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Environmental awareness is a common topic these days. Most people want to live in comfortable homes, but it may seem like modern conveniences simply can not exist without harming the environment. Fortunately, this is not true. There are many ways to keep your home safe and comfortable and limit environmental damage.
Heating and air conditioning repair offers an opportunity to adjust your home’s heating and cooling systems to lessen environmental impact. Heating and air conditioning repair technicians now have access to energy analysis software to evaluate various systems.
This software lets professionals analyze energy efficiency and cost savings of available heating and cooling methods. Educated guesses are certainly better than amateurs choosing at random, but now software programs can analyze the variables for specific homes and test different systems virtually to find the most efficient solutions.
Importance of HVAC Professionals and Updated Equipment
HVAC systems account for the majority of energy used in residential buildings across the United States each year. The high rate of energy use results in high levels of carbon emissions because most energy in the US comes from fossil fuels. Heating and air conditioning repair professionals have significant opportunities to influence energy conservation.
Many factors are involved in environmentally conscious HVAC alterations. These factors include materials, window type and placement, and home size and design. Heating and air conditioning repair specialists consider all of these factors when they plan alterations to improve heating, cooling, and ventilation efficiency.
HVAC units should be replaced if they are over 10 years old. The Environmental Protection Agency, or EPA, grants an ENERGY STAR label for equipment and appliances that meet certain energy efficiency standards. Skilled heating and air conditioning repair technicians are essential for converting homes to sustainable systems.
Improper installation of HVAC equipment reduces energy efficiency by as much as 30%. Most homeowners are better off hiring professionals to install and maintain new equipment. Yearly maintenance includes equipment tune-ups and sealing or insulating heating and cooling ducts.
Ask your local heating and air conditioning repair specialists about recycling old HVAC equipment instead of sending it to a landfill. Many refrigerants have to be disposed of properly according to national and local codes or ordinances.
Water used in standard central air conditioning units can frequently be recycled. The condensed water dripping from central A-coils is easily captured. It can be stored and used to water lawns or wash vehicles. Recycling this water can make a big difference. One central air conditioner can produce up to 20 gallons of condensed water per day. Consult heating and air conditioning repair technicians to help you optimize AC units and set up water reclamation systems.
Energy Efficient Heating Methods
Gas furnaces present an excellent opportunity to increase your home’s energy efficiency. Furnaces with variable speed blower motors are approximately 4.5 times quieter than standard models and use less energy. Low emission furnaces also produce 65% less nitrogen oxide emissions than standard furnaces.
Your local heating and air conditioning repair professionals can help you choose a new furnace and install it correctly. It is very important that furnaces are installed properly with sufficient ventilation so potentially hazardous emissions do not build up in the home.
Use natural energy to warm your home as much as possible. Keep curtains open to allow sunshine into rooms. The natural energy increases temperatures inside your home without turning up the thermostat. Weather stripping around windows and doors prevents energy loss through drafts.
Seal gaps and cracks on your home’s interior and exterior walls with caulk or putty. Heating and air conditioning repair professionals can perform these tasks for you. The long-term benefits are well worth the one-time investment of hiring professionals.
Wood stoves tend to increase the amount of dirt and dust in homes. They are also relatively inefficient compared to most modern heating methods. Pellet stoves are an alternative to wood stoves and use renewable fuels such as switchgrass or sawdust.
A single pellet stove is capable of heating 1,500 square feet of space. Large homes in Fort Worth, TX probably need two pellet stoves to maintain comfortable temperatures in winter months. Fuels for pellet stoves are usually less expensive than wood and take up less storage space. Ask local heating and air conditioning repair experts if pellet stoves are available in your area.
Fort Worth, TX is an ideal location for active solar heating systems. These systems use the sun’s energy to heat homes. A non-toxic fluid such as glycol or water absorbs solar energy and transfers it to a storage chamber. The energy in the storage chamber heats the home through radiant floor systems, central forced-air, hot water baseboards, or radiators.
Geothermal systems cool homes in summer and heat them during winter using ground temperatures. The average underground temperature in most areas is approximately 55 degrees Fahrenheit. A geothermal system contains underground pipes filled with circulating liquid. A heat pump is necessary to keep liquid flowing, but this system uses a very small amount of electricity. Geothermal systems are not possible in every location, so it is a good idea to consult heating and air conditioning repair businesses before putting too much thought into geothermal methods.
Radiant heating has been steadily gaining popularity. It is one of the most environmentally friendly heating systems available. Radiant heat works by circulating heated water through pex tubing in a home’s floor. The floor is directly heated and radiates that heat throughout the enclosed space in each room. This system works well because heat always rises.
Hybrid heat pumps are a combination of traditional heating pumps and modern gas furnaces. It creates an energy efficient system with the benefits of two types of heating. Hybrid pumps switch between gas and electric as needed to optimize performance with the least amount of energy.
A humidifier during winter months keeps moisture in the air and makes air feel warmer. The feeling of warmth lessens the urge to turn up the thermostat, so your household uses less energy overall.
