It’s pretty easy to take the air you breathe for granted. But the fact is, there’s a lot to know about the heating and cooling systems in your home. And this is the place to start. (Especially if you want to take another thing for granted: Say, low energy bills.)
Your drapes, fabrics and paint colors were all chosen with care to suit your home and tastes. Your heating and cooling system should be just the same. That’s why we offer our innovative products in four configurations. One is sure to meet your needs perfectly.
A split system simply means your solution has products that reside both inside and outside your home. In many cases, a split system consists of:
Some split systems consist only of an outdoor unit―such as a heat pump or air conditioner―and an inside fan coil. If that’s the case, there’s usually another heat source in the home like baseboard heat or a boiler.
It’s a smarter version of your standard split system, with an energy efficient twist: In addition to gas furnace heat, this system automatically figures out how to get the best efficiency by also using an electricity-fueled heat pump to provide warmth. Bonus―the heat pump functions in the place of an air conditioner too.
In the warmer, humid climates of the south you might consider a high performance heat pump with a lower efficiency and lower up front cost furnace so you can have the furnace as backup heating on really cold nights, while taking advantage of the high-efficiency heat pump most of the year. A heat pump with a variable-speed compressor matched to a furnace with a variable-speed blower motor can do an amazing job of pulling humidity out of the air in the summer to save money.
Meanwhile, in colder climates, it’s best to pair your heat pump with a high-efficiency furnace. Despite the cold, you might be surprised by just how much mileage―not to mention cost-saving efficiency―you’ll get from a heat pump in the spring, fall and, yes, even winter months.
A Hybrid Heat system includes:
As you may have guessed from its name, a ductless split system doesn’t rely on air ducts to spread treated air in your home. Instead, this specialty system is designed to heat or cool room additions or other places that may lack ductwork, such as home theatres, exercise rooms, garages or any other area where the existing system doesn’t quite cut it. Ductless split systems include:
Some homes just don’t have space inside for a furnace or the coil needed for cooling. That doesn’t mean they can’t be filled with the same comfort and improved air quality of a split system home.
Packaged units tend to all look alike but can do vastly different things:
As an all-in-one unit, the only other thing you need is a control or thermostat and, of course, ductwork to carry the conditioned air. Additionally you can add air quality accessories if you like. Packaged systems may be located on the exterior of your home, either on a flat rooftop or in the yard.
Traditional heat pumps do the same thing as air conditioners but in winter, they do it in reverse, drawing their heat energy from the outside air. Geothermal heat pumps don't have to rely on the potentially wide temperature swings of outdoor air. They tap into the relatively consistent and more moderate temperatures of the earth instead. Using your yard, pond or well water, this ingenious technology enables you to enjoy higher energy efficiency inside your home—no matter how extreme the weather gets outside.
There are geothermal systems that can serve homes with ductwork or homes with radiant heat. The radiant heat versions are referred to as hydronic systems and some of those can also provide you with all your hot water needs.
A geothermal system can be used to provide all of your heating and cooling needs or you can pair it with a furnace for a dual fuel heating solution.
Chances are you have billions of unwanted guests living in your home. Dust mites. Mold. Mildew. It’s an even surer bet that they’ve overstayed their welcome. This doesn’t even include all the little air pollutant inhabitants you can’t see like pet dander, bacteria, viruses, skin flakes, chemical fumes, pollen and more. And there are plenty more outside waiting to get in. It’s time to take control of your home’s air quality.
Incredible as it sounds, the Environmental Protection Agency concludes that the air inside your home can be 2-5 times dirtier than the air outside1. And ironically, today’s tightly-sealed, well-insulated homes only make the problem worse, as the same stale, contaminated indoor air is circulated and re-circulated.
If you haven’t already run screaming from the house, there is good news: We offer a wide range of air-quality solutions, including humidifiers, ventilators, UV lamps and air purifiers. Working together, they can clear the air by eliminating pollutants and even killing the living intruders in your home’s air.
