Ever since man began decorating caves with hand-painted depictions of the world around him, we’ve harbored a fascination with designing our living spaces to suit not only our needs, but to feed our appetite for beauty. Over time this led to grand and ornate styles in architecture and design, like Rococo and Baroque, as well as minimalistic and naturalistic styles that highlight the natural beauty all around us. And lately, there has been a push towards the building of eco-friendly homes that not only provide an aesthetically appealing interior, but also do more behind the scenes to keep the outdoor environment clean and green. If you’re leaning towards this type of residence and you’re interested in cutting your utility bills along with your carbon footprint, you might be interested in the advantages of upgrading to an eco-friendly air conditioning system. Here are a few great features that every homeowner is sure to enjoy.
- Greener refrigerant, smaller machinery. Older air conditioning units rely on outdated refrigerant products, most of which release chlorofluorocarbons (or CFCs, also commonly known as Freon gas) into the environment. Although CFCs have largely been banned, air conditioning units that use such compounds are still being phased out. Luckily, upgrading to a newer, more energy-efficient AC unit means that you’ll not only enjoy greener refrigerant, but you’ll get greater performance from smaller equipment in most cases.
- Programmable thermostat. There are several elements inherent to an eco-friendly air conditioning system, and while you don’t necessarily have to employ a programmable thermostat when you upgrade from your outdated dial to a digital style, you stand to gain a lot by utilizing this convenient and energy-saving feature. By scheduling for temperature adjustments when the family is away for work and school during the day, as well as during sleeping hours, you could cut your energy waste by 1% for every degree the temperature is adjusted (during an 8-hour period), up to about 15%, according to the Department of Energy, especially if you start with a base setting of no higher than 68 degrees Fahrenheit in the winter and no lower than 78 degrees Fahrenheit in the summer.
- Zoning. When you pair a zoning system with a programmable thermostat, you could cut your heating and cooling costs by as much as 30%. In addition, you’ll find that you’re better able to regulate the temperature throughout your home, creating a more comfortable living environment for the whole family.
- Energy savings. Perhaps the best feature attributed to a green AC system is the energy savings you’ll enjoy by using it. Of course, if you want to see the greatest energy efficiency, you should probably start with a home energy audit to pinpoint waste so that you can address issues with airtightness, insulation, and ventilation. But when you start there and then implement a comprehensive plan for eco-friendly AC, you stand to cut your energy consumption significantly while still enjoying a cool interior atmosphere, not to mention lower utility bills.
- Reduced overall impact. You don’t necessarily need to know the importance of load calculations for you HVAC system or the differences between various types of ductwork in order to value the advice of your HVAC technician on these fronts. And when it comes to upgrading to an eco-friendly air conditioning system, understanding that new equipment will reduce energy consumption and even offer the option to recycle when your system requires replacement far down the road could be enough to convince you that a greener system is worth the up-front costs.