Buying green: The ecological impact of buying used HVAC units vs. new

HVAC technology has made huge advancements over the past decade. The newest HVAC systems on the market operate with much greater efficiency than their predecessors, and they utilise smart technologies that save overall energy consumption.

The Basics of Buying Green

In many instances, purchasing used appliances and other items for the home is a very logical solution. After all, buying used saves on the production of new materials and products while keeping existing items out of landfills. However, when it comes to heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC) systems, buying green may not be so simple.

HVAC technology has made huge advancements over the past decade. The newest HVAC systems on the market operate with much greater efficiency than their predecessors, and they utilise smart technologies that save overall energy consumption. While it still can be a smart move to purchase certain components of an HVAC system used, the forward-thinking, energy-efficient technologies of the more recent HVAC models often make them a preferable choice for a more environmentally friendly home.

Smart Technology

When most people think of smart HVAC technology, a programmable thermostat is the first thing that comes to mind. Programmable thermostats, which allow you to set when the HVAC system will run and what temperature it will maintain in the house (and some can even set different temperatures in different areas of your house at different times), can offer savings of anywhere from 5 to 15 percent on energy costs.

You can buy a used thermostat to lower both the ecological impact and your costs. Regardless of whether you are purchasing new or used thermostats, however, opting for a programmable one is the most ecologically responsible choice.

Looking for programmable thermostats and other smart HVAC technologies can be an excellent beneficial step towards designing a green HVAC system. Most smart technologies can only be found in newer or more recent models, though some used options may be available with a little searching.

Can I Buy Newer HVAC Models Used?

To achieve your ecological goals for your green home, one of the best things you can do is purchase a used version of a more recent HVAC model. That way you and your home can benefit from the recent energy-efficiencies and smart technologies without the carbon footprint and negative environmental impact of manufacturing a new product and all its components.

Doing research on the most energy-efficient HVAC system components can help you find both new and used items for your home. Remember that while used items keep these components out of landfills, the newer energy-efficient technologies have lower impact on the environment, so if you cannot find a used version of a recent model, it might be best to buy a new one to create the most ecologically-friendly home.

Other Environmentally Friendly HVAC Technologies

If you are not able to purchase a new HVAC system or a used recent model, there are some HVAC technologies that have been around for a while that offer incredible efficiency that they may be perfect for a green home. For example, furnaces that run on biomass (logs, wood pellets, and other similar materials) are simple to use, and they can be found used in great condition.

Because biomass is a renewable resource and it burns clean, its environmental impact is tremendously lower than fuels such as propane and coal. Additionally, biomass can often be found for free, and using it for fuel keeps it out of landfills. Currently, only four percent of energy consumption is through biomass, but fortunately this number has grown in recent years.

What HVAC Components Can Be Bought Used?

An HVAC system is made up of many parts, and while opting for newer components is best in a number of cases, there are many parts of an HVAC system that can be acquired used.

For example, used HVAC ducts that are in good condition (don’t have excessive signs of wear or damage) can serve your home every bit as efficiently as new ones. Various mechanical components, such as fans, also can be purchased used. If you install used components such as these, be sure to verify that the entire HVAC system is working properly and efficiently, as the efficiency of the entire system will make a greater positive ecological impact than the efficiency of a few separate components.

While shopping for parts for the HVAC system, another way to improve your environmental profile is to look for materials to improve insulation and to seal up other parts of your home, such as the windows, to better maintain temperatures within your living space.

Sources:
http://energy.gov/energysaver/articles/thermostats
http://www.explainthatstuff.com/how-biomass-boilers-work.html

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