I’ve figured out that approximately 50% of our household energy consumption is the result of heating and cooling. I live in an area that experiences weather extremes. For the majority of the year, some type of temperature control is necessary. The conditions fluctuate between twenty-five below zero and the high eighties. We deal with snow, rain, humidity, sleet, freezing rain, high winds and every imaginable type of weather. The furnace and air conditioner carry a big workload. It’s necessary to take very good care of the heating and cooling system.
I am very conscientious about replacing air filters and scheduling annual professional maintenance. I’ve also gone to great lengths to tightly seal the house to prevent energy waste. I know that even the smallest crack or lack of insulation allows the outside air to come in and encourages the heated/cooled air to escape. The result is inferior comfort, greater wear and tear on the heating/cooling system and higher running costs. I’ve replaced windows and exterior doors, caulked and weatherstripped. These efforts have greatly improved efficiency but have also eliminated natural ventilation. The same stale air is trapped in the house and continuously circulated by the furnace and air conditioner. Dust, pollen, bacteria, dander and other allergens create a polluted environment and cause health concerns. I’ve solved this problem with the installation of a heat recovery ventilator. The ventilator brings in a steady supply of fresh air to replace the stale air. It is like opening the windows without any of the energy sacrifices. Plus, the ventilator combats excess humidity in the summer and uses the outgoing air to preheat the incoming air in the winter. Having the ventilator running has not only improved the health, cleanliness and comfort of the house but significantly reduced my monthly energy costs.