Design Comfort Blog: Posts Tagged ‘Energy Efficiency’

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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Home Energy Tip: How Your Ducts Can Help Save Energy

Monday, November 26th, 2012

The ductwork in your Salt Lake City home is designed for one purpose – to move heated or cooled air between your air handler and the individual registers located throughout your home. Because of this, it needs to be extremely well designed and insulated to ensure it will deliver that air efficiently and with as little energy loss as possible. That’s why well-designed ductwork can effectively save you quite a bit of money on your energy bills if it is matched to your needs properly. Here is how:

  • Well Designed – Well designed ductwork will maximize airflow without putting stress on your HVAC system or overloading your rooms with too much heating or cooling. This is probably the most important component but unfortunately, many homes have poorly designed ductwork. An inspection and reevaluation can help in this however.
  • Insulated – Duct insulation can greatly reduce natural heating and cooling loss that occurs as air travels from your basement to each room in your home. Without the insulation, energy losses can be as high as 30%, even when there are no leaks.
  • Sealed – Ductwork that is improperly sealed can increase energy loss by another 30% and can put unwanted stress on your heating and air conditioning systems, resulting in more repairs and higher energy bills. Have your ductwork tested for leaks to avoid this problem.
  • Cleaned Regularly – Duct cleaning should be performed once a year if possible, along with the other tasks on this list. Duct cleaning removes unwanted dust and debris from your system and ensures it works as intended going forward.

When your ductwork is all of the things listed above, it will provide ample heating or cooling to every corner of your home with only the minimal, expected amount of energy loss, sometimes even less. When these things are not done, however, energy loss can be quite costly, making it necessary to keep a close eye on the process.

Call the Salt Lake City heating and home energy experts at Design Comfort if you have further questions. Contact Design Comfort today!

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What Features Should I Look for When Buying an Air Conditioner?

Wednesday, June 22nd, 2011

There are so many different types and styles of air conditioners on the market these days, it can be difficult to figure out what features are worth paying attention to when it comes time to buy one for yourself.

Of course, the most important thing to do is make sure you get an air conditioner that’s appropriately sized for the space you’re trying to cool. But what should you look for beyond that? Here are a few features you might like to have on the unit you purchase:

  • Energy Efficiency – The more energy efficient your air conditioner is, the less your cooling costs will be. It’s as simple as that. So when you’re evaluating devices, remember that it’s worth paying a little bit more up front for a more energy efficient unit. It will save you money in the long run and you’ll be doing your part to help the environment.
  • Dehumidification – Just about every air conditioner controls humidity to a certain extent in addition to cooling. But some do this better than others. There are also air conditioners with separate dehumidification settings for those days that are more humid than hot. Even when you need both cooling and dehumidification, it’s nice to have control of each of these independently.
  • Timer – Being able to program your air conditioner to switch on and off at different times of day is more than just convenient; it will save you money. You don’t want to leave your air conditioner running all day when you’re not home, but it sure is nice to come home to the comfort of an air conditioned space. If your air conditioner has a timer, you can have both. Just set the unit to come on a half hour or so before you get home and you’ll enjoy cool, refreshing indoor comfort right when you get home without paying through the nose to keep your home cool when no one is there.
  • Easy-to-Use Controls – As simple as this one seems, you might be surprised at how inconvenient the controls on some air conditioners can be. So when you’re evaluating your options, make sure you research how easy each unit is to operate. This can definitely save you from plenty of frustration in the long run.

Air conditioners come in many different shapes and sizes. To make sure your decision works best in your home, do your research well in advance. When the summer heat kicks in, you’ll be glad you did.

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