A Checklist For Sustainable HVAC Design
When you're planning out your HVAC system, one of the factors that you may consider is the sustainability of your design. Here are some things to talk over with your HVAC contractor to make sure that your HVAC design is as good as it could be.
Is Your HVAC Design as Compact as it Can Be?
The first thing to look at is whether the layout is as compact as it could possibly get. The additional ductwork and branching requires additional materials, but it also requires more HVAC power each time it is used to push the air through the system. When designing an efficient HVAC system, you will want to make sure that areas that are heavily used are prioritized and areas that aren't used too often are economized. For example, you may not even want your HVAC system to carry all the way to the far corners of your space if you think that heat gradients will be enough to keep the space livable. Keeping the HVAC system within the core of your space can greatly reduce your costs and be more sustainable.
Is Your Heater (and AC Unit) the Right Size?
Another thing that matters is the capacity of your air conditioning unit and your heater. With units that are too big, you're wasting energy every time the machine comes on. Of course, there's a flipside, and an underpowered machine will struggle to keep up with the needs of your space. This is why it's so important to consult a knowledgeable heating and cooling contractor, such as HELP Plumbing, Heating, Cooling and Electric, to evaluate the needs of your space.
Are You Leveraging the Environment for Heating and Cooling Needs?
There are many ways to use ambient temperatures to supplement an HVAC system. For instance, geothermal heating control units may bring hot or cold air from inside to cut down on machine use. Heat pumps are also becoming a popular option for bringing hot air in or out of the space. Speak with your heating service about the various options.
Is Your HVAC Flexible?
Finally, how well can you control the HVAC system? Are you able to program it to be responsive? For example, something as simple as a programmable thermostat will allow you to program the temperatures throughout the day to reduce heating and cooling needs when no one is around. Even better is an occupancy sensor that automatically kicks your AC or heater on when it detects people in a space.