You can lower your utility bills, reduce pollution, and conserve natural resources by using green technologies in your home. Many of these innovations are more expensive at first, but the energy savings they deliver make them a good investment. Some of the most popular environmentally friendly technologies for your Clearwater, Florida, home, are solar panels, geothermal heat pumps, ductless HVAC systems, and programmable thermostats.
Solar panels, also called photovoltaic cells, absorb energy from the sun to generate electricity. You can mount panels on your roof or put them in your backyard. You can even use new solar shingles that blend in with your existing roof. With solar panels or solar shingles, your existing air conditioning system and your other electrical appliances can run on solar power.
Solar water heaters are also available. Some circulate water through solar collectors where the sun heats it directly, and others use refrigerant to transfer heat from solar panels to water in a storage tank. You can even use solar energy to heat your pool so you can use it all year. Tax credits are available to lower the costs of solar panels, solar water heaters, and many other types of environmentally friendly technologies.
Geothermal Heat Pumps
Geothermal heat pumps are very efficient systems because they exchange heat using the ground instead of the air. The temperature is stable all year just a few feet underground, which makes these systems reliable sources for energy savings. Geothermal systems have an indoor air handling unit and a network of water-filled underground pipes called an earth loop. The pipes recycle water, so your water bill won’t increase. In some systems (water source systems), the pipes are underwater in a nearby lake, pond, or well instead of underground. The temperature of deep water stays stable as well.
Without exposure to damage from bad weather or typical environmental elements, geothermal systems can last for up to 25 years, and breakdowns are rare. The underground or underwater pipes last for up to 100 years with minimal maintenance. Geothermal heat pumps are also quieter than conventional HVAC systems, and they can provide hot water as well.
Ductless HVAC Systems
Ductless or mini-split HVAC systems have an outdoor unit and one or more indoor air handling units connected by a conduit about three inches wide. Without ductwork, these systems use less energy and don’t take up space in attics, basements, or closets.
Ductless HVAC systems with more than one indoor unit have a separate thermostat for each unit. That way, you can set different temperatures for different zones or areas in your home for better comfort. Some systems come with remote controls for extra convenience. Zoning also keeps you from having to heat or cool unoccupied areas. It works best if your home is large or if it has more than one story. For example, the first floor may not need as much cool air as the second floor as the hot air rises.
You can set a programmable thermostat to raise the temperature in summer when you’re at work or asleep and then lower it again before you wake up or come home, saving energy and lowering your utility bills. In some models, you can set a different schedule for every day of the week, and in others, you can set one schedule for weekdays and another for weekends.
Some programmable thermostats are called smart thermostats because they can learn your schedule and the temperatures you prefer at different times without any programming from you. You can control several zones using one or more programmable thermostats. You can also control many models wirelessly from your smartphone or computer. The right programmable thermostat can even monitor the humidity in your home and remind you to change your HVAC system’s air filter.
United Air Conditioning has 55 years of HVAC experience, and our expert technicians can help you install, maintain, and repair a variety of environmentally friendly heating and air conditioning equipment. Call us anytime at 727-470-6803 for excellent customer service.
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