HEATING & COOLING
The largest energy consuming appliances in any home are the space conditioning devices. Heating and cooling interior spaces can be done with a variety of fuels and equipment. Heating is typically done with natural gas, heating oil, electricity, or bio-fuels. Heat producing devices include furnaces, boilers, air-source heat pumps, ground-source heat pumps, electric resistance devices, etc. Heat delivery systems include forced air, hydronic, convective, and radiant. Air conditioning is generally done with electricity.
Studies and testing have revealed that most heating systems are very inefficient. This is due to improper design, poor installation, and poor calibration and pressure/temperature balancing. Although a forced air furnace may have a nameplate efficiency rating of 92-95%, and a ground-source heat pump (geothermal) may have a nameplate efficiency of 300-350%, those ratings are only accurate for the furnace units as they leave the factory. Unfortunately, the installation of the ductwork system and controls can reduce the actual installed efficiency by as much as 30%. Very significant energy and cost savings can be realized by making sure that your heating and cooling systems are properly tested and adjusted to maximize their delivered energy efficiency.
In both new and retrofit construction projects, it is important to have the heating and cooling systems inspected and adjusted/repaired by a reputable energy analysis firm. Few HVAC contractors offer this service.
What Makes Heating and Cooling Green?
Utilization of Natural Energy Sources
5 Considerations for Consumers: