by: Anthony Kinslow II, Ph.D., CEM
Learn tips and tricks on how to save money, by maximizing the energy efficiency of your HVAC.
For the majority of Americans, the largest energy consuming equipment in their home is their Heating, Ventilation, and Air-Conditioning (HVAC) system. Whether you are in the north and your HVAC unit is primarily used for heating or the South and your HVAC unit is primarily used for cooling, it is more than likely your largest energy hog.
The following is organized into three areas
Five (5) little known facts about your Air-Conditioning
How does a HVAC system work?
An air-conditioning (A/C) unit controls the interior moisture (relative humidity) and offsets heat that is gained from the external environment and heat generated from internal loads (e.g., lights and appliances). The purpose of A/C is to provide a comfortable environment for occupants through temperature, humidity, and air movement. The four major components of an A/C unit are:
How Your Air-Conditioning impacts the environment
A/C is often the largest energy consumer during utility peak day and utility summer peak hours. During peak moments, the utility company must bring additional energy sources to the grid to avoid power outage. These supplemental energy sources often produce the most greenhouse gases. For examples, the grid could be running on hydro and natural gas normally, but during peak hours, coal plants are brought online to supplement the extra load. As such, reducing A/C energy consumption can often have greater reductions in greenhouse gas emissions than other energy efficiency measures. Minimizing A/C energy consumption can occur in two ways: reduce the power required to provide the necessary cooling through efficiency or reduce the runtime that A/C is cooling through behavior and/or controls.
About the author: Anthony D. Kinslow II, Ph.D.
Anthony Kinslow II, Ph.D., CEM, is the Founder and CEO of Gemini Energy Solutions. Gemini democratizes the small commercial energy audit sector, creating affordable investment-grade energy audits and supporting efforts to increase workforce diversity in the energy efficiency sector drastically. Dr. Kinslow is also a Commercialization and Equity consultant for Clean Energy Works. This nonprofit organization seeks to accelerate private capital utility investments in inclusive clean energy solutions at the grid edge.
Anthony also lectures at Stanford University, where he co-teaches two courses Racial Equity in Energy and Quest for an Inclusive Clean Energy Economy.
His efforts center around accelerating the U.S. transition to a clean energy economy. And he argues that without prioritizing inclusive and affordable solutions for marginalized communities, the transition will be slow, expensive, and inequitable. Dr. Kinslow II's work to drive equity and inclusion extends past his professional responsibilities. For example, the City of San Jose recognized his active involvement in understanding wage theft in the construction industry. Moreover, Dr. Kinslow II's role in designing and implementing Stanford's workforce program has introduced the concept of environmental justice to hundreds of high school students.
In addition to being a Historic Black Church and University (HBCU) alum (North Carolina A&T), Dr. Kinslow earned his Ph.D. from Stanford University in Civil and Environmental Engineering, where he incorporated Bayesian statistics in building science analysis to improve the cost-effectiveness of energy efficiency programs. His M.S. (Sustainable Design & Construction) was also from Stanford. In his free time, Dr. Kinslow II enjoys walking trails with his wife, Maria, and sons, Marcus and Samuel.
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