|EERE: Building Energy Efficiency - Space Heating and Cooling|
|EERE: Building Energy Efficiency - Space Heating and Cooling
This section focuses on the energy-efficient heating and cooling of buildings. Two renewable energy sources that can heat or cool buildings are discussed separately: and .
Thermostats and Control Systems
Technologies such as and offer inexpensive energy savings.
Ventilation is the least expensive and most energy-efficient way to cool buildings. In some cases, will suffice, although it usually needs to be supplemented with . Homeowners might want to investigate .
In low-humidity areas, evaporating water into incoming air provides a natural and energy-efficient means of cooling. Evaporative coolers, also called swamp coolers, rely on this principal.
Desiccants absorb water and release it again when heated. Desiccants can provide dehumidification and can also extend the application of evaporative coolers into more humid climates.
Dehumidifiers with the ENERGY STAR? label are energy efficient.
For whole-house cooling, central air is more efficient, but if you only need to cool your bedroom, consider a room air conditioner instead. Choose an energy-efficient or and be sure it has an ENERGY STAR? label.
Older air conditioners use chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs) as a refrigerant. Because of environmental concerns, modern air conditioners use or other CFC replacements.
Ice Storage Systems
These commercial building systems save money by using inexpensive off-peak power to produce ice, usually at night. The ice provides building cooling during the day and avoids taxing utilities during peak usage hours.
Air Exchange Systems
Technologies such as air-to-air heat exchangers help ventilate buildings with minimal energy loss.
Furnaces and Boilers
Furnaces and boilers with the ENERGY STAR? label are energy efficient.
Air-Source Heat Pumps
Heat pumps are generally more energy efficient than furnaces and boilers, and provide both heating and cooling. Air-source heat pumps powered by both natural gas and electricity are available with the ENERGY STAR? label for energy efficiency.
District Heating and Cooling
Dense commercial areas can benefit from the energy efficiency advantages of centralized heating and cooling plants that provide heating and cooling services to several buildings within their service district.
Heating and cooling ducts often leak energy. Special techniques have been developed to test and repair ducts.