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HVAC Equipment

Selecting HVAC (Heating, Ventilating and Air Conditioning) equipment for a green home involves a great number of choices. Gas furnaces’ have efficiency ratings from 80% to 95% and air conditioners have efficiency ratings of 13 SEER to 18 SEER depending on the brand. Heat pumps have efficiency ratings of 13 SEER to 18 SEER. Geothermal or “ground source” heat pump have efficiency ratings of 13 EER to 25 EER.

An approved energy analysis will allow you to make a logical decision about the operational cost of the equipment and the trade offs required to upgrade to higher efficiency systems. Most trade offs involve the initial cost of the equipment as compared to the operational cost over the life of the equipment. Once the initial cost is “paid back” by the operational savings, the owner then realizes the benefit in the terms of lower utility costs. The can also be trade offs with other features in the green home – see Insulation.

High efficiency filters, programmable thermostats, humidifiers, and a fresh air circulation systems can be added that will further enhance the efficiency and comfort level of the home.

The duct system that delivers air to each room also returns it back to the equipment will be basically the same for whatever equipment is to be installed. The duct system needs to be designed with the shortest runs of duct possible and is required to be sealed to reduce air leakage. All ducts should be in “conditioned” space not in the attic. No ducts should be installed in exterior walls.


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