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How To Make Your Hvac More Efficient

When looking into HVAC systems or components, remember that lab ratings of efficiency are not equivalent to the real world (although the Annual Fuel Utilization Efficiency rating and the Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio are important, do not expect to get efficiency that high). Testing occurs in very particular conditions (with very little air flow resistance and always at a constant 82 degree outdoor temperature). Not to mention, most HVAC installations are not perfect in the real world. However, despite these complications, there are ways to make your HVAC more efficient.


  1. If you are an architect (or if you are working with an architect), look into designing a low resistance duct system (this will have short, appropriately large ducts with plenty of room to install them). Low resistance will help to efficiently deliver heating or cooling to your home.
  2. Verify that the installed flow, duct resistance, and watt draws meet the specification of your system.
  3. Reduce the need for heating and cooling.
    1. Overhangs help prevent sun from entering your home, thereby keeping it cooler (curtains and window shades can also provide this kind of protection).
    2. Low E windows can help light pass through your windows will preventing thermal heat from moving through. Check out Efficient Windows for more information.
    3. In your building projects, make sure you have a verified low leakage shell and verified leakless ducts.
  4. Make sure your installation is a close to perfect as humanly possible.
  5. Get a Home Energy Rater to come out and inspect your home. You can find one at RESNET.
  6. Find a duct tester to come check your ducts! Leaky ducts can reduce your heating and cooling efficiency by 20%. And by fixing leaky ducts, the average home can save up to $150 annually. Check out the National Air Duct Cleaners Association for a technician near you.
  7. When looking to buy a new furnace, boiler, air conditioner, or heat pump, invest in one with Energy Star qualification.


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Green Options › How To's › How To Make Your Hvac More Efficient