For most homeowners, the largest source of energy use – and thus the greatest area of potential for energy and cost savings – is the heating and cooling of your home. It is also one of the most neglected energy saving opportunities. Most heating and cooling systems are not properly maintained, serviced or tuned up and are not running at optimal levels. Others may not have been installed properly, were sized incorrectly or have outdated and inefficient equipment. Add to that, most have leaky and improperly sized air distribution or duct systems. Each of these problems represents significant energy waste.
You can tap into this enormous energy saving potential by bringing the HVAC equipment and air distribution system up to current standards. While many people immediately turn to system replacement as the answer, there are a number of more affordable solutions to consider first – such as service maintenance, tune ups or component updating. You should also have your ducts checked to see if they simply need to be air sealed or properly sized.
A central heating and air conditioning system in a home functions similar to a human heart. Just as the heart enables the circulation of blood throughout the human body, the central air conditioner and furnace are responsible for supplying air to each part of the home where conditioned air is needed. This is done by channeling the air through a series of connected ducts running through walls, crawlspaces and attics. Just like the human heart, it is important that the flow is evenly distributed to provide a healthy, comfortable system for your home. Many factors can have an impact on the distribution of this air in your home and so it is important to consult with experts to make sure that you are getting the best results from your existing system. One common air distribution problem is duct leakage. The average air distribution or duct system leaks at an average rate of 30%. That means that 30% of the conditioned air is not making it to the desired location! Instead, it is going into the attic, the walls, and under your house. No matter how efficient the mechanical system is, if you have duct leakage not only are you not getting the full benefits of your furnace and air conditioner, but your system is also wasting energy and money.
Most homes have rooms that get more conditioned air than other rooms. This may be a result of leaky ducts but it is commonly the result of improperly sized or poorly designed ducting. A small room such as a bathroom does not need the same sized ducting as a larger room. A properly sized duct system can help optimize the comfort of your home by directing greater air distribution to the areas that need it.
Dirty ducts not only affect the indoor air quality of your home or business, they also cause the mechanical system to run inefficiently. Property cleaned and maintained ducting can have a major impact on the efficiency of the system and the overall health of the building structure.