Savings by the Numbers
To find out more about the energy savings they have experienced, we caught up with the Ultimate Home-owners for the first anniversary of the Ultimate Home video series.
As the Ultimate Home Anniversary Series continues, we discuss their energy savings by the numbers.
How Much HVAC Heats and Cools the Ultimate Home?
The Ultimate Home features a two-stage, three-ton geothermal heating and air conditioning system. In the first stage, the unit runs at 67% of its overall capacity. In the second stage the unit is running at maximum capacity.
The two-stage unit only ran in the second stage, full capacity, 2% of time in which it was engaged. Essentially, 98% of the year, the 2,700 square foot Ultimate Home was effectively heated and cooled by a two-ton unit.
How Often is the System Running?
In January the system was only engaged 7% of the time. At its peak, in June, it ran only 41% of the time. Altogether, the geo-unit ran an astonishingly low 30% of the year. How is this possible?
The geothermal HVAC system is incredibly energy efficient, but it cannot take all of the credit for keeping the indoor air comfortable:
- The Ultra-Aire Dehumidification System removes excess moisture from the air, which lowers the output necessary from the geo-unit.
- Rigid Dow-Board and Spray Foam Insulation block uncomfortable air from invading from outdoors.
- The Metal Roof reflects solar radiation, lessening the burden of the HVAC system to cool the house. Additionally, metal roofs last much longer than their shingle-based counterparts.
- Having Supply and Return Vents in Every Room means that heated or cooled air from the geo-unit is distributed quickly and evenly throughout the home. Therefore, the homeowners do not have to raise or lower the thermostat to heat or cool a single room.
How Much Money are they Saving?
The Ultimate Home-owners moved from a 4,700 square foot house that required three separate HVAC systems. Their energy bills averaged between $300 and $350. Their Ultimate Home energy bills have averaged $100 or less per month. Next month we will see how they often sell energy back to the utility company.
Furthermore, their geothermal HVAC unit will last 25 to 30 years. Traditional heating and air conditioning systems last 12 to 15 years. Considering the cost of traditional units, the lifespan and monthly savings of geothermal, and available state and federal tax incentives, recovering the initial costs of geothermal HVAC takes as little as five years.
Next time we will examine solar power and the process of selling energy back to the utility company.