Amazon.com Widgets
Green Builder Media Logo

facebook twitter youtube linkedin pinterest google

Heating/Cooling: A Home's Biggest Energy Users

Posted by Green Builder Staff

Sep 5, 2014 4:37:10 PM

Know the Lingo

  • Annual Fuel Utilization Efficiency (AFUE): The percentage of a fuel’s potential energy that a furnace or boiler converts to usable heat. Government standards that take effect in 2015 require AFUE levels of 82% for gas boilers, 83% for oil boilers, 80% for gas furnaces and 82% for oil furnaces.
  • Air Handler: In a forced-air heating or cooling system, the air handler unit moves heated or cooled air through the home’s ductwork.
  • British Thermal Unit (BTU): The unit of measurement for heat, whether it’s the heat given off by burning fuel or extracted from a home for cooling. Technically, one BTU is the energy required to raise one pound of water one degree Fahrenheit.
  • Combustion Chamber: The part of a furnace or boiler where the fuel is burned.
  • Compressor: That part of the air conditioner or heat pump that compresses and pumps refrigerant.
  • Condenser Coil: The part of an air conditioner or heat pump that releases heat from the surrounding air in cooling mode and collects it in heating mode.
  • Distribution System: The network of air ducts or hot water pipes that delivers heat from a furnace, boiler or heat pump to the home’s rooms.
  • Evaporator Coil: The part of an air conditioner or heat pump that exchanges heat with the air in the home.
  • Heat Exchanger: Located in the furnace or boiler, it transfers heat from the combustion chamber to the air or water in the heat distribution system.
  • Heating Seasonal Performance Factor (HSPF): The heating efficiency of a heat pump. It’s a ratio of the heat it generates over the heating season, in BTUs, to the watt-hours of electricity it consumes. Heat pumps manufactured after 2006 have to have an HSPF of at least 7.7, but the best units have ratings as high as 10.
  • Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio (SEER): The cooling efficiency of an air conditioner or heat pump. It’s the ratio of cooling output to electricity used. The minimum SEER requirement for units manufactured beginning in 2006 is 13.
  • Zoning: A method of partitioning a home’s hydronic or forced-air distribution system into independently controlled comfort zones.


 

AT THE HEART OF MOST HOMES' HEATING SYSTEMS is a furnace, a boiler or a heat pump. A furnace burns fossil fuel to heat air that’s forced by a blower fan through a series of ducts to the living spaces; a boiler heats water that’s then pumped to a hydronic, or water-based, distribution system. Most heat pumps run on electricity. They don’t create heat, but rather extract it from the air or the ground. Heat pumps are available for use with forced-air and hydronic distribution systems. If you want to minimize your fuel bill, an Energy Star rating is a minimum standard for these appliances.

Read More

Heating Energy Assessment Tool by AREVS

Posted by RESNET

Jul 16, 2014 12:25:19 PM

Understanding home heating energy performance just got easier. The new Heating Energy Assessment Tool (HEAT) from AREVS is a RESNET Approved, easy-to-use web-based application that tells home energy professionals, homeowners, and renters whether or not a home is in need of energy retrofits or upgrades. Using patented algorithms that are normalized for house size and geographical location, and information from its utility bill, HEAT provides a heating energy audit for a home in less than 5 minutes. A simple A+ through F grade range gives instant understanding of home heating performance.

Advantages for Professionals:

Read More

Storm Proofing; Come Inside and Out of the Weather

Posted by Jay Egg

Jun 4, 2014 11:47:30 AM

With geothermal heating and cooling systems, you can weather the storm and rest easy. The equipment is all inside, reducing premature wear and tear.  There is no equipment to encumber your landscaping or to interfere with children at play, and noise pollution is eliminated.  

On March 13, 1993, Floridians were awakened by what sounded like a passenger jet engine outside their homes.  It turned out to be 70+MPH winds from the fury of Florida’s no-name “Storm of the Century.”

Property damage was significant, and many were left without air conditioning when their outdoor condensers were destroyed by wind and water.  Clients with geothermal heat pumps fared better, sustaining no damage due to the "all-indoor" nature of a geothermal heating and cooling system.

Read More

Duct Diligence

Posted by GBM Research

May 30, 2014 7:42:00 AM

The majority of heating systems are forced air, and distribution problems often lie in duct design and integration. What new technologies and research can make these air distribution systems more efficient?

EFFICIENT AIR DISTRIBUTION is critical in the delivery of high performance homes. Innovations—simple and cost effective to implement—have been developed and tested throughout the country. But the application of these strategies continues to be a challenge—especially ones that address less-than-optimal situations—such as flex duct and splitter box air distribution systems and ducts in unconditioned spaces. More focus needs to be put on dealing with these scenarios.

Read More

Geothermal Heating and Cooling Systems; Great for the Environment!

Posted by Jay Egg

Apr 21, 2014 12:21:00 PM

Geothermal Heating and Cooling Systems; Great for the Environment!

An earth coupled HVAC system is packed with "Earth Friendly" benefits, especially when compared with any other types of air-conditioning and heating systems. As heating and cooling systems go, a ground sourced system comes closest to the way Mother Nature would heat and cool your home if given the opportunity.

 

That's because with geothermal, your house becomes coupled with the Earth beneath, sharing that temperature with your environmentally friendly geothermal heat pump, similar to the way the roots of trees share nutrients with their branches and leaves. Take a look at some of the environmental benefits you can enjoy with geothermal system:

Read More

 

inbound-marketing-101-for-builders-and-remodelers

greendepotad.png