If you’re like most people, energy efficiency and cost savings are at the top of your wish list when considering which home heating and cooling system to choose.
Like mythical genies, our engineers are in the wish-fulfillment business, dreaming up a wide variety of sophisticated options to grant virtually any need—including some of the world’s most efficient cooling and heating solutions.
As you research all your options, you’ll no doubt come across your share of industry-standard efficiency rating systems. They may look intimidating, but in a nutshell, all you need to know is the higher number, the higher the efficiency, and the lower your long-term energy costs will be.
Questions? Your local Carrier® expert can also help you choose the heating and cooling products that are right for you.
The Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio (SEER) is the measure of efficiency by which the cooling process of air conditioner and heat pump systems is rated. The higher the SEER number, the greater the efficiency, and therefore the greater the energy savings. Today, U.S. regulatory agencies require all new products to have a 13.0 SEER rating or better. We offer air conditioner and heat pump systems that can achieve SEER ratings over 20.
If you’re in the market for a gas- or oil-fired furnace, the Annual Fuel Utilization Efficiency (AFUE) rating is a helpful stat to know.
Displayed in percentages, the AFUE rating tells you how much of the fuel consumed by your furnace is used to heat your home and how much is wasted. The higher the AFUE rating, the greater the efficiency. For example, a 90% furnace creates heat, 90% of which is used directly by the home with 10% lost, generally as a result of venting. We offer a full line of furnaces, some with AFUE ratings that exceed 98%. We also boast the most efficient gas furnace on the market.*
If you have an older furnace (with an AFUE of approximately 64%), you could save a staggering 34% on your heating bills simply by replacing it with a new high-efficiency furnace—and make up the cost of replacing your old, inefficient furnace pretty quickly.
If your furnace is more than 15 years old and you’re not sure of its AFUE rating, you can contact the manufacturer about it. When you call, you’ll need to have the furnace’s serial number handy. Chances are you’ll find it on a small metal plate attached to the unit.
*The 59MN7A60V21-20 model gas furnace with Greenspeed™ intelligence is the most efficient furnace you can buy at 98.5% AFUE.
Heating Seasonal Performance Factor (HSPF) measures the efficiency of the heating mode of heat pumps. The higher the number, the greater the efficiency and cost-savings. Today’s models are required to have a minimum of 7.7 HSPF. Not that we’re bragging (even though we kind of are), but we offer a heat pump with an HSPF rating of 13 that leaves other heat pumps out in the cold*.
*In the commonly sold 3-ton size, consumers will enjoy a heating efficiency rating 29 to 69 percent higher than other air source heat pumps on the market today..
The Coefficient Of Performance (COP) is used to measure certain heat pumps’ efficiencies while in heating mode. You’ll commonly see this measure applied to geothermal products. Unless you’re looking for painful reminders of high school math classes or are a budding engineer, this one is pretty tough to calculate. In a nutshell it’s the energy produced by the heat pump (in watts) divided by the energy consumed by the heat pump (in watts)―easy. Like other efficiency ratings, higher is better.
If you have geothermal system, air conditioner or air source heat pump, you may be interested in your system’s Energy Efficiency Rating (EER). It measures cooling efficiency and is calculated by dividing a product’s BTU output by the watts of power it uses. Rule of thumb―higher is better.
All your life, you’ve heard that you get what you pay for, and energy efficiency is no exception. The higher the efficiency of a heat pump, air conditioner or furnace, the more sophisticated the unit, and therefore, the more it tends to cost.
But despite the higher price tag, energy-efficient units invariably come with lower utility bills. Significantly lower, in many cases. As a result, you could see your additional investment paid back in only a few short years. And long after you’ve broken even with savings, you’ll continue to save on your energy bills―plus you get to enjoy the added comfort benefits that usually come with the model’s increased functionality.
How long would it take for one of our fuel-efficient systems to pay off for you? Your local Carrier expert would be happy to break down all the numbers for you.
