While the Energy Center usually tries to avoid the use of acronyms, HVAC is in common use in the heating and cooling industry. It stands for "heating, ventilation and air conditioning," three functions often combined into one system in today's modern homes and buildings. Warmed or cooled or dehumidified air flows through a series of tubes - called ducts - to be distributed to all the rooms of your house. A central HVAC system is the most quiet and convenient way to cool an entire home.
Unless you live in an amazingly temperate climate, the HVAC system in your home uses more energy and drains more energy dollars than any other system in your home. Typically, 44 percent of your utility bill goes for heating and cooling.
Like many other appliances, HVAC systems have improved in energy efficiency in the last decade. As a result, you can save money and increase your comfort by properly maintaining and upgrading your HVAC equipment.
Another development of the 1990s is the whole house approach to heating and cooling. Coupled with an energy efficient furnace, heat pump or air-conditioner, the whole house approach can have a great impact on your energy bills. By combining proper equipment maintenance and upgrades with appropriate insulation, weatherization and thermostat settings - properly regulated with a programmable thermostat, of course - you may be able to cut your energy bills in half.
All major appliances including gas furnaces, boilers, air conditioners and heat pumps sold in California meet the Title-24 energy efficiency standards. If you are thinking about purchasing a new central furnace, check the ENERGY STAR® database, which uses information supplied by the California Energy Commission. It displays information on most energy efficient appliances in a consumer-friