Heating and cooling are easily the largest expense that most homeowners pay, vastly outstripping property taxes and energy costs for all other uses. With a little thought and preparation, it is possible to drastically improve the HVAC bill every year. The seasons of least concern are spring and fall when the weather is mild, but summer and winter will cost you quite a bit. Insulation is a great investment, but so is improving your options with home heating. Contact an expert to discover your options.
Consider Repair First of All
Before throwing out your old HVAC system or installing an indoor gas heater, consider having your old heating system inspected for its lifespan and repair options. A heating and cooling mechanic can give you a rough idea of how efficient your machine is, when it could use a new compressor, and when the whole device is ideally replaced. A new compressor will make most old systems like new ones, but newer units tend to be more efficient and will save you money.
Repair is an extremely important option because it allows a unit to last much longer and saves a lot of money by increasing the efficiency of the refrigerant. The refrigerant can be too high pressured, but low pressure prevents proper thermal transfer. The right range of pressure and clean refrigerant will save the home owner a considerable amount of money in future bills. As cooling units are technically simple, repair is a very valuable option.
Insulation and Other Options
Any discussion of heating and cooling is not complete without talking about the thermal efficiency of a home. It is not just the size of the house that matters but how much heating and cooling is actually required. The more air that has to be circulated and the more thermal units that have to be transferred between the indoor air and outdoor air for any given day, the larger the machine must be to properly do its job.
An HVAC has to be larger if the house is poorly insulated but might be smaller if the home is well insulated and the mass of air is transferred very efficiently around the house. The problem with working an HVAC unit too much is that the utility bill is much higher, and the unit’s life is reduced because of excessive load. The fan does not like to be overworked, and the compressor is the same.
A lot of insulation is like making a larger house smaller as far as the HVAC unit is concerned. Standard fiberglass insulation helps, but upgrading the windows and the doors helps quite a bit. A significant amount of heat is lost through these portals. Fixing the ductwork also does a lot to help. Any greenhouse effect counts as heating and insulation, so look into sunroofs.
Looking Into Extra Heating Options
There are a lot of ways to heat a house. While a standard air conditioner depends on electricity and refrigerant, there are many interesting ways to add heat to a house in winter. Any unit that is installed by a professional and remains separated from the house while doing its job usually counts as a heater. A fireplace, whether high efficiency or tradition, is considered a fireplace and often comes with an insurance liability cost.
A common compromise is to install a gas furnace. It cannot be used as a stove unless it is specifically rigged to be a place for cooking, but the open flames are an efficient way to add heat and moisture to a home. Any gas source tends to produce both carbon dioxide and water moisture, so this has to be considered. Heavy use will add too much carbon dioxide and water vapor to the room, so either extra insulation will be needed, or this heat source should not be overused.
If you’re looking for more help with your home heating, do a search for your area to find a good company. For example, in Denver, you can search “HVAC Denver” to find reputable HVAC contractors.