Most of you who are reading this will already be aware of the carbon monoxide poisoning dangers that HVAC (heating, ventilation, and air conditioning) systems pose.
However there are other concerns that responsible homeowners should address in relation to their HVAC systems, and I'll outline two of them below.
Greenhouse Gas Emissions
All fossil fuel burning systems release greenhouse gasses. Although it is beyond the scope of this short article to detail all the dangers associated with rising carbon levels in the atmosphere and oceans, over 95% of climate scientists around the world agree this presents a serious threat to our way of life - you can read more about the greenhouse effect and gasses at Wikipedia and the EPA.
You may not have realized that even systems that operate exclusively on electricity are also usually contributing to climate change because much of the power available in the grid still comes from fossil fuel burning power stations, and will continue to do so for the foreseeable future.
Wasted Money on Home Energy Bills
In the current economic environment, using more energy than you need to is pretty much the same as burning money.
HVAC systems which are not properly maintained are an obvious cause of this problem, but a less obvious one is the way in which your operate the system and how you control temperatures in the home.
By not heating or cooling when you don't need to, or by better managing the way your system maintains temperature, you can gain significant savings on your monthly gas and electric bills.
Reduce These Problems With Smart Thermostats
The new smart thermostats made by companies like Nest are providing substantial reductions in both energy use and their associated costs.
They do this in several ways - here are a few examples:
- They allow you to plan your energy usage over the cycles of a day, weeks, and even months
- They let you control your HVAC system from your smart phone or any computer - if you forget to turn the heating off you can do it even when you're not at home
- They learn your patterns of energy use and then manage the temperature settings automatically in ways which are much more efficient than you can do yourself
The estimated energy savings for a typical household, gained by using a programmable thermostat, are $180 per year according to energystar.gov. With the price of a typical unit around $250 this means you will recover your initial investment in less than 2 years.
Investing in a smart thermostat will reduce both your carbon footprint and your home energy bills.