Sep 28, 2011
The term HVAC is commonly used in the cooling and heating industry. It refers to "heating, ventilation, and air conditioning." The modern AC has undergone a great deal of changes in the last two decades. Heated air from a furnace or heat pump system or cooled air from an AC system is forced through vents or air ducts, and then distributed evenly to the entire house or building. A central HVAC system is considered the most efficient and cost effective way to cool or heat the entire home.
Unless you live in an exceptionally mild climate, the HVAC system in your home uses more energy than any other system in the home. It is a fact that nearly half of one's utility bills are due to heating and/or cooling the home. Therefore, it is only common sense that if one can upgrade their home heating and cooling system to as efficient as possible, energy costs could be greatly reduced. Fortunately, the modern AC systems have greatly improved in energy efficiency in the last 20 years.
Another improvement of the 1990s is the whole house approach to heating and cooling. If one can combine the heating and cooling systems to work together, using the same vent system, one can greatly improve the energy efficiency of the home. It also stands to reason that by properly maintaining the equipment (including weatherization, proper insulation, and yearly inspections) your system will run more efficiently and extend the life of your system. In addition, you may be able to reduce your yearly energy bills by as much as 50%.
If you are considering investing in a new central furnace, check the ENERGY STAR® database, which has information about the most cost effective energy systems and appliances and is very user friendly.
There are central HVAC units called heat pumps that are designed to provide both heating and cooling functions. These systems are much more efficient than the older furnace systems. A heat pump can reduce the amount of electricity you use for heating by as much as 40 percent.
There are several reputable companies that provide systems; Armstrong, Bell & Gossett, Grundfos, LAARS Heating Systems, Raypak, Taco, Tekmar Control Systems, Uponor, Viessmann, Watts Water Technologies and Weil-McLain Canada.
These companies can provide the homeowner with excellent heating and cooling systems that more than meet the Title-24 energy efficiency standards, used in many states including California. Many of these systems are also environmentally friendly and reduce toxic emissions into the air.