Environmentally, it would be ideal if everyone could live in a home that was designed to be ultra energy-efficient from the outset — a home where all the heating, cooling, lighting and appliances were optimized for the lowest possible energy consumption. Of course, realistically, not everyone can break ground on a new state-of-the-art home with green energy design.
However, homeowners can still make major improvements to the energy efficiency of their existing homes through retrofitting. This is especially true when it comes to HVAC systems. The Department of Energy estimates that most homes are inefficient to the point that they can reduce their A/C energy usage by 20-50%.
Let’s talk about one key way that you can reduce energy consumption, lower utility bills and accomplish it all for a fraction of the cost of a new smart home.
Mini split units are an excellent choice for improving HVAC efficiency throughout your home or in individual rooms. These units have two important advantages over traditional air conditioning systems.
First, they allow for room-by-room temperature control instead of covering whole floors or zones. Window units also accomplish this, but they can leak air by up to 10%. Window units are also bulkier, whereas mini splits only require a 3-inch hole for installation. This allows for greater flexibility in terms of design and, incidentally, better security from break-ins.
Second, mini splits are “ductless,” as opposed to central A/C, which uses air ducts for circulation throughout the house. Switching to ductless is significant because, according to the DOE, “duct losses can account for more than 30% of energy consumption for space conditioning, especially if the ducts are in an unconditioned space such as an attic.” Over time, 30% less energy consumption adds up to major savings.
As always, consumers are advised to choose ENERGY STAR-certified mini split units.
For maximum efficiency, it’s best to use a Wi-Fi controller (similar to a smart thermostat) with mini splits. This enables the user to control all their units from a mobile app, make temperature changes remotely and program heating and cooling based on the occupants’ schedules.
Get a Free Wi-Fi Ductless Controller and a Sign-Up Bonus!
PSEG Long Island customers who live on the South Fork of Long Island are eligible to get a free Honeywell D6 Pro Wi-Fi Ductless Controller. This offer includes free installation of the D6 as well as a $100 sign-up bonus.
To receive the Honeywell Controller, customers must enroll in the Connected Savings Program. When you sign up for Connected Savings, you allow Honeywell to make minor, short-term adjustments to your air conditioning via your Wi-Fi thermostat (usually 1-3°) during periods of high demand for electricity. These changes are usually very subtle, and the user always has the ability to override them.
This offer is administered by South Fork Peak Savers, a program helping businesses and residents on the South Fork of Long Island reduce energy consumption, save money and preserve our environment.