Do you know how much energy your heating and cooling system uses? It’s probably a lot more than you realize. According to the U.S. Energy Information Administration, air conditioning alone makes up 16 percent of the total amount of electricity the residential sector uses in this country.
That’s not even accounting for heating. Those consumption stats are divided between electricity, natural gas, oil, propane, and other energy sources.
Here’s the bottom line: If you’re looking for the best ways to reduce your energy consumption, decarbonize your house, or get off the grid, changing the way you heat or cool your home helps you take a huge step toward those goals.
All it takes is switching from a conventional furnace and central air setup to a heat pump system and today, it’s not only possible but more comfortable.
The heat pumps we install these days are more than adequate to heat and cool any sized home here in the Fox River Valley — something heat pumps from a decade or two ago couldn’t handle in our climate zone.
This isn’t just empty marketing talk. It’s the walk we walk at Compass Heating and Air. The Gunderson household (that’s us, Mike and Beth) in East Dundee, IL uses solar panels to provide electricity and a heat pump for 99 percent of our HVAC needs. We went with the Daikin VRV Life system which allows us to keep our gas furnace for the handful of nights every year that our heat pump needs some backup.
Our home is sustainable and as close to energy-independent as the technology will allow. It’s a great feeling knowing that we’re not relying on “the grid” for our power. That means no more dirty energy, rising prices, or having someone else in charge of when — and from where — we get our energy.
And, speaking of home, even with a 2,000 square foot house with our four children living here, no one’s making any sacrifices when it comes to smart devices, appliances, and most importantly, comfort. In fact, as much as I geek out on the energy independence and technology, Beth thinks the comfort level alone is reason enough to use the heat pump.
No noise, no breezes, perfect humidity, and perfect, even temperature from room to room, even when you walk upstairs.
Now, we’ve read a lot of blogs, watched a lot of videos, and even hopped into a bunch of Facebook groups and forums. A lot of people are really into electrifying their home 100 percent.
That’s great! But, it’s not for everyone. Maybe you want to get completely off the grid. Or, maybe you’re okay with relying on your utilities for backup or a little bit of power here and there.