Going Green in Virginia
Green is the new buzz word……but what does it mean to go GREEN in the heating and cooling industry?
There are many interpretations of “Green” and numerous ways to achieve a Green Home. Comfort Solutions’ approach to designing a heating and cooling system for a Green Home focuses on energy efficiency and increased occupant health. Ultimately, our goal is to help you reduce your carbon footprint.
One of the biggest ways to make a difference in reducing your energy consumption is through your heating and cooling equipment. According to the Department of Energy, 56% of your household energy use is from your heating and cooling system. Installing a high efficiency heating and cooling system can reduce the total annual energy consumption in your home by as much as 20%.
One of the primary areas that greatly impacts energy efficiency is the ductwork in your home. According to the Department of Energy, the average air leakage for a home’s duct system is 20%. We have been testing many duct systems and we have been seeing leakage averaging 40-50%. The average leakage for a duct system that we install in a Green Home is less than 3%. All of our ductwork systems for new construction Green Homes are certified by a third party energy rating company.
Something to think about…
According to the Department of Energy, if just one household in ten bought ENERGY STAR heating and cooling equipment, over 17 billion pounds of pollution would be prevented.
Increased indoor comfort
For Green Homes as well as for those customers who want to increase their indoor comfort level, the heating and air conditioning systems we recommend are those that sense temperature and humidity. This is important for homes that are built under the “Green” guidelines because Green Homes are built tighter and are insulated more than non-green homes. Although these standards provide for more energy efficiency and are more environmentally friendly, it is more challenging to remove humidity from the home. Due to the “tight” construction, the heating and cooling system will not need to run as long, thus removing less humidity. To combat this, we recommend installing two stage heating and cooling systems.. These units will run the majority of the time on first stage (which can range from ½ capacity to ¾ capacity depending on model) allowing longer run cycles to remove more humidity and increase the comfort level for your family.
Everyone has heard the term “Hybrid” in reference to a car . The word Hybrid is now also used in the heating and cooling industry. In the past, pairing an electric heat pump with a gas furnace was called a dual fuel system. Now, as the word “hybrid” has become a common term, the same system combination is referred to as a Hybrid system. Pairing the electronic heat pump with the gas furnace allows automatic switching between the appliances to provide the most energy-efficient operation. As the temperature drops outside, the system automatically switches from heat pump operation to furnace operation when it becomes the more economical way to keep your family comfortable.
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