Design Comfort Blog: Archive for the ‘Energy-Efficient Heating Systems’ Category

Heating in Salt Lake City: How to Get the Most Out of a New High-Efficiency Heating System

Monday, February 25th, 2013

If you’ve recently installed a new high-efficiency heating system in your Salt Lake City home, you may be wondering how to maximize its efficiency. Whether it’s a heat pump or a gas furnace, the energy-efficiency rating of your device is only as good as its surrounding system. Design Comfort Heating & Air Conditioning can help you to make the most of your new installation, whether we performed it or not. For more information on our Salt Lake City heating repair and maintenance services, call us today.

You may have noticed a percentage with the acronym AFUE stickered on your heating unit. AFUE stands for “Annual Fuel Utilization Efficiency,” and it measures the amount of energy drawn out of your fuel against the amount of heated air produced by the heater. It estimates the yearly average efficiency: the higher the rating, the higher the efficiency. Most new units have an AFUE of at least 80%, and they can go as high as 95%.

Here are some ways you can get the most out of your new high-efficiency heating system in Salt Lake City:

  • Programmable thermostat. If you don’t have one yet, install one, and if you do, use it! Programming your heating schedule is not only a great way to customize your climate around your lifestyle; it’s also a great money-saver. Manual thermostat changes can often be too drastic for the system. In particular, constant changes in levels over 5 degrees often force your system to work rapidly and intensely for short periods. Programmable thermostats can make sure changes are gradual and cost-efficient and that your home is always warm when you want it to be.
  • Enroll in a maintenance program. Your local heating technician offers a way to secure the longevity of your investment. Your heater was a big purchase and will run efficiently and effectively for years to come, but it’s also the ideal time to sign up for regular annual maintenance. Cleaning the air filters and checking the ductwork, motors and blower components extends the life of your system and makes your heater that much more efficient.

The first step to ensuring the long life and excellent energy efficiency of your new heater is scheduling maintenance with Design Comfort in Salt Lake City. Call us today!

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Why Take the “Whole-Home” Approach to Home Efficiency

Monday, December 3rd, 2012

If you are thinking of installing a high-efficiency heating or cooling system in your Salt Lake City home, there are many things to consider before doing this. At Design Comfort, we can help you by looking at other potential home improvements that could be made before you upgrade. And there are many reasons to do this.

First, take a look at some of these improvements:

  • Adding Insulation
  • Sealing Air Ducts
  • Air Balancing
  • Adding a Better Ventilation System

Making these improvements along with upgrading your home comfort system is considered the “whole home approach,” because you are taking into account all the areas in the home that could be more efficient. When you do this, you get more out of your investment because the new system will not only operate at efficient levels, but you’re also not losing energy in places that could be less expensive to upgrade.

For instance, if a homeowner adds solar panels but is losing air through improper sealing, or if there’s no moisture control in the house due to poor ventilation, then the heating and air conditioning system that works off of those panels may have to work extra hard. Then the homeowner isn’t getting full value out of those solar panels since the HVAC system is using more energy due to other issues in the home.

This is why most contractors recommend that you upgrade other areas before making expensive investments. It will also help ensure that the system will last longer and that your new heating or cooling system works in tandem with the other elements of the home.

Call Design Comfort if you would like to know more about home energy efficiency services in Salt Lake City. We would be more than happy to speak with you about our services and how we can help you save energy and money.

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Green Building Trends for Salt Lake City Homes

Monday, April 23rd, 2012

Residents of Salt Lake city have an increasing eye on reducing waste and creating energy-efficient heating systems, so it might not be as surprising to know that the green building market has been steadily increasing over the past few years, and in years to come is expected to triple from what it is now.  The variety of green building trends for new homes which are in place today are staggering and exciting, and will ultimately change the way we build homes and business facilities, permanently.  According to the Earth Advantage Institute, below are the latest green building trends for new homes to watch for in the near future.

 

  • Urban Density:  Homeowners are opting to build in the empty space between existing homes or buildings.  These lots are desired by those who want to be closer to city-centers and hotspots.
  • Green Multi-Family Homes:  An increased interest in energy-saving building options and an increase in the number of multi-family homes being built mean an increase in green multi-family homes.
  • Energy Upgrades Drive Home Remodels:  Consumer preference has switched to remodeling in order to save energy in their upgrades.  Thus contractors have begun to offer these types of services as a standard option in remodeling projects.
  • Development and Testing of New Materials: National labs and research departments are working with construction firms in order to produce test facilities and sensor-filled buildings which track real-time energy performance of new materials and equipment.
  • Consumer-Friendly Home Energy Tracking Devices:  Sensor-based energy and water monitoring systems are being used to track new heating system replacements to save money all throughout their homes and the number of companies creating these tracking devices is increasing, making them easier to come by.
  • Energy Education for Commercial Tenants:  Commercial building energy disclosure is pushing building owners to be more energy efficient, this in addition to educating tenants on ways for them to contribute to saving energy means that more commercial buildings are going green.
  • Transparency in Home Marketing:  Consumers who have instant access to information are more educated and can see through housing scams more easily. Real estate agents who are forthright and educate clients even further on the benefits of having energy efficient home features means more confidence in the green housing market.
  • More Accurate Appraisals:  With more educated consumers looking for Certified Residential Green Appraisers, the lending community is beginning to follow suit and pay attention even further to the added value and return on investment for green homes and green remodels.
  • Broader Adoption of Residential Energy Ratings for Homes:  Energy labeling systems are being put into place nationally, thus causing homeowners to be more educated regarding energy savings possibilities.  More extensive usage of residential energy ratings for homes means homeowners are undertaking more energy upgrade work.
  • Smart Grid-Compatible High-Performance Homes:  More new homes are utilizing “grid-aware” appliances which monitor and report their own usage with the ability to increase or decrease electric usage remotely, thus saving energy.

Call Design Comfort if you have any questions about these improvements.

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