As we enter the summer, the focus on comfort changes from staying warm to finding a way to cool off. Alternatively, our heating costs shift as well, and this is mainly due to efficiency. If you weren't aware, not all heating systems are created equal! In the case of electric versus gas, Electric Heat Systems are 100% energy efficient as all the electrical energy converts to heat; but, there is more to the story. Not all heating and cooling systems are green. To produce electricity energy, we often make use of oil, coal, and gas. These fuels utilize more energy to create electrical power. But let's look deeper still, insulation, air leaks via windows, doors, and attics are main culprits that leach your energy savings. Also, many systems heat and or cool all areas of your home. This all or nothing approach to heating and cooling factored in with the above mentioned, makes energy savings a moot point.

Outside of external physical comfort, let us turn our attention inwards. Our lungs are directly affected by heating and cooling systems. Did you know that one piece of dust can contain fragments of dead insects, mold spores, dead skin, and pet dander? In the case of central air systems, over time, this combination of decaying matter collects in the ducts. Now consider what happens when this material accumulates in the dark, humid environment of a hot attic and inside walls during the summer months. Everything begins to rot and is further fed on by smaller organisms. Once digested and eliminated by these organisms, the new deposits are released into the air when you turn the system back on. "But that's why there are filters," you may be saying, these filters if regularly changed, do help, but if you are still sneezing, then they aren't helping that much. If your system isn't using a multi-part filter that reduces viruses and bacteria, odors, and allergens, then your not breathing as comfortable as you can.

Technology today offers us systems that manage specified zones. I know some of you may be saying, "I have one of those; it sits in my window..." The idea is there, but an AC unit will not circulate the air as efficiently as other systems. Air Conditioners create cold spots, warm spots where they haven't managed to circulate the air and areas that sit in the Goldy Locks zone where everything seems just right. Window air conditioning units also create damage and not only to the window sill itself. Condensation from the AC units often ends up running down the walls, etc. Lastly, if AC units are on the ground floor, they serve as an invitation to anyone seeking easy access to your home. A better option is what's called a Mini-Split.

These ductless units are small and designed to cool and heat the area specified. Each area has a thermostat, allowing you to create Nirvana in occupied spaces saving you energy and money. Mini-Splits operate utilizing a heat pump. These small units reverse the flow of refrigerant, absorbing heat from outside and moving it inside to provide warmth, and vice versa, to give the warmth we love on a cold day. But wait, it gets even hotter (pun intended), there is Hyper-Heating! Mitsubishi Electric MUZ-FH Heat Pumps are the only heat pumps that feature this technological advancement. Conventional heat pumps degrade as the temperature begins to fall below 47 degrees Fahrenheit. Where many heat pumps fail at low temperatures, the Mitsubishi MUZ-FH Heat Pump at 5 degrees Fahrenheit still maintains a 100% capacity. When it's blistering hot outside or freezing, the Mini-Spit system is the way to save on energy. The savings over time makes these units fall into that category of items purchased with no regrets. You might even find yourself looking at the Mini-Split and becoming emotional from the extreme comfort it has brought you through the year.

When it comes to efficiency, factor in insulation, location, and space, if all conditions check out, "that which follows the path of least resistance (for my non-science people, the answer is electricity)," is truly the best choice. If you also desire a completely Green Energy Efficient Solution, power your system with solar.

Sources:

Energy.gov https://www.energy.gov/energysaver/heat-pump-systems/ductless-mini-split-heat-pumps

Web MD: Dust Allergens https://www.webmd.com/allergies/dust-allergies#1

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