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Exploring the Why and How Behind Efficient HVAC and Geothermal Systems

As homeowners deal with rising energy costs, they are looking for ways to reduce their energy consumption to lower their monthly energy bills. In today’s energy-conscious world, an efficient HVAC system can be the answer to saving money while maintaining a comfortable, healthy home or office space.

Efficient heating and cooling solutions are not only good for our wallets—they can contribute to how the world tackles climate change. Each year the earth heats up, more people turn on their A/C units to stay cool. Likewise, winter weather is becoming more unpredictable, with heavy snowstorms plunging under-prepared populations into frigid temperatures. Thus, the demand for sustainable cooling and heating solutions has never been higher.

Learn how the merits of efficient HVAC systems and geothermal heating can help save money and protect the planet.

Energy Efficient HVAC Systems: The Basics

An HVAC system is comprised of heating, ventilation and air conditioning. To determine its level of energy efficiency, refer to the HVAC system’s SEER rating—or Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio—specified in the user manual or on the unit’s panel. The higher the SEER rating, the higher the efficiency will be.

According to Energy Star, 43% of a home utility bill is comprised of heating and cooling costs. Appropriate insulation combined with proper maintenance, energy-efficient unit upgrades and thermostat settings can cut energy use for heating and cooling by 20–50%. This has a considerable impact on lowering energy bills immediately and in the long run while also establishing eco-friendliness.

Energy-efficient heating and cooling for a residential home

Components of efficient HVAC systems

Some efficient HVAC design improvements include:

  1. Variable speed compressor – This HVAC feature can help save 30% of the energy used by a typical speed compressor and minimizes system leaks.
  2. Smart thermostats – These can be controlled by a smart phone, tablet, or other internet-connected device. Smart thermostats can, on average, save customers between 10-12 percent on heating and 15 percent on cooling, according to Smart Energy Consumer Collaborative.
  3. Proper insulation, sealing and ductwork – Increasing insulation is one of the fastest ways to reduce energy waste, while sealing and ductwork to reduce drafts can result in up to 5–30% of potential energy savings per year.

Benefits of efficient HVAC systems

In addition to lower energy bills, there are many benefits to efficient HVAC systems, such as:

  • Improved indoor comfort and air quality
  • Extended lifespan of HVAC equipment
  • Decreased carbon footprint

Geothermal Heating & Cooling Systems: A Sustainable Solution

Geothermal heating harnesses the Earth’s consistent temperature below the surface to provide heating and cooling. It involves a heat pump system connected to an underground loop. The heat pump circulates a fluid through the loop, where it absorbs heat from the Earth in winter, then releases it into the home.

In summer, the process is reversed to cool the space. This efficient technology reduces energy consumption and greenhouse gas emissions, and it also offers sustainable, renewable heating and cooling solutions. Homeowners also notice more consistent temperatures throughout their homes, low noise, and a 20+ year lifespan of the system.

Environmental benefits of geothermal heating

Geothermal heating and cooling system being buried by a residential home

Geothermal systems significantly reduce greenhouse gas emissions due to their low carbon footprint. By tapping into the Earth’s stable temperatures, these systems avoid the burning of fossil fuels and lessen the release of carbon dioxide and other pollutants. This endless source of energy ensures that geothermal systems can operate for decades without depleting their fuel source.

They also don’t rely on external factors like sunlight or wind, and this consistency makes them a reliable energy source, contributing to grid stability and reducing the need for backup power sources that may be less environmentally friendly.

Cost benefits of geothermal heating

Compared to a traditional HVAC system, geothermal heat pumps use between 25% and 50% less energy, which can result in lower monthly energy bill. Local and federal tax credits may be available to help homeowners and business owners offset the cost of geothermal systems. Installation is significantly more costly than a traditional HVAC; however, the long-term savings of a geothermal heat system is a compelling reason to spend more upfront.

Growing Demand for Efficient HVAC & Geothermal Heating

It’s no secret that there is a growing global push for greener technologies due to climate change concerns. The role of HVAC systems in both energy consumption and emissions can make a significant environmental difference immediately and over time.

Energy-efficient heating and cooling systems are critical to mitigate rising expenses and lessen the blow on pocketbooks. Today’s homeowners are becoming increasingly conscious of energy consumption, and they are voting with their wallets for more efficient HVAC systems and geothermal heating. The more individuals choose to purchase and invest in these options, the more demand increases for high-quality systems that offer both comfort and sustainability.

Learn About the HVAC Program at Apex

Interested in the role the HVAC trade plays in keeping spaces comfortable? Learn more about this hands-on trade and explore our Air Conditioning, Refrigeration and Appliance Controls program. Classes are starting soon!

*Apex Technical School and its instructors are licensed by the State of New York, New York State Education Department.

Disclaimer: Apex Technical School provides training for entry-level jobs. Not everything you may read about the industry is covered in our training programs.