One of the most energy-efficient systems available, a heat pump will keep your house cool in the summer and warm during cooler seasons. Through a reversing refrigerant valve, a heat pump is able to be an air conditioner and a heater. Heat pumps absorb and release heat as it travels between the indoor and outdoor components in the system using less energy to accomplish the heating and cooling, making this type of system very energy efficient.
Central air conditioning systems use a large compressor located outside. The indoor coil that is filled with refrigerant cools the air and is then distributed throughout your home by way of a duct system. Air conditioning systems, along with air-source heat pumps are rated according to their seasonal energy efficiency ratio (SEER). The national efficiency standard now requires a minimum SEER of 14 for Florida. Central air conditioners also have an energy efficiency ratio (EER) rating for performance at higher temperatures.
There are a variety of furnaces available from central warm-air to steam or hot-water systems, usually called boilers. Furnaces can use natural or LP gas, oil, or electricity with boilers. Geothermal furnaces also provide air conditioning, heating and can include a water heater. Geothermal systems are extremely energy efficient and can last 30 to 50 years.
These systems can be used in a variety of ways either as a whole-house heating and cooling solution or used on a room by room basis. Zoning with these units allows you to condition the air in rooms you are using, and not the rooms not in use. Because ductwork is not needed, ductless units are often used for add-ons, attics, and retrofits where ductwork is not an option. Ductless systems are very energy efficient through the use of inverter technology and contain air purification filters for high indoor air quality.
Indoor Air Quality
As construction improvements continue to make home envelopes tighter, there is less opportunity to introduce fresh, clean air into a home. Many manufactured items in homes off-gas or introduce volatile organic compounds (VOCs) into the air. This includes carpeting, paint, furniture, candles, air fresheners, and household cleaning supplies. Allergens and VOCs can degrade the quality of air in your home making allergy, and asthma sufferers feel even worse. Indoor air quality products are available and can improve your indoor air. From UV lights to air purifiers, your home can be a respite from pollen, dust, virus and allergen-related allergies.