Did you know that the home heating, ventilation and air conditioning system (HVAC) consumes about 40 to 50 percent of electrical power in a house? That is why efficiency of the HVAC system is extremely important to the overall power draw of a home.
But how do you know the system is running properly? Efficiency refers to how much energy the system will require to do its job. HVAC specialists use what are called "SEER" numbers to rate and compare different cooling systems. SEER stands for Seasonal Energy Efficiency Rating. This is a standardized test, and the higher the SEER number, the more efficient the air conditioning unit is.
Choosing an efficient system with a low SEER number is only the first step in keeping your home cool this summer: As part of the HVAC system, ductwork plays a critical role in delivering cool air to the rooms.
Steps to staying cool in every room of the house
- Make sure that ducts are well sealed! This is critical. If ducts aren't well sealed (that is, that a special sealant - not duct tape - is used to seal all joints and seams), air can leak from the supply ductwork before it gets to the rooms.
- Weatherize your home by weather stripping or caulking around doors and windows. This will help keep cool air from your system inside the home
- Change air filters for your return vents on a regular basis. A dirty filter increases the air pressure drop in the system, which ultimately uses more energy or decreases the air flow to a point where the system isn't working properly.
- Add programmable thermostats to your system. This will help save energy when you're away from your home.
- Keep vents clear of obstructions to help promote better air flow throughout the house.
- Keep blinds and drapes closed during summer months to prevent sunlight from heating up the house.
- Fireplaces are common sources of energy loss. Be sure the damper is in working order and that it's closed when the fireplace isn't in use. To insulate the chimney even more, install a chimney cap, which seals out pests and prevents heat loss.
One of the easiest ways you can experience a high impact on HVAC efficiency is to have the ductwork cleaned. You might be surprised to find out how much dust is in the home. According to NADCA, up to 40 pounds of dust is created annually through everyday living! Your HVAC system recirculates air five to seven times per day, so dust in the home and other air pollutants (like lint and dander) are pulled into your air ducts, attaches to the walls and builds up over time. Cleaning of air ducts reduces the energy your HVAC system uses to pump air through the ducts and helps maintain healthy indoor air quality in your home.
More info? Call AdvantaClean if you experience higher than normal utility bills - cleaning of air ducts can improve your system's efficiency.