HVAC System Features That Are Essential to Efficiency

Homeowners will hear a lot about HVAC efficiency when dealing with the repair, maintenance, tune-ups, purchase, installation, and replacement of heating and air conditioning systems; but when it comes down to it, what truly constitutes efficiency, and what features are key to an HVAC system’s performance and efficiency? Today we will be looking deeper into HVAC system efficiency, and explaining all of the modern features that work towards higher energy, heating, and cooling efficiency.

HVAC Ductwork Efficiency

Many homeowners do not realize how much the ductwork of your HVAC system plays a role in both high efficiency and a lacking of efficiency. While many of the modern, technical advances in heating and cooling systems that have led to higher efficiency are in-fat housed within the mechanics of the unit itself, many homeowners forget that the most common place in a home or business where energy efficiency and heating and cooling efficiency is lost is within the ductwork.

Think about it – the treated air (warmed or cooled) makes a journey from the central unit to the various rooms and zones in a home. While it is inevitable that the air will lose a few degrees in either direction during this journey, some less insulated ductwork systems or incorrectly sized ducts can a detrimental amount of heated or cooled air, leading to a drastic reduction in efficiency.

Return-Air Efficiency

Another HVAC system feature that many forget about or never even consider when it comes to efficiency is the Return Air feature. A home is more or less hermetically sealed (airtight) space, this means that if you pump air into the space, there must be an equal amount of air leaving that same space, in order to keep the air pressure even and the HVAC system running efficiently. If more air is being pumped into the space than is leaving, you run the risk of breaking seals around ducts, windows, doors and even in the HVAC system itself. Conversely, if more air is leaving into the return-air than is being pumped into the space you will get a slight suctioning effect that drops HVAC efficiency and can be hard on system components.

As you can see, these two components of heating and air conditioning systems may often be forgotten or taken for granted, but they play a strong and integral part in assuring that ALL of your systems components work together in a cohesive strategy for maximum comfort and maximum efficiency.

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A few Options for HVAC System Types

When it comes to HVAC heating and air conditioning systems, there are many options available for homeowners – from small window units to packages products that hold all components within a single boxed unit. In order to help homeowners understand the different types of HVAC units available, we have put together this quick and simple guide to the types of heating and cooling systems.

Heat Pumps

Heat pumps are a type of HVAC system that can both heat and cool a home. Taking its energy straight from the electrical grid of the home, heat pumps are usually much more efficient than gas and oil-burning furnaces and boilers – with the downside being that they do not heat a home as quickly as furnaces and boilers, and may not adequately heat homes in extremely low temperatures.

Oil Furnaces and Gas Furnaces

Combustion furnaces put out a lot of heat by burning fuel. The most common fuel types are either heating oil or propane gas. Modern furnaces are not only powerhouses that can efficiently heat homes in even the most extreme climates, but are equipped with re-burners and advanced technology that reduce emissions increase energy-efficiency, and are built for longevity (up to 30 year lifespan).

Zoned HVAC Systems

With the ability to both heat and cool indoor spaces, zoned systems increase the efficiency of the system by utilizing hair handlers strategically placed in groups of rooms (zones). These air handlers are run off a main compressor and are supplied with refrigerant via pipes. The lack of ducts uses in these systems increases efficiency by minimizing waste and loss of heat/cold in ductwork.

Packaged Heating and Air Conditioning Systems

Packaged heating and air conditioning systems are one of the most common types of systems available. These are units that have all of the components for the system in one single unit. These are sometimes called wall units or window units, and all parts to a traditional HVAC and circulation system are contained in the single package – including evaporator/fan coils, heat pump and controls.

These are just a few examples of the types of HVAC systems on the market today and these examples really give a good cross-section as to why there ARE so many types of systems… each are meant to handle specific needs and specific criteria for a homeowner. For help in choosing the correct type and size of HVAC system for your specific needs, give us a call and we will give you all of the options that will work for you.

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