5 Top Expert Tips To Achieve Energy Efficiency In HVAC
Energy efficiency is a hot topic for homeowners today. Many of your service customers will be concerned with how to reduce high energy bills. Others will want to know how to improve the comfort level in one or more areas of their home, preferably without increasing their energy consumption and utility bills. You can help them, position yourself as an expert in the field and create opportunities for more revenue-generating work by sharing professional tips for optimizing their HVAC system.
Why Does Energy Efficiency Matter?
Energy efficiency brings a variety of benefits, some personal, some national or global in scope. Chances are most of your customers and prospects consider several of these benefits as important.
Reduced utility costs. The average U.S. household spends 55 percent of its energy budget on heating and cooling. According to the U.S. Department of Energy, combining upgrades to a home’s heating and cooling equipment with other measures such as insulation, air sealing, proper maintenance, etc, can save average homeowners about 30 percent on their energy bill every month.
Better quality of life. By optimizing energy use, homeowners can increase their comfort and in many cases, even see health benefits. Energy efficiency measures can make a home warmer, drier and better ventilated, which can lessen mold growth, prevent the buildup of indoor pollutants, reduce illness and protect individuals with chronic conditions such as asthma and allergies.
Investment. Savings can offset the initial price premium on energy efficient options and these savings are likely to increase over time if energy prices continue to rise. Furthermore, in the real estate market, energy-efficient homes frequently sell for a premium over comparable standard homes.
Protecting the environment. Residential energy use accounts for roughly 20% of greenhouse gas emissions in the United States. Energy efficiency reduces the amount of these toxic emissions and cleanses the air. Being conservative with energy consumption also protects valuable ecosystems from destruction and preserves natural resources for our children.
Lower energy dependence. Lowering residential energy needs reduces our national demand for energy imports.
Tips To Achieve Energy Efficiency
There are many ways to achieve energy efficiency in a home. Some are major investments. Others can be done at little or no cost. Most households can benefit from following several of these tips.
Upgrade the HVAC Unit
This is, of course, the most expensive and most productive way to achieve energy efficiency in a home. Retrofitting an old system is a good option for energy-intensive systems that remain in good condition. You can change out parts to accommodate the new R-410A refrigerant if necessary, replace the system’s compressor, add condenser fan controls, etc. If an older system is in poor condition or the homeowner plans to remain in the home for a long time, it could be more beneficial to install a brand new energy-efficient HVAC system, including energy-efficient ducting. Choose an Energy-Star-rated unit with a high SEER (Season Energy Efficiency Ratio) or EER (Energy Efficiency Ratio) rating. Make sure the new or retrofitted unit is the right size for the job — A too-small system will have to work too hard and a too-large system is wasteful.
Upgrade the HVAC Ductwork
Sometimes the unit is fine but the ductwork isn’t distributing the heated or cooled air efficiently. This is often the case when homeowners complain that some areas of their house are always hotter or cooler than others. Make sure the ductwork is the correct size. Too small or too large will overwork the system. Layout and shape are also critical. Longer distances to travel to vents and more bends in the design reduce efficiency and make it difficult to achieve the desired comfort level. Also, make sure ducts are well sealed. Leaky ductwork can defeat the efforts of the most energy-efficient HVAC unit.
Add Other Energy-Efficient Features to the Home
Insulation is an easy and important potential upgrade. When you prevent excess air from escaping through poorly insulated ducts, walls, etc., the HVAC unit can work more efficiently. Windows are also important. Double-pane glass and other insulating window features keep the AC workload down and ceiling fans can help circulate cooled or warmed air evenly. In summer, they make rooms feel more comfortable at higher temperatures so homeowners can set their thermostats higher. In winter, fans can be used to bring warm air that’s risen to the ceiling back down to the living area.
Perform Regular HVAC Maintenance
Regular maintenance includes contractor and homeowner tasks. A professional inspection and tune-up of the entire system should be performed at least twice a year, in spring and fall, to keep everything running efficiently and avoid the unpleasant surprise of a system failure during the peak heating or cooling season.
In addition to these inspections, perform the following maintenance tasks regularly to keep any HVAC system running efficiently:
- Ensure air vents and ducts are not blocked by curtains or furniture
- Change air filters on a recommended schedule, generally once a month
- Clean dirt and debris, fallen leaves and overgrown foliage away from the unit
- Clean the drain line with bleach and water
Your technicians can perform professional cleaning and servicing tasks during inspections and leave reminders for the homeowners about activities like monthly filter changes.
Consider Lifestyle Adjustments
The way homeowners live also affects their energy usage. Homeowners might consider measures such as closing curtains and blinds to keep heat in or out; avoiding the use of appliances such as dryers and ovens during the hottest part of summer days; closing registers in unused guest and storage rooms; moving the thermostat a few degrees up or down to save energy.
According to the US Department of Energy, families can save 10% on heating and cooling costs just by changing the thermostat when they’re sleeping or out of the house. Installing a programmable or smart thermostat can be beneficial because it will change the temperature automatically. It can also jumpstart heating and cooling before occupants get up or come home so the house is comfortable when they need it to be.
Looking For More Ways To Achieve Efficiency in your HVAC Processes?
Once you’ve built up customer confidence in your expertise and professionalism, you can keep their confidence and loyalty by providing efficient, dependable service. SupplyPro GM is cloud-based construction software that enables you to manage residential projects from work order creation through approvals and payments, with visibility, consistency and efficiency. Feature-rich and built for mobility, this effective contractor and supplier software gives you real-time information and control in every part of your business, so you can increase productivity, profits and client satisfaction.
Learn more about how SupplyPro GM can help you manage your HVAC business more effectively or schedule a demo today.