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Winter has ended and spring is about to be in full swing. That means summer is right around the corner and, with it, comes the high temperatures residents of Fort Myers, Florida, are all too familiar with. You probably didn’t worry much about your electricity costs over winter, but energy efficiency is on everybody’s mind when those higher bills start coming in. Fortunately, there are some things you can do to help lower your summer usage. You might want to consider converting to a new ductless mini-split heating and cooling system, especially if your current unit is more than a decade old.
Install Multiple Units
One of the most attractive features of ductless mini-split systems is the ability to connect up to eight interior units for every exterior element. This is significant because each interior unit is individually controlled, meaning you can control the temperature for every room in your home. So, why is that important?
Let’s think about the rooms in your home. You probably have at least one room that’s always too warm or too cold compared to the rest of the house. That’s because most older systems have a centrally located thermostat, usually in the living room or a hallway, that controls the temperature for the entire house.
If you close your interior doors while the system is running, the air being pumped into that room isn’t circulating through the rest of the house, which means it will take longer for your thermostat to recognize a change in temperature. So, while certain rooms in your home have already reached the desired temperature, your thermostat is still asking the unit to keep working, because it’s out of the loop. This leads to higher energy costs and rooms that are either too hot or too cold.
Installing a separate ductless mini-split in each room mitigates this problem. Each unit is controlled by its own thermostat, so you can set the temperature for that room to whatever you want, without having to worry about how it will affect the rest of your home. This leads to a more comfortable house and lowers energy consumption since each unit will only do exactly the amount of work it needs to.
Check for Utility Rate Discounts and Rebates
When shopping for ductless mini-split systems, look for the Energy Star label. Not only will you be getting a unit that has been certified to bring you the best in energy efficiency, thereby lowering your monthly electric bill, but many utility companies also offer discounts and rebates for installing energy-efficient appliances.
Also check with your utility company to see what discounts they offer for installing a ductless mini-split system, and let them know once the installation has been completed so you can take full advantage of these programs. Your new system is already going to help lower your monthly bill, but there’s no reason you shouldn’t save every penny you can.
Coolant: R-410A vs. R22
If you have an older heat pump, you’re likely using R22 coolant, which is being phased out of the HVAC industry. As time goes on, this coolant becomes more expensive. Right now, one pound of R22 coolant costs upward of $120. If your older system develops a coolant leak, which it eventually will, you’re going to end up spending a lot of money replacing that R22. Eventually, you’ll end up having to replace your entire unit, since this type of coolant is no longer being manufactured.
Ductless mini-split systems use R-410A coolant, which is the new industry standard. It’s not only less expensive, but also much more efficient. As mentioned earlier, a single exterior unit running with R-410A coolant can handle up to eight interior units, all running at different temperatures. It takes much less of this type of coolant to heat and cool your home, which means lower costs if you ever need to replace it.
If you’re considering a new heating and cooling unit for your home, a ductless mini-split system could be what you’re looking for. Trust our professionals at Island Air of Southwest Florida and call 239-935-8880 to get help selecting and installing the right system for your home.
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