There’s so much talk about the efficiency of HVAC systems. This cooling system operates at such-and such efficiency, older units are inefficient, upgrade to a more efficient system, blah blah blah. Why is any of this important to the average homeowner? The answer in one word is money. (But there’s really more to it than that!)
The efficiency of your cooling system essentially means how well it works. There are a number of fancy terms and acronyms to describe this basic idea. You can look up the EER (energy efficiency ratio), the SEER (seasonal energy efficiency ratio), COP (coefficient of performance), or the thermal efficiency of any particular system. All you really want to know as a homeowner is whether the system works!
Your HVAC specialist can help you define and understand all these terms in relationship to your cooling system. If you’re choosing a new system he can show you options and help you compare them to determine the most efficient system for your budget. In the meantime, here are the basics of cooling system efficiency and what it means for your home.
The amount of energy a cooling system uses versus the amount of actual cooling it does equals its efficiency. The systems that use less energy and provide more cooling are the most efficient. It’s really that simple.
There are benefits to having a system that does more using less energy. It will make less of an impact on the environment for one. Keeping in mind that you have to pay for your energy usage, meaning that an efficient system makes a smaller impact on your family budget as well.
As important as the system’s efficiency ratings are, there are other ways to boost your cooling system’s energy efficiency without buying a new system. A few methods you could consider would include the following:
- Adding extra insulation will help retain the climate-controlled air inside your home.
- Shades and curtains. Believe it or not adding simple curtains can help insulate your home by blocking the sun’s heating rays. Look for drapes with a thick backing that blocks light.
- Windows and doors. You can have the most efficient system made but your cool air will quite literally go right out the windows (or doors) if they aren’t energy efficient.
- Attic fan. Installing an attic fan will help remove the blanket of heat that collects in the upper section of your home making it easier to cool.
Talk to your HVAC contractor about what an energy efficient cooling system could mean for your home.