No matter where you live, you most likely have some method of adjusting your home’s temperature, from a simple fan to a complex hydronic system. If it’s time to replace or enhance your means of heating and/or cooling, you have several sustainable options.
Besides the considerations of cost and efficiency, today’s consumers—for the most part—are looking to reduce their carbon footprint and use smart technology to automate, monitor and maintain their home systems. The following options can help you find just the right fit for maximum comfort.
Not just any old fan
Adjusting temperature by moving air can be accomplished a million different ways. Electronic fans of all sizes and costs are available and can be positioned as needed. From basic air-cooling floor fans to retractable blade ceiling fans to purifying/humidifying fans, with as many features, like practically silent, easily programmable, aesthetically pleasing, or multi-functioning.
There is also attic or “whole house” fans which work best if the outside temperature isn’t too hot. This temperature equalizing technique basically helps circulate fresh air through the attic or entire house by pulling warm air up and out roof vents. These solar-, electric- or passively powered fans can be regulated by a thermostat or operated manually.
One step up from a fan
A heating/cooling window unit or portable heat/air conditioner is great for occasional needs but mainly helps with temperatures in one room. Look for units that provide adequate heating and cooling capabilities for the room size, energy efficiency and noise level. Some units have blowers that are so loud they limit activities.
That’s a funny name
A swamp (or evaporated) cooling unit is a cheaper option that blows air over water-saturated pads or ice blocks. This is a more environmentally friendly method than systems that utilize chemical refrigerants. A swamp cooler is best used in dry climates, however, because it adds humidity to the air and might have earned its name for the swampy smell that can develop if the unit is not cleaned well or often enough.
A ductless or mini split system is a great option for those with allergy issues and/or small homes. They are much more energy efficient because they aren’t forcing air through vents but they only heat or cool the rooms they’re in and tend to need frequent maintenance/replacement.
There are environmentally friendly ways to use water, steam, or a water solution as a medium to warm or cool a home. Radiant heating/cooling using pipes (versus electric wire radiant heating) circulates water through a closed loop system that can be installed on floors, baseboards, in walls or ceilings. This versatile system can be combined with solar space heating methods and hot water heaters.
Dig a hole
A ground source geothermal (or renewable) heating and cooling system is a heat pump that uses the Earth’s constant temperature to circulate fluid through a loop of buried pipes. The system removes summer heat from inside a house and replaces it with cooler forced air or heats up and replaces the cold winter air in a house.
Make it happen
If you use a contractor to help with your heating, ventilation, and air conditioning needs, check for NATE certification. And the new federal mandatory minimum Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio (SEER) of a system’s cooling performance must be 14 or 15. The federal minimum Annual Fuel Utilization Efficiency (AFUE) rating is 80 percent for residential furnace systems.
If you’re currently searching for a new home, are ready to sell your home and need a qualified seller’s agent to assist you, or if you have any further questions regarding New York Real Estate, please feel free to contact our office at any time.