Install programmable thermostats in your Fort Worth, TX home to adjust settings automatically at specific times. The automatic process means there is no chance of forgetting or accidentally choosing incorrect temperatures. Programmable thermostats improve energy efficiency in hot and cold weather. Heating and air conditioning repair technicians install programmable thermostats and may even help you with basic settings.
Modern HVAC systems frequently include smart thermostats to set different temperatures for specific areas in your home. The ability to control temperatures in such a precise fashion lets you save on energy bills. Adjust temperatures by 10 degrees warmer or cooler, depending on the season, during times when the home is unoccupied. This adjustment while household members are in school or at work can add up to significant energy savings.
Quiet Duct Wrap
Duct tape is not a new invention, but Quiet Duct Wrap is specifically designed as an environmentally friendly HVAC technique. It provides thermal and acoustic insulation and the product is made from recycled denim fabric. It does not contain fiberglass or other irritants so there is very little risk of skin irritation. An aluminum barrier provides protection from moisture, vapor, and air currents, and the shiny surface reflects heat. Contact heating and air conditioning repair professionals to learn more about Quiet Duct Wrap and consider using it in your home.
Improving Cooling and Air Conditioning
A few simple maintenance tasks keep air conditioners functioning efficiently and save energy. Keep air filters clean and change them regularly. AC units have to work harder when air filters are clogged with dust and dirt.
Approximately 6 percent of an average home’s energy use goes to cooking. This seemingly small amount adds up over years of hot summers. Use ceiling fans set to rotate counterclockwise in occupied rooms. It creates a windchill effect to cool skin. Only use fans in occupied rooms. There is no long-term cooling benefit from fans, so leaving them on in empty rooms just wastes energy.
Try turning your thermostat up, even if you think it is set at a perfect temperature. People are often surprised by temperatures that seem too high but actually feel very comfortable in summer months.
Make sure the air conditioning units in your home are an appropriate size for the space they are meant to cool. Overly large AC units are one of the most common causes of wasted energy in US homes.
Many people are surprised to learn that oversized air conditioners can not remove moisture from the air efficiently. This is a problem because humidity makes the air feel warmer than it really is, which leads to turning the thermostat down and using more energy. Heating and air conditioning repair professionals can evaluate your home and interior space of each room to figure out the optimal size for AC units.
Hybrid solar air conditioners utilize solar power and batteries. These units conserve energy by using solar power when it is available. Excess solar energy is stored in appliance batteries. The air conditioners switch to battery power after sunset. Ask local heating and air conditioning repair professionals if solar air conditioners are available in your area.
Ice-powered air conditioners are a relatively new design. They function by freezing large quantities of water in tanks overnight so the ice is available for the following day. Units provide up to 6 hours of cooling from each batch of ice. Regular AC units take over when the ice melts. Thermally-driven air conditioning systems are a very recent innovation developed in Australia. These units eliminate electricity completely by using energy from solar panels.
Consult heating and air conditioner repair technicians to purchase and install new air conditioners. Make sure the replacement units use environmentally friendly refrigerants. Ceiling fans maximize the effect of air conditioners so you can run AC units less often.
Regular maintenance helps your home’s heating and cooling systems run at maximum energy efficiency. Schedule regular heating and air conditioning repair services to keep your systems in optimal condition. Some small changes in your home can make a big difference.
HVAC Zoning and Mini-Split Systems
HVAC zoning systems are prompting significant changes in the industry. Zoning means the home is divided into two or more cooling and heating zones. The zones are controlled separately. Heating and air conditioner repair technicians can alter traditional HVAC systems into zones, but ductless mini splits are available for homes without a central HVAC system.
Mini-split systems are a scalable alternative to central air and work well for homes without roof or attic space. They are also a good option for older homes that lack ductwork and appropriate electrical infrastructure to install central HVAC systems. Mini-split systems should be avoided for homes with open concept floor plans.
Homes and other residential buildings can be split into as many zones as necessary. Consult heating and air conditioning repair experts to decide how many zones are right for your home and determine the most efficient installation method.
The Wi-Fi controls in zones lets inhabitants customize settings for personal comfort, and settings can be changed from a smartphone. Zones are especially useful for rooms that tend to be warmer or cooler than the home in general. Homeowners have the option of turning off certain zones completely when the rooms are not used.
Energy efficiency is extremely important, but water conservation must be considered too. HVAC units in houses and apartments or lofts use significant amounts of water. Some studies estimate that heating and air conditioning use almost 25% of a building’s total water consumption. Mini-split systems use approximately 1 gallon of water per hour. An optional pump can be installed to reuse the water for landscaping purposes.
Call the heating and air conditioning repair professionals at One Hour Air Conditioning & Heating in Fort Worth, TX to discuss your home’s heating and cooling systems. Trained technicians can help you determine the best strategies for making your home more environmentally friendly while maintaining a comfortable environment for you and your family.