Designing an Energy-Efficient HVAC

May 26, 2023

Did you know that heating and cooling systems make up around 50% of a home’s energy usage throughout the year? Not only does having an energy-efficient HVAC system help reduce your home's environmental footprint, but it also helps lower the energy costs for homeowners. In fact, the Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy says that installing or upgrading your HVAC system can reduce energy usage by up to 50%.

That’s one of the main reasons why The Unico System stands out. Join us as we take a closer look at how The Unico System was designed to make HVAC systems more energy efficient.

Ducts Play a Big Role in HVAC Energy Efficiency

When it comes to an HVAC system’s energy efficiency, you always hear about the SEER rating for central air conditioners and other efficiency ratings for mechanical systems like air handlers or blowers. While that’s important, the efficiency and overall effectiveness of the ducts are what’s most important in delivering conditioned air. This notion was one of the driving forces behind the creation of The Unico System.

With a traditional system, heat often leaks from the ducts within the walls through seams (duct leakage) as well as through the walls of the ducts themselves (thermal loss). The Unico System has roughly one-third of the surface area of conventional ducting, which automatically lowers the amount of thermal loss in a home. Plus, the tubing is wrapped with an insulation barrier and an outer vapor barrier that keep nearly all the thermal energy in the ducts.

The Unico System is designed for air tightness. Third-party testing identified that traditional systems could lose up to 25% of the air put through ductwork. With The Unico System, that number goes down to just 5%.

Creating Even Room Temperature for Increased Energy Efficiency

Traditional HVAC systems use ducts to dump air into a room. Unfortunately, this process often creates wide swings in temperature across the room. When a room has pockets of varying temperatures, the HVAC system must work harder and use more energy to keep the space at a reasonable comfort level.

The Unico System uses smaller ducts placed throughout the room, creating a more consistent temperature thanks to the air coming out fast and quiet. The variable speed motor in the system helps ensure that energy doesn’t go to waste through overheating or overcooling an area. This is part of the reason why The Unico System costs an average of 22% less than a traditional HVAC system to keep a room comfortable.

The system itself isn’t the only way Unico helps custom homes become more energy efficient. Through free design services, Unico will take the hard part out of making your HVAC system more energy efficient by:

    • - Doing a BTU calculation on each room, which will identify the optimal amount of Unico outlets needed for peak comfort and energy efficiency.
    • - Accounting for the thermal envelope ratings in the room, such as windows, wall insulation, and more.
    • - Looking at the recommended amount of air changes per hour according to the ASHRAE manual for older residences and custom homes.



Electricity Usage of Traditional HVAC vs. The Unico System

Homeowners, contractors and many government regulators have an interest in HVAC systems that use less electricity. Traditional systems need to run longer in a 24-hour period to maintain the same temperature level compared to The Unico System. That fact is due partly to the efficiency of the ducts that we mentioned above. The Unico System also manages to maintain humidity levels without requiring long run times.

Given the amount of power that’s needed to run HVAC systems, it’s important that we discuss vampire power (the power that’s consumed when the system is completely off). While every home appliance has some level of vampire energy loss, traditional HVAC systems can be one of the highest contributors in a home. The Unico System roughly uses three times less vampire power, helping homeowners save on monthly energy bills.

Get Comfort and Energy Efficiency with The Unico System

If you’re planning to build a custom home, The Unico System is a great way to make your HVAC system more energy efficient. Contact our free Design Services team today to learn more about the advantages Unico offers your home.

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