Heating and cooling loads measure the amount of energy that your HVAC systems need to generate to keep your home comfortable in every season. The higher your home’s heating and cooling load, the more you’ll pay on monthly energy bills. While each home has its own specific comfort needs, every homeowner has the opportunity to lower energy bills by decreasing the home’s heating and cooling loads. As your local energy experts, the pros at Ray & Son Heating and Air Conditioning are pleased to share information that can help lower your utility bills while making your home a more comfortable environment.
A Quick Analysis of Home Energy Consumption
Nearly half of the energy consumed in the average American home goes towards heating and cooling, according to the Energy Information Administration (EIA). That’s actually an improvement over the previous decade when heating and air conditioning accounted for an average of 57.7 percent of home energy usage. A widespread adoption of EnergyStar appliances like dishwashers and refrigerators has helped conserve energy. Unfortunately, those energy-saving gains have been offset by an increased use of household electronics like computers and televisions. The EIA analyzes household energy consumption in four major categories:
- How much energy is used for space heating? Household heating accounts for around 41.5 percent of the average home’s energy use, according to the latest figures released from the EIA.
- How much energy do home appliances and electronics consume? Non-weather related energy use for household products like lighting and refrigerators accounts for 34.6 percent of a home’s energy consumption.
- How much energy is used for heating water? In the average home, water heating accounts for 17.7 percent of household energy consumption.
- How much energy do air conditioners use? According to the latest consumer survey conducted by the EIA, air conditioning accounts for around 6.2 percent of the average home’s energy use.
How Are Heating and Cooling Loads Calculated?
Heating and Cooling load calculations determine how large a heater or AC installation needs to be to keep your household comfortable in any weather. System size is measured in British Thermal Units (BTUs). In the HVAC industry, the term “ton” equals 12,000 BTUs, which refers to the amount of energy needed to keep a ton of ice frozen over a 24-hour period. In the past, contractors typically allocated a ton of cooling or heating for every 1,000 square feet of living space.
Today, reputable contractors like the experts at Ray & Son Heating and Air Conditioning never size HVAC systems based solely on the home’s square footage. Skilled contractors conduct a thorough analysis of your home before any system installation, taking into consideration the following factors:
- Your home’s level of insulation
- The layout and design of your home, including the number of windows
- The size and color of your roof
- Your home’s location and building orientation
- The number of people in your household
- How many rooms are used throughout the day
Reducing Your Heating and Cooling Loads
Load calculations are critical when installing a new HVAC system, but there are a number of ways to decrease the cooling and heating demands for your existing systems as well. The trick is to determine which strategies and improvements offer you the biggest bang for your buck. Like most homeowners in Adel GA and the surrounding regions, you know that keeping windows and doors closed when a heater or air conditioner is running helps keep your energy costs under control. Less noticeable is the waste that occurs when air filters outside through leaks and gaps in your home’s construction. Poor insulation lets outside air and pollutants into your home as well.
The most effective way to identify and address sources of energy waste in your home is with a professional home energy audit from Ray & Son. For a nominal fee, our experts will conduct a thorough inspection of your home using specialized equipment to locate sources of energy loss. At the end of the audit, you’ll be presented with a prioritized report that lists the improvements that will be most effective at lowering your energy bills.
Enhancing HVAC Performance
According to the Department of Energy (DOE), up to 40 percent of the energy that it takes to run HVAC systems is wasted in the average home. Much of the waste occurs in the network of air ducts that deliver and return air. Our ductwork services include inspections and pressure tests to determine if your air ducts are leaking air. Because the ductwork in forced-air systems is based on a carefully balanced exchange of delivery and return, it’s best to leave duct repairs in the hands of professionals. If system balance isn’t maintained when making repairs, the results can actually impair air flow. Our experts can clean, seal and/or insulate the ducts for you to improve your system’s overall energy efficiency and air distribution.
Serving the communities of South Georgia and North Florida for over 39 years, Ray & Son Heating and Air Conditioning enjoys a well-earned reputation for providing products and services that keep homes safe, healthy and comfortable while lowering monthly energy bills. Whether you’re shopping for a new AC installation or you want to learn more about how to reduce operating costs for your current system, we’re your source for solutions that enhance the quality of your life at home.