If you’re designing a new energy-efficient home, or if you’re undertaking efficiency upgrades as a home-improvement project, find out how all home systems impact energy efficiency, and make your efficiency upgrades accordingly for maximum comfort and energy savings year after year.
The Sum of the Systems
By understanding how energy dollars are consumed between home systems, you can better plan where and what products, components and systems in which to invest to design a new or retrofitted energy-efficient home. These are averages for homes today:
- 46 percent – HVAC (heating, ventilation and air conditioning)
- 16 percent – lighting and electronics
- 14 percent – water heating
- 13 percent – other major appliances (stove, fridge, washer, etc.)
- 11 percent – small appliances and other
The key for saving energy with the HVAC system is sealing up your home from top to bottom, including air ducts. Upgrading to high-efficiency heating and cooling systems is recommended for long-term efficiency and comfort, but you won’t enjoy peak performance unless your home is buttoned up to stop air leaks and energy losses from inadequate insulation.
Lighting and Electronics
Simple devices including dimmer switches and energy-saving light bulbs can do wonders for curbing lighting electricity consumption. For electronics, consider using power strips to turn off electricity that’s consumed in standby or off modes.
Water heating offers a great opportunity for many homeowners to save energy. Install low-flow fixtures throughout the home. Lower the temperature on the water heater to 120 degrees. Use insulation wrap around all hot-water pipes in the home, and ask your HVAC pro if your water tank needs insulation. Consider upgrading to a tankless water-heating system.
Large and Small Appliances
If you’re upgrading appliances (or HVAC equipment), look for the Energy Star logo. The Energy Star program recognizes energy-efficient appliances with the familiar logo. Compare efficiency statistics on the EnergyGuide label. This is a helpful tool for comparing the energy efficiency of different models. Also, take easy steps to save energy, such as using power strips for the coffee maker and microwave, only washing clothes and dishes in full loads, and not running heat-producing appliances such as the stove and dishwasher during the heat of the day. Keep your refrigerator full to reduce energy consumption.
For best results achieving an energy-efficient home, your HVAC professional should perform an energy audit to locate areas in need of home-efficiency upgrades. Please contact us at LBA Air Conditioning, Heating & Plumbing for experienced service in all home systems for your Kansas City area home.
Our goal is to help educate our customers in Kansas City, Kansas about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems).
Image courtesy of Shutterstock