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Things Contractors Should Be Aware of in Eco-Conscious HVAC
Courtni Wisenbaker-Scheel


The more we learn about climate change and our ever-evolving world, the more important it is for everyone to do their part to live as eco-friendly as possible. Considering Americans now spend over 80 percent of their day either at work or inside their home, having an HVAC system that saves energy while still operating at peak performance is essential. Home Improvement Leads knows that an eco-conscious HVAC will save homeowners in the long run, but it can sometimes be a costly decision to make at the time of sale. By taking the time to help educate clients on the incredible benefits of a green HVAC, contractors can help them make the best informed decision for themselves and the planet alike.

SEER, EER, and Why They are Important
An HVAC’s energy efficiency is now measured in two ways: Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio (SEER) and the Energy Efficiency Ratio (EER). With both rankings, the higher the value, the less energy the HVAC will need to use to keep a home cool. SEER ratings provide you with a broad understanding of how well a unit will perform at an average temperature of 82 degrees. Usually, SEER is the better gauge for examining long term savings since it shows test output without major heat fluctuations. On the other hand, if your clients live in a climate that is consistently hot for many months out of the year, EER will give you with an idea of the HVAC’s energy requirements under extended extreme temperatures of 95 degrees and higher. Considering a 21-SEER unit costs around 40 percent more than a 14-SEER unit, it’s important to consider what environmental demands will be consistently placed on it and advise your client appropriately.


Proper Installation
Once an HVAC unit has been purchased, it is your job to make sure that it is installed properly. According to Energy Star, 27 percent of energy used to maintain a home’s internal temperature is lost to low refrigerant levels, improper airflow, poor equipment sizing, and duct leakages. Make sure that all air ducts are short, straight, and well sealed, that all fluid levels are suitable, and that the system is running sufficiently before leaving a site. Similarly, stress the importance of having an HVAC unit inspected annually in the spring and fall in order to both prolong the life of the unit and to make sure that it is still operating at peak energy efficiency.


Home Requirements to Optimize Performance
The average household spends over $2,200 a year on energy alone, with half of that strictly allocated to heating and cooling. As a contractor, you should know that the more secure a home is from the elements, the less energy demands will be placed on the HVAC on a daily basis. By laying additional insulation, caulking around all windows and pipes, and replacing damaged weather stripping around doors, a homeowner will not only save money on their energy bills, but they will also be markedly more comfortable relaxing inside. Programmable thermostats go hand in hand with an eco-friendly HVAC unit. Many on the market today learn a family’s habits over time and are able to offer suggestions on ways to better improve energy efficiency.

Budget Benefits
For the environmentally-savvy client, it won’t be difficult to impress upon them just how great an impact an Energy Star rated HVAC unit will be. However, if your patron is more concerned about their bottom line, green HVAC is still the way to go. Compared to a similarly sized unit, an Energy Star rated unit uses 10 percent less energy on average, saving them hundreds of dollars a year. Plus, the federal government is currently offering a $300 tax credit for any family that chooses to make this upgrade!

Combine these impressive savings with the fact that Energy Star HVACs reduce air pollutants like volatile organic compounds (VOCs), allergens, mold, and bacteria, and improve overall air quality, and it will just makes sense for your clients to choose to go green for their next HVAC purchase.