Additional factors that affect the efficiency of your air conditioner or heat pump system are your indoor coil and blower motor. If your indoor coil isn’t properly sized to match your outdoor condensing unit, the system may not give you the stated SEER and/or HSPF ratings and could even develop performance problems. Not having a variable-speed blower motor means the system will tend to consume more electricity. That’s because the fan will frequently be operating a higher speeds than necessary to move the conditioned air in the house.
When you replace an existing outdoor unit, make sure you talk to your Carrier Expert about the potential effects of the indoor system on efficiency. It may be wise to replace both units in order to assure longer system life and gain peak performance, efficiency and comfort.
At Carrier, we have a fundamental respect for the environment that’s reflected in many of our proudest innovations. As a world leader in heating, air conditioning and refrigeration solutions, we’re committed to developing innovations that help our consumers decrease their own impact on the planet.
Residential and commercial buildings consume about 41 percent of all energy used in the U.S.1 In your own home, as much as 54% of energy used is for heating and cooling.2
That’s why we continually invest in research and development to increase the efficiency of our products. For example, we introduced the first environmentally-sound refrigerant, Puron®, in 1996, a full 14 years before industry regulations required it. And our new, Infinity® heat pump with Greenspeed™ intelligence is a technological first in ducted, air source heat pumps, achieving an unprecedented 13 HSPF, a leap of 29% in efficiency over previously best-in-class heat pumps of its kind in a 3-ton size.
We’ve also found ways to improve the ways we manufacture products around the world, including requiring post-recycled content in all paper, using digital technology and reducing water and energy usage in our manufacturing processes whenever possible. In fact, from 2006 to 2010, our factories reduced water usage by 30% and air emissions by 60%.
In this day and age, responsibility for the environment is one we all shoulder. And you can take comfort in knowing that we will continually push to invent and create the most energy efficient and environmentally-sound products possible.
1 According to the US Energy Information Administration http://www.eia.gov/totalenergy/data/annual/perspectives.cfm
2 According to the US Department of Energy http://www.energysavers.gov/tips/heating_cooling.cfm
If it seems like a private tropical island may be cheaper than your heating bill, your equipment may be to blame. Read on, and we’ll let you know if you need some repairs—or a whole new system.
The first step is getting to know your furnace. First, how old is it? A typical furnace lasts about 20 years. And chances are, the older it is, the less efficient it is. If you don’t know your furnace’s AFUE rating, call the manufacturer. They should be able to tell you by the serial number of the unit. The AFUE number describes what percentage of fuel consumed is actually used for heat, and how much fuel is simply wasted. For example, if your AFUE rating is 60, your furnace is converting 60% of its fuel to heat for the home, and losing the remaining 40% of heat, usually through venting. Obviously, the higher the number, the better the efficiency. And while no furnace operates at 100%, some get pretty darn close.
Now that you have this number, look for your energy bill. Depending on how much fuel your furnace wastes, you can easily calculate how much money you’re unnecessarily spending every month.
In many cases, the significantly lower energy bills may enable you to recoup the expense of replacing your system in just a few short years. So, does replacing your furnace make sense? You betcha. Well, unless you’re moving to that private island.
If there’s an exception to the old “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it” rule, it has to do with air conditioners. The EPA recommends you consider replacement of your air conditioner if it’s over 10 years old.1 If you want to get on board with doing the right thing for the planet and your pocketbook it makes sense because newer ACs are just that much more efficient than they used to be. For example, if you were to replace an old air conditioner with a 10-SEER rating with a new 21-SEER unit and proper indoor coil, you could save up to 56% on your cooling costs. Of course, there are other reasons why you might feel the need to pull the plug on your current unit right now:
Whether you decide to upgrade or repair, your local Carrier® expert can help. He or she can give you tips, insights, advice and recommendations that take the guesswork and hassle out of purchasing and installing the perfect new system for your home―or help you get the most from the system you already have in place, both in terms of comfort and cost.