How Does HVAC Retrofitting Work?
The HVAC system in your home may have been designed to be effective when it was built, but if it’s older, it may not be an energy-efficient system. The longer your old system runs, the more energy it uses—and the higher your utility bills will be. An inefficient system can waste energy and money and cause problems, such as increased humidity and condensation, which can lead to illness or damage to your home.
Another issue is that many older systems don’t have the technology needed to control how much energy they use. For instance, many older HVAC systems have a single ON setting that causes run all day long, even when no one is home or when you’re only using a portion of the space. Heating and cooling empty rooms wastes energy and money and can cause additional wear and tear on your unit.
But what if your older system is still in good shape or if you’re not ready to replace the system? Is there something you can do to save energy and money and still use your old unit? We assure you there is. This is why a lot of people turn to HVAC retrofitting as a solution.
What Is HVAC Retrofitting?
HVAC retrofitting at its most simple is the process of upgrading parts of your HVAC system to improve its efficiency and save money. Replacing an entire HVAC system can be expensive and invasive, and it could be overkill if parts of your HVAC are functioning without issue. Retrofitting allows you to keep what’s working effectively and upgrade what isn’t.
While replacing your AC or adding a heat pump sounds simple enough, adding the new to the old is actually more complex than that. The new equipment you’re installing needs to be connected to your existing HVAC system, and with changes in technology and standards, the parts might not match up as well as you’d like. That’s where retrofitting comes in. Adjustments will likely need to be made to accommodate both the new and the original equipment.
Since a part of your goal is improving efficiency, it’s going to be important that the connections are seamless. That’s why it’s important to hire an HVAC professional, such as the experts at Entek, to install your new equipment and retrofit the new to the old. A qualified HVAC installer will ensure the varying pieces work well together.
Common HVAC Retrofit Upgrades
There are many ways to upgrade your existing HVAC system for better efficiency. The following are some of the most common HVAC retrofit upgrades you might consider in your house:
Adding a Heat Pump
Heat pumps can provide both heating and cooling in your home by using electricity to move heat from one place to another. They’re usually more efficient than electric space heaters because they don’t need to generate the heat. Heat pumps can work in reverse as air conditioners if you have too much heat in your house during the summer months.
Adding a heat pump to your existing system could cut down on your energy use. Use the heat pump when temperatures are mild, and save the furnace and AC for more extreme weather.
Replacing Air Filters
Your HVAC system likely had a built-in air filter, but if it’s older, it might not be doing its job effectively. Upgrading your air filter can keep dust and debris from being recirculated in your home through your furnace’s vents and keep the air you breathe clean and healthy. Air filters will typically pay for themselves within a few years by reducing maintenance costs for furnaces that are prone to clogging up with dust and dirt particles.
Adding Insulation Around Ductwork
Aging systems lose efficiency over time, and that can include losing energy through your ductwork. Adding insulation around ductwork will reduce the amount of air lost through ducts in older homes without having to replace them entirely. Insulating ductwork can also help improve air quality by reducing the number of dust particles that get sucked into the system when you turn on your air conditioning or furnace fan.
Installing a Programmable Thermostat
This is one of the most common ways to use HVAC retrofitting to save money on heating and cooling costs. A programmable thermostat allows you to schedule temperatures so that you don’t have to worry about turning on your air conditioner when it’s too hot or turning up the heat when it’s too cold. This can help you use less energy while still maintaining a comfortable temperature at all times.
Replacing a Conventional Furnace
If you have an older furnace that doesn’t have the latest technology, it could be time to replace it with a new one. Most furnaces sold today are high-efficiency models that use less energy than older models did and provide better temperature control. They also utilize variable-speed motors to save even more energy while providing consistent heating throughout the entire home.
Installing Energy Recovery Ventilators (ERVs)
ERVs are small devices that help reduce energy loss through the ductwork by capturing heat from outgoing air before it leaves the house and transferring it into the cool incoming air. They work by using the principle of heat transfer—namely that hot air rises. An ERV captures this heat in a special chamber and then releases it back into incoming air so it doesn’t need to be reheated at all, thus saving energy costs for both heating and cooling seasons alike.
If your current heating or cooling system is outdated or inefficient, you may want to consider doing some research into potential upgrades. Doing so could save you money on your monthly utility bill while improving your comfort. There are many types of upgrades available for HVAC systems.
Contact Entek to learn more about how HVAC retrofitting can make a difference in your home. Our team of professionals will determine where your HVAC system could use improvements and make recommendations accordingly. We’ll have your HVAC running more efficiently before you know it.