Technology and Its Impact on HVAC Energy Efficiency

Your home’s HVAC system is one of its most essential systems that includes your ventilation, air conditioning, and heating systems. These systems must run effectively to ensure you and your family are comfortable year-round. The US Department of Energy (DOE) reports that the average home’s heating and cooling systems account for about half of its energy usage, highlighting the importance of improving the efficiency of these HVAC systems. Fortunately, modern technology offers higher-efficiency options that can save you on energy costs.

Energy Efficient HVAC Technologies

New technologies have improved the efficiency of HVAC systems by altering the amount of energy used at a given time based on need, which is determined by environmental factors, such as climate, desired temperature, and carbon dioxide levels. These technologies prevent fans and compressors from running when they are not needed or working harder than necessary. These key technologies include cooling capacity controls, demand-controlled ventilation, air-side economizers, and supply fan speed controls.

Cooling Capacity Controls alter the speed of an HVAC compressor based on its need at a given time.

Air-side Economizers draw in cool air from outside to cool down the building rather than using the HVAC compressor.

Demand-Controlled Ventilation keeps fans from running at a constant speed by altering the speed of the fans and rate of air intake depending on the carbon dioxide levels inside the building.

Supply Fan Speed Controls are used to vary the speed of the ventilation fan that circulates air until the building reaches the desired temperature.

Decarbonization and Electrification

A study from 2014 indicated that the typical building’s HVAC system accounted for about 35 percent of its carbon emissions. To reduce the carbon footprint of HVAC systems, HVAC technologies are making strides toward utilizing cleaner, more efficient energy sources, such as wind and solar power, as opposed to fossil fuels, such as propane, natural gas, or oil. This cleaner alternative, known as electrification, is intended to reduce energy costs by replacing fossil fuels with cleaner, lower-cost energy sources to efficiently generate electricity and reduce carbon emissions.

Other Technologies for HVAC Efficiency

Additional options can be added to HVAC systems to save on energy costs. These include high-quality air filtration systems that require less energy and programmable thermostats.

High-Quality Air Filtration Systems

Air filtration systems are ideal for purifying the air in your home by filtering out pollutants and allergens, such as animal dander, pollen, bacteria, and dust. This benefits your overall health and well-being and, for many households, is essential. However, an air filtration system still requires additional energy to run in the HVAC system. The filter poses resistance to the air flowing through it, which causes air pressure to drop and forces fans to work harder. Fortunately, new technology has made available high-quality air filters that enable the fans to run effectively at lower speeds, ultimately reducing energy costs as opposed to using older or lower-quality air filters.

Programmable Thermostat

Programmable thermostats are one of the most common modern additions to improve HVAC efficiency. Programmable thermostats allow you to adjust temperatures for different times of the day or during different days of the week. A programmable thermostat can be programmed to raise temperatures during the cooler times of day, such as early in the morning and late at night, or lower temperatures during the warmer, sunnier times of the day. They can also be programmed to adjust to settings that will use less energy but maintain a reasonable level of comfort during days or hours when you are not home. A programmable thermostat will save you money by using only the amount of energy that is needed for your desired level of comfort while keeping your HVAC system from using more power than necessary.

Want to learn more about finding the right fit for your home? Call Hoot today! 443-309-8420