One reason for high energy bills is an increase in the price of electricity or heating fuel. However, it is common to trace high energy bills to an in-efficient component (windows, heating and cooling equipment, ducts insulation) of your home or a failure of one of these components. It is not always easy to pin-point the problem, but fixing it can make your home more energy-efficient and comfortable.
When you need to replace your HVAC equipment, a high efficiency furnace, air conditioner, or geothermal system can save you money on your energy bills, and is a good idea.
Duct Systems lose energy causing high electric bills. So you replace your 60% efficient furnace with a new 90% model, and you expect to save about 30% on your gas bill. Don’t bet on it! Your furnace is 90% efficient in a laboratory, but if it’s connected to a duct system that’s only 70% efficient, your “system efficiency” drops to 63%, a gas usage savings of only about 21%! But you paid for a 90% efficient unit and 30% energy savings.
The U.S. Department of Energy states that “typical duct systems lose 25 to 40% of the heating or cooling energy put out by the central furnace, heat pump, or air conditioner. Duct repairs could be the most important energy improvement measure you can do…”
Duct systems have tremendous pressures, both positive (supply duct) and negative (return air duct), exerted on them by the furnace blower when the furnace or air conditioner is operating. That means that air from unconditioned areas, such as an attic, crawlspace, unfinished basement, or garage can be pulled into a home or building through the return air duct, or pushed into an unconditioned area through the supply duct at a very high rate of speed. Imagine pulling 125 degree Fahrenheit attic air into your air conditioning system, and trying to cool it to 75 degrees.
To improve the energy efficiency of your home’s air conditioning start with these two tips.
- Improvements may include sealing air leaks, adding insulation or sealing duct air leaks. Do not try to seal a duct system without advanced certified training and proper sealants. Dangerous or fatal conditions can result, including carbon monoxide poisoning and sealant off-gassing.
- Install a programmable thermostat, and use it to save energy while you are away at work.
Call Good Deals Heating and Air to help save you money on your monthly electric bill. (215) 947-1166