Energy Efficient Home: Test Out What’s Using the Most Energy

Energy Efficient Home: Test Out What’s Using the Most Energy

Have you ever thought about breaking down your energy use by appliance? Doing so could reveal some startling information. And, if you act on that information, you could find ways to add money in your pocket by saving on energy consumption.

It’s probably no surprise that your HVAC energy usage will be the top on the list. On average, the HVAC uses nearly half of all energy consumed in the typical American household. The other top energy users include:

  1. Water heater – 14%
  2. Lighting – 12%
  3. Washer/dryer – 13%
  4. Refrigerator – 4%

Obviously, if you want to save significant money on energy consumption, you can start with your HVAC system.

Cutting Back on HVAC Energy Usage

One of the best ways to save money on the energy you’re using to heat and cool your home is to replace your old, inefficient equipment with a newer, more efficient model. Your old furnace may be running at 55-70 percent efficiency (described as AFUE, or annual fuel utilization efficiency), while your old air conditioner may be rated at a SEER (seasonal energy efficiency ratio) of 7 or 8.

Newer HVAC systems must deliver considerably more in energy efficiency than a decade ago due to government regulations adopted in recent years. Expect an AFUE of 90 or more with a new furnace, and a SEER of 14 or better with a new air conditioner.

Attaining the maximum efficiency from a new HVAC system will require that you get the right size equipment for your home (bigger isn’t better), and that it is properly installed. To ensure your new equipment performs at its peak, do the following:

  • Have your ductwork evaluated, to ensure it can handle the volume of air produced by the new equipment. Ductwork should be airtight, without gaps or cracks.
  • Air seal your home with insulation, weatherstripping and caulk. Seal up gaps and cracks around windows and doors, baseboards, and openings around pipes, cables and wires.

For more on HVAC energy usage, contact Powers Heating and Air of Peachtree City.

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