How Cogeneration Impacts HVAC Systems

Saving energy is a major topic in the HVAC industry. Although the American economy is recovering, the process is slow, and for consumers and businesses, saving energy means saving time and money. However, HVAC systems often use massive amounts of energy, which naturally translates into larger energy bills for home and business owners. HVAC experts are finding cogeneration may be the answer to this issue.

What Is Cogeneration?

Cogeneration, otherwise known as combined heat and power (CHP), uses a power station or heat engine to create useable electricity and heat simultaneously. When an HVAC system generates electricity, it also generates heat. This keeps the home or business warm in fall and winter, but that energy is often wasted during spring and summer. Even during colder seasons, extra heat is siphoned into the environment, causing wasted energy. Cogeneration captures leftover heat and “recycles” it.

How The Heat Is Used

In cogeneration, the “waste heat” from an HVAC system is used to heat water, and offsets greenhouse gas emissions and fuel that would otherwise be burned away. This keeps the HVAC system from overheating or breaking down. Over time, such use saves significant time and money in terms of repairs and replacements. The longer an HVAC system lasts, the more energy it can create and the cleaner and safer its surrounding environment will be.

Cogeneration Cuts Costs

Additionally, cogeneration decreases the overall need for electricity. An HVAC system that uses CHP will use about 50% less electricity than systems that do not. As a result, home and business owners can run their HVAC systems for shorter periods, saving energy and keeping the surrounding environment free of pollutants. In addition, home and business owners who use a CHP HVAC system will learn to respond better to natural temperature fluctuations in their buildings. Over time, they may turn to more energy-saving methods of keeping themselves warm or cool, such as using environmentally friendly building materials.

The EPA and other agencies estimate that using a cogeneration HVAC system cuts energy costs and harmful emissions by at least 30-40%. Growing popularity and technological improvements guarantee that increasing numbers of people will use cogeneration systems in the future.

The Growing Popularity Of Cogeneration

Although cogeneration has existed since 1882, our over-reliance on fossil fuels has created a resurgence among home and business owners, especially those who work with HVAC systems. With cogeneration, HVAC systems are now relying more on thermal energy, a cleaner energy source than oil, gas, and other fossil fuels. This decreases air pollution and its many negative consequences, such as the impact of poor air quality on human health.

As the technology behind cogeneration improves, the EPA and other agencies estimate its popularity will only continue to grow. Right now, technological improvements include cost reduction for HVAC systems that use cogeneration, as well as improved environmental control technology. These particular improvements will allow HVAC experts and their customers to adjust individual cogeneration systems to fit their needs and surrounding environments.

Finding An HVAC Dealer in Los Angeles

There are several cogeneration HVAC systems available, so finding the right dealer is crucial. If you are searching for a Los Angeles HVAC dealer, please call Brody Pennell or visit us online. We can further explain the benefits of a cogeneration HVAC system and determine the best system for your particular needs.

Pitfalls to Avoid When Buying a New AC or Furnace

If you own your home for an extended period of time, you will almost certainly need to replace your air conditioner or furnace sooner or later. These heating and cooling systems cost much more than the typical household appliance, and if you buy a unit that’s not well-suited to residence, you may regret your purchasing decision for as much as a decade or longer. Fortunately, you can increase your chances of buying a suitable AC or furnace by avoiding a few common pitfalls.

 

Buying an Inappropriately Sized Unit

Furnace and air conditioner manufacturers design their products to work under a certain set of conditions. Key factors here include the size of your home, as well as your home’s layout. If you buy a heating or cooling unit that’s too powerful or too weak for your needs, you can easily experience a number of serious problems, including spikes in your monthly heating or cooling costs, an inability to maintain a comfortable temperature throughout your home and premature failure of one or more components in your AC or furnace.

 

Not Verifying Your Contractor’s Reputation

Most HVAC (heating, ventilation and air conditioning) contractors are reputable businesspeople who will do their best to provide you with quality work. However, quite frankly, some contractors are incompetent or dishonest. If you don’t verify your contractor’s reputation with other homeowners in your area or (better yet) a trusted service like the Better Business Bureau, you have no way of knowing if he or she will do good work and maintain a safe working environment on your property.

 

Basing Your Choice Solely on Price

Some HVAC contractors will work for what seems like a very low price. However — as the cliché goes — you get what you pay for, and a cheap contractor may try to cut corners in important ways or simply deliver inferior work. Even if you have a limited budget, it makes sense to balance pricing considerations with the short- and long-term quality of the work you will receive.

 

Not Locking Down Your Contract

All trustworthy HVAC contractors should be happy to supply you with a contract that details the work they will perform and the price they will charge for this work. This type of detailed contract is critical to your ability to take legal action if something goes wrong or the contractor fails to complete the agreed-upon work at a reasonable price or within a reasonable timeframe.

 

Leaving Energy Efficiency Out of the Equation

A highly energy-efficient furnace or AC will likely cost you a good deal more money up front than a unit with a much lower efficiency rating. However, the energy-efficient option may actually cost you less money over time if you factor in the long-term impact on your monthly utility bills.

 

Consulting a Single Contractor

Prices among trustworthy HVAC specialists can vary considerably. If you only talk to a single contractor, you could easily miss out on significant savings in the cost of your unit or your installation fees.

Make sure to follow this blog for ongoing advice on best practices for household heating and cooling.

Brody Pennell Wins Carrier’s Presidents Award for the Ninth Consecutive Year

We are one of only three Carrier Factory Authorized Dealers in all of North America to win Carrier’s Prestigious Presidents Award, are one of only three Carrier Factory Authorized Dealers in all of North America to win Carrier’s Prestigious Presidents Award for nine consecutive years award for nine consecutive years.

Cooling Tips For Your Home

It can be a constant battle to keep the temperature of your home at a cool and comfortable level while not breaking the bank to pay your electric bill. Many families are feeling the heat, literally and figuratively, during the warmer months. However, there are some cooling tips for your home that can help create a comfortable balance and be better on the environment. For the benefit of your budget, your comfort, and the environment, follow these summer cooling tips:

If the temperature drops enough in the evening and at night, open your windows to let the cooler air in. This can give your air conditioning unit a break during the night, yet still keep your house at a tolerable temperature. In the morning when it starts to warm up again, close your windows and consider turning on the air conditioning before it gets too hot and the unit has to overwork to catch up.

One of the simplest house cooling tips is to keep the blinds closed. Keeping shades and blinds closed during the day can keep several degrees of heat out of your home. In the morning, make sure the windows are covered on the east side of the house, and in the afternoon the west side of the house. In addition, you can take this a step further and buy shades that reflect and further block the sun’s heat out of your home.

Tips to stay cool in summer would not be complete without remembering to keep your air conditioning unit well maintained. This step includes changing the HVAC filter at least four times per year. Doing this will make your unit run more efficiently, as well as reduce allergens in the home. Each summer before the weather gets warmer, have your air conditioner serviced by a certified technician. This will help ensure it is running at its best and less likely to breakdown when you need it most. If your unit needs work, you can possibly do the work now to avoid a larger bill in the future when you really need your a/c unit functioning properly.

Use these tips to keep your home at a comfortable temperature during the warmer months, as well as keeping your electric bill within your budget. Call an a/c technician today to make sure you unit is functioning at the best that it can be.