More Efficiency Tricks for your Central Air Conditioner

July 9, 2008 at 10:07 pm Leave a comment

I am on quite a few email and other lists and so get a lot of announcements and ads for new and improved products.  I just received one today that puts a whole new spin on the whole house fan by integrating it into your central air conditioning system!

Now a whole house fan is a great basic way to cool your house when most of us are actually in it, at night!  However I can vouch for part of the article when it says that often homeowners turn off the fan and close the windows when they go to bed and turn the AC back on.  Sometimes this is for security or allergy issues, but whatever the reason it isn’t very efficient behavior.

Now the product, called Night Breeze ( integrates with your central AC unit and brings in outside air into the house and disperses it through the duct system and vents the warmer inside air to the outside.

Description from the web site:

NightBreeze is an integrated night ventilation cooling system with intelligent adaptive controls that optimize security, cooling comfort and energy and demand savings. It heats and cools just like conventional forced-air system, by delivering warm or cool air through ducts to each room. Key to its operation is a control system that anticipates hot weather through an outdoor sensor and automatically ventilates with cool night air. If outdoor air is warmer than indoor air, the A/C will turn on. Both in heating and in cooling, a quiet, efficient variable speed blower provides the right amount of airflow needed. Two versions are available: NightBreeze-Hydronic, which is integrated with a hydronic (hot water) coil to provide heating, and NightBreeze-Gas Furnace, which uses a gas furnace with a variable speed blower to provide heating.

At least in Southern California there are incentives from one of our local utilities that cover the cost completely for purchase and installation ($1,500.00) so it would probably be a good idea to check with your local utility for similar deals.

The only problem I see is that it is listed as compatable with only a dozen or so furnace manufacturers and models.  The existing units on my house aren’t listed (Carrier) so I will have to explore for other options.  All in all it seems a sound idea and one that I hope is successful so that they will expand the line of compatible units.

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Entry filed under: Design, Planning, Technology. Tags: , .

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