For homeowners, the world of home energy is a fast-changing place. Spurred on by a variety of political and economic events, costs have been soaring, and efforts are underway to compensate and adjust by changing the way we heat and cool our homes.
At 128 Plumbing, we’re ideally positioned to help you navigate these changes. We’ve been a key player in the Massachusetts HVAC industry for decades, and we know how to give you home energy savings that best suit your needs as a homeowner.
Part of navigating those changes is understanding some of the major trends and innovations that are driving home energy savings and changes, so let’s take a closer look at what’s happening and how it will likely affect you.
Smart Homes, Heating and Cooling, and Digital Behavioural Interventions
As recently as 5-10 years ago, accessing home energy systems was simple. Turn your air conditioner on in the summer. Set the thermostat to get more heat in the winter.
Not anymore. Smart homes with interconnected devices have changed the way we access home energy, so we’ve all had to learn some positive new habits.
Want an example? Let’s take a hybrid heat pump system that relies on a furnace when the temperatures turn extremely cold.
The heat pump will take care of heating your home when the temperatures start dropping, but a smart controller will “choose” to shift over to the furnace during especially cold days.
The controller will make intelligent choices based on the best energy efficiency outcome, but homeowners can override those choices if they prefer.
Heat Pumps, Energy Demand and Energy Efficiency
Speaking of heat pumps, they’ve been in the news a lot lately, and for good reason. They’re revolutionizing the world of home energy by reducing costs and making the heating process far more efficient.
Here are some of the ways they’re doing it:
- Reducing energy consumption. Residential heat pumps are coming on the market that can lower energy consumption by 30 percent.
- Gas-based heat pumps that lower costs. These new heat pumps can lower heating costs by as much as 30-45 percent when compared to conventional gas furnaces and boilers.
- Gas heat pumps and AC that reduce emissions. One of the primary goals of heat pump technology is to reduce emissions, and these heat pumps do it by using a specially designed combustion burner.
Lowering Home Energy Costs with HVAC Feedback
As HVAC systems become smarter and more sophisticated, they’re giving us more and more feedback when it comes to lowering our home energy costs.
How? The companies that make them get a wealth of data that allows them to make each subsequent system more and more efficient.
That means you can get a smart HVAC system that’s designed for your home and your space. It can include a heat pump, a furnace or a boiler, and whatever other components you need to meet your home heating and cooling needs.
Next Generation Appliances that Provide Home Energy Savings
If you’re considering replacing any appliances that are starting to become energy hogs, now is the time. There are rebates available through both Mass Save and the Inflation Reduction Act, and the purchase is well worth it when you consider the savings these appliances can give you over the long haul.
Let’s take a couple of examples. Traditional electrical or gas-based dryers have been identified as major energy users, but that’s starting to change.
Heat pump technology is behind this change. Heat pumps can easily move and cycle the hot air needed for drying—that’s what they do, after all.
The latest driers based on heat pump technology are showing the ability to lower energy consumption by as much as 60 percent compared to current electric and gas-based dryers.
The Refrigeration Revolution and Home Energy
Want another example? How about your refrigerator? It’s on all the time, which means it’s constantly using energy and costing you money. Not on a par with what your drier is costing you, but the fact that it’s on all the time makes it a target for change.
That change is based on magnets. Refrigerators are based on a process called vapor compression that uses harmful coolants.
But the new generation of refrigerators use something called a magnetocaloric effect by using a water-based cooling fluid that takes advantage of this effect to cool your food and drinks without hurting the environment.
Lighting That Lowers Your Home Energy Costs
Many homeowners have already reaped cost benefits by switching over to LED-based lighting that consumes as much as 85 percent less energy that old-school incandescent bulbs.
Get ready for more savings. LED efficiency is expected to double based on research that’s both powerful and ongoing, which means you’ll be saving even more money.
Insulation, Solar Panels and Energy Efficient Windows
Heat pumps and appliances aren’t the only home energy factors that are getting an energy efficiency makeover.
Insulation is a key factor when it comes to lowering home heating and cooling costs. New materials are coming on the market that are both environmentally friendly and more efficient because they’re made of advanced composite materials. They keep hot air or cool air in, depending on your seasonal needs, so you save money.
Everyone knows about the benefits of solar panels, but those costs savings are just the beginning. New roofing materials are coats with specialized pigments that reflect sunlight and absorb less heat, which means you can capture the sun’s heat for your energy needs with solar panels and reflect it in the summer to lower your AC needs.
Finally, let’s talk about windows. We all know they’re getting more energy efficient and better insulated, but next-generation windows will also use sensors and microprocessors to adjust shading automatically depending on the time of day and the amount of sunlight that’s available. The result is more illumination with a lower spend.
Join the Digital Home Energy Revolution with 128 Plumbing
As you can tell from what we’ve reviewed above, it’s a brave new world when it comes to home energy, and 128 Plumbing can help you understand what’s happening so you can make the best choices for your home.
Whether it’s heat pumps that do both home heating and air conditioning, more efficient appliances or taking advantage of energy rebates, we can help get you there.
Start the process with a phone call. The numbers are (888) 419-4233 or (781) 670-3261. We’ll answer your questions, assess your needs and give you the right recommendations.
To get more information about how this works, you can also go to 128Plumbing.com and start a live chat. We also have some great blogs and articles about your home energy needs and the options that are available, so make sure you check those out as well.