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- By James Wisler
When it comes to saving money, one of the coolest heating & air innovations we have is a piece of equipment called a plasma generator. It improves the air quality in your home and it’s actually capable of doing everything a UV light can do. Plasma generators can kill viruses (which is even more relevant now that we’re in a coronavirus pandemic). The cool thing about it is you don’t have to worry about the cost involved with replacing bulbs like you would with a UV light. It doesn’t really have a limited lifespan because it uses the oxygen that’s already in your home to create the plasma that kills any bacteria or viruses. It’s just a phenomenal product.
We just tend to assume that the air quality in our house is good, but that actually might not be the case. We should pay careful consideration to areas like the ductwork, where mold can start to grow and then blow all over the house. The ideal use case for a plasma generator is anyone who’s concerned about the quality of air they are breathing. People with respiratory issues, asthma, or allergies would especially benefit from getting one.
Whole Home Air Filters
I’ve mentioned the differences between air filters and how some of them can be more effective at removing small particles, catching dust, and helping reduce allergies. But the filters you buy are only about 3/4” thick and don’t last very long. Whole home air filters, on the other hand, are about 4” or 5” thick and go directly inside the ductwork. They are made from a much denser filter media which can catch more particles, but they also last much longer than a regular air filter because of the higher surface area.
Another area of innovation that leads to saving money is the SEER ratings, or the efficiency ratings, of HVAC equipment. As we’ve mentioned before, our HVAC equipment is such a big user of energy in our homes that we want to make sure we’re not overpaying for an old, outdated system. I will say, though, just installing a high-efficiency unit doesn’t necessarily mean that you now have a high-efficiency HVAC system because the ductwork is also part of the equation. If you put in a high-efficiency unit but you have major ductwork issues (like leaks or improper sizing), you’re really just spending extra money on a piece of equipment. Make sure you have a professional check out the whole system so that the higher SEER (or higher efficiency) that you gained with new HVAC equipment is actually going to net you a proper return.
Smart Homes & Thermostats
When it comes to controlling an HVAC system, there’s nothing cooler than being able to make adjustments right from your phone. Maybe you’re on vacation or you just left for work and forgot to set the thermostat. You’ll be able to see the current temperature and make adjustments using a smart thermostat from Nest or Ecobee. We have them on our trucks and can install them during a visit without any advance notice.
Dual Fuel Systems
As we’ve talked about in the past, electric isn’t as efficient as gas. Let’s say you have a heat pump, but you also have gas availability. You could get a dual fuel system consisting of a heat pump with gas backup. Whenever it gets below a specific temperature (e.g., 40 degrees), the gas backup will kick in and be much more efficient at heating the home than just the regular heat pump.
To learn more about any of these products,, , or give us a call at 540-483-9382.