Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Going Green with HVAC

Usually when we start talking about going green we think in terms of buying a hybrid car, using recycled paper products, recycling, and the like. Literally there are numerous things we can do to be a little kinder to our planet. After all, we have no other place to live. @comfortguyjerry would like to explain the role of a new heating and cooling system, and how it can impact your life in terms of comfort, but also in terms of taking care of our environment. For instance, you might consider installing a Heat Pump instead of an air conditioner before summer. Their are several advantages to heat pumps, and they work well in most parts of the U.S.A. What is the difference between a air conditioner and a heat pump? First, a heat pump will heat your home, AND cool your home. Second, it will usually heat your home at a lower cost than gas, propane, or electric resistance heat like baseboard or ceiling heat. How can that be? Well, a heat pump uses either ambient air, water, or the ground to move heat and cold to and from the home. It requires less energy to MOVE air then it does to PRODUCE air. Furnaces manufacture or produce warm air from the get go. Heat Pumps, essentially pump or move cold air out of your home and replace it with warm air, using less energy. Now in most cases you will still need a back up heat source in the form of a furnace or air handler. Here is why. First you have to have a blower to deliver the air to the home, and your air to air heat pump will begin to lose efficiency at about 30 degrees above zero. So the thermostat is set so when the outside temperature drops below 30 degrees above zero, it will automatically switch over to your back up heat source, ie, gas, propane, or electric furnace. When you are using a gas furnace and a electric heat pump this is called a hybrid system. Its kind of like a car that runs on electricity and gas. So your heat pump will heat your home 90% of the time and the more expensive back up heat source will only run 10% of the time, therefore saving you money. What does that mean as far as going green? Well, your gas or propane furnace is putting less noxious gases in the atmosphere like carbon monoxide, etc.
     Of course in the summer when you're wanting cooling, the heat pump works just like an air conditioner, and as far as efficiency is concerned they are both rated at anywhere from 13 - 20 on the efficiency scale called a SEER rating. The higher the number, the more miles to the gallon, as it were. So if you want to save on electricity use as well, then you are smart to select the highest SEER rated heat pump you can afford. For more information on heat pumps visit our website at