollars will go to three projects ran by the University of California, Virginia Tech, and Carnegie Mellon University. Their projects are to create software to help building owners monitor, and adjust lighting and energy use throughout the building. Home and Commercial building owners stand to save on their energy bills by installing these control and monitoring systems.

These newly funded projects are focused on increasing energy savings and lowering the percentage of energy consumption in the United States. Commercial and residential buildings use nearly 40% of the total energy consumed in the U.S. Once these projects are complete the carbon footprint of HVAC and other energy use should be drastically smaller.

Ductless Technology – Understand how this Option Works in the Home

One way to save on your HVAC bills is by having a ductless system in your home. This system allows you to create separate temperature zones in the house so you do not have to heat or cool the whole thing all the time. It is more than having one temperature upstairs and another downstairs, you can have up to five different zones with a ductless system.


Ductless System Parts

Unlike a normal HVAC system where you have a large heating or cooling unit, or one that does both, and then ducts to carry the air from the unit to the different rooms, a ductless system has a heat exchanger that is placed outside your home and then small wall units inside each room. The units are connected with a pair of refrigerant lines. One line supplies electricity for the heat exchanger and the other line removes water or moisture from the system.

Separate Zones

The best thing about a ductless system is that you can create different temperature zones in your home because each wall unit operates independently of the other. If you like to have the living room at a certain temperature, you can do that and still have the kitchen wall unit turned off because of the heat from the oven. If you have a room that does not get much use, you can keep it at a warmer or cooler temperature to save on fuel. It is also great for keeping bedrooms a bit cooler than the rest of the house.

Save on Loss

If you have a ducted system, the odds are you are losing up to 30 percent of your heated or cooled air due to leaks from gaps and cracks in the ductwork. This can add up to quite a bit of money when it comes time to pay the bill. When you have a ductless system, this loss is eliminated, saving you money on your next bill.

Great for Additions

If you are adding a room or two to your home, you can save on putting in the ducting by adding a ductless system to your existing unit. As time goes on, you can replace your system room by room. If you know about how long your current system will be efficient you can plan the replacement to coincide with the time you would be purchasing a new system entirely but you would have been paying for it over time instead of one large amount.

Ductless HVAC is the latest technology and is better for you wallet and the environment. It will make your carbon footprint smaller. With everything that is going on in this world, taking a bit of responsibility for the planet is a good thing. You want to leave the world a better place than what your parents left you. Using less fossil fuel and natural resources is just one way to give back to the earth we all take from so much. Get a ductless system and be proud of your contribution to saving the planet.

For more details call (850) 855-4104 or click here