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Efficient heating and cooling solutions you haven’t heard of

Molly Cerreta Smith loves writing about all things mommy, parenting, food, health and travel. When she's not staring into the face of her Mac, she loves to hike, read, do messy crafts with her kids and compete in BBQ competitions with he...

Heat and cool your home in a whole new way

Properly heating and cooling your home can be one of the most important decisions you make as a homeowner. Luckily, there are many options that are both energy-efficient and perfectly powerful.
Update your heating and cooling
Retro fan

Heat and cool your home in a new way

Stay cool (or warm!) with these new heating/cooling solutions.

What makes an A/C unit efficient?

The efficiency of a central unit is rated two ways. One is the energy efficiency ratio (EER), which reveals your unit's energy consumption while cooling a prescribed volume of 95-degree air over the course of an hour in a specialized laboratory. The second is called the seasonal energy efficiency ratio (SEER) -- a more complex level of efficiency testing that considers the average amount of energy being used at different temperatures as well as humidity levels. Units running with both of those ratings are considered to be 14 percent more efficient than those without the ratings, according to ENERGYSTAR.

Out with the old

Central A/C units can become inefficient over time. According to ENERGYSTAR, central units over 12 years old can be costing you 30 percent more in energy costs than ENERGYSTAR-rated units.

Dyson AM04 Fan HeaterWhole room heating/cooling unit

Heating or cooling one room just got a whole lot cooler. If a ceiling fan or window unit isn’t meeting your temperature needs, check out a whole room heating/cooling unit like the Dyson AM04 Fan Heater ($400) which is designed with Air Multiplier™ technology to provide long-range and even heating. It also has intense cooling power without the use of a fan blade.

Use water

Want to go green when it comes to your heating and cooling needs? Try a geothermal heat pump, which is said to be both cost-effective and environmentally friendly. In fact, a study of energy efficiency by the EPA found geothermal energy to be the "most environmentally friendly heating/cooling system." Geothermal energy is accessible nearly everywhere in the U.S. Check out WaterFurnace for more information about having a geothermal heat pump installed for your home.

Don't supersize

You may think buying a larger A/C unit will be more effective for heating and cooling your home… but that’s not the case. According to a statement by The Consumer Reports magazine, "An oversized air conditioner may cool a space too quickly, then shut off before it has completed the slower work of reducing humidity."

A compact heating and cooling system may be exactly what you need to stabilize the temperature in your home without purchasing an oversized unit that will ultimately be inefficient. Have a contractor evaluate your home to determine the most efficient unit.

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