Q. My gas bill has been getting bigger every year for the last few winters. Is there anything I can do to cut back on my HVAC System's energy usage? I keep my thermostat about as low as I can.
A. A lot of people are in the same boat as you because natural gas prices, especially in the Midwest, have soared in the last few years. One way we've helped customers cope is with Trane's Hybrid Heat system. It's a high-efficiency natural gas furnace combined with a high-efficiency electric heat pump. It's often referred to as a "dual fuel" system.
Q. How is efficiency rating measured and should I always buy the best efficiency rating?
A. Gas or Oil Furnaces are rated in AFUE (Annual Fuel Utilization Efficiency), Heat Pumps in HPSF (Heating Season Performance Factor) and Air Conditioners in SEER (Seasonal Energy Efficiency Rating). With gas furnaces you should buy a model with a 92% rating if you run the blower continuously for better air filtration as it has a more efficient blower. However, if you allow the air to turn off when not heating, a 95% model will save you energy in the long run. On the A/C side it has more to do with comfort as you get to the higher SEER ratings in our climate. The base A/C is a 13 SEER for each point you go higher it uses about 10% less energy to run.
The heat of a West Chester summer takes a lot out of an air conditioner. By investing in air conditioning service early in the cooling season, you'll gain the peace of mind of knowing your system can handle the hottest weather without springing any costly surprises on you.
Over time, myths about using HVAC systems have developed. While some are harmless, others can drive up energy costs and cause system problems. Here are five myths you shouldn't fall for this summer.