High Performance 15 SEER/HSPF 8.5 HVAC System
When we started with energy efficiency, the heart of our SunSmart air and temperature control system was an extremely efficient Heating, Ventilating and Air Conditioning heat pump compressor and air handling unit combination with a SEER rating of 14 and a HSPF rating of 8.2. Now, we have upgraded this system to a 15 SEER/HSPF 8.5 rating.
Heat pump HVAC units are inherently more efficient than conventional air conditioners, because they run the cooling cycle in reverse when heat is needed. This minimizes the use of inefficient glowing heat coils like you would find in a toaster. The heat pump in your SunSmart home will still include a heat coil, though, to keep you warm during the few really cold nights that occasionally occur in east-central Florida, where temperatures can drop into the mid-30s F (near zero C) range.
The Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio is a measure of a heat pump’s cooling efficiency. SEER ratings of currently available HVAC systems range from 10 to 16. The higher the SEER number, the more cooling produced per unit of electricity used.
The scientists at the Florida Solar Energy Center now advise us to specify an improved SEER of 15 for your SunSmart home for a very simple reason. Advancing technology now allows us to offer even higher performance without incurring prohibitively higher initial cost.
The Heating Seasonal Performance Factor rating works just like the SEER rating, except it measures how efficiently an HVAC unit produces heat. Currently available HVAC systems have HSPF ratings of between 6.8 and 10; higher numbers being better. With guidance from FSEC, we have chosen to upgrade our system to an HSPF rating of 8.5; which provides the new optimum balance between operating efficiency and initial cost.
Whole house outside-air intake filtration system
Included in LifeStyle’s SunSmart energy efficiency package is a sophisticated, flow-tested heating and air conditioning system, which utilizes a measured supply of fully-filtered outside air. This scientifically-designed air management system markedly improves indoor air quality by controlling humidity and balancing air pressure to guarantee more even temperatures throughout the home. These are important health benefits for families, and they make LifeStyle SunSmart homes more comfortable to live in, too.
Duct system sealed with long-life mastic and fiberglass mesh
It is truly a shame how much cooled air is literally blasted into the attics of most homes through leaks in their duct systems. Using the better quality joining products and workmanship specified for SunSmart homes will make those worries go away for years and years. Better still, the air-tightness of duct work in SunSmart homes is tested and certified by the scientists from FSEC. The home is not passed until duct leakage is virtually eliminated.
Air handler installed in a dedicated temperature-controlled space
If you can see your air handling unit in your garage, it is working extra hard because of the super-hot air surrounding it. How much more sense does it make to place your air handling unit in a space whose temperature is the same as that inside your home?
High-capacity kitchen and bath exhaust fans ducted to the outside
One of the best ways to improve indoor air quality for the sake of your family’s health is to get rid of stale, odor-ridden and over-humidified air by including kitchen and bath fans that actually move air, instead of those cheap, builder-standard fans that mostly make noise. What a novel idea! Moreover, our high-powered kitchen and bath fans actually move air to the outside of your home. You will feel much more comfortable at any temperature setting you choose, because these fans will remove excess kitchen and bathroom humidity before it can spread throughout your home.
You’ll notice the positive difference right away in a SunSmart home from LifeStyle Homes.