During South Texas’ short and sweet heating season, you can benefit by becoming familiar with some basic HVAC terms. Understanding heating season lingo will improve your ability to troubleshoot problems with your heating system, ensure proper maintenance, and help maximize energy savings.
This simply means gleaning the most heating as possible from the energy/fuel input into the particular HVAC system you’re using to heat your home. Different systems use different ratings for energy efficiency. For example, furnaces employ AFUE (Annualized Fuel Utilization Efficiency) percentages to show combustion furnace efficiency, while heat pumps use numbers on the HSPF (Heating Season Performance Factor) and SEER (Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio) scales. In general, the higher the efficiency rating for an HVAC system, the more it will cost upfront, and the less it will cost to operate. In practical terms, this means that here on the Coastal Bend, with our very mild winters and very long, hot, humid summers, it makes more sense to invest in higher cooling efficiency than heating efficiency.
Everybody knows how to work a manual thermostat, but not everybody knows how to program a programmable model for optimum energy savings. Learn how to program energy-saving setbacks into your thermostat, scheduling lower temperatures for when nobody’s home or everybody’s asleep in the winter. In reality, with our mild winters, you can just turn off the heat for a lot of the time.
The great thing about having a tightly built or properly weatherized home is that it will save energy all year long. Find air leaks in your home’s perimeter and windows and doors and seal them with weatherstripping, spray foam or caulk. Make sure you have the right type and amount of insulation in the right places.
You’ll want a fresh air filter in your forced-air HVAC system in both winter and summer. This protects equipment from dirt and dust, and helps indoor air quality. Inspect the filter monthly.
For more advice on saving energy and improving comfort during both the heating season and cooling season, please contact us at CCAC, Inc.
Our goal is to help educate our customers in Corpus Christi, Texas about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems). For more information about HVAC topics, download our free Home Comfort Guide or call us at 361-678-2495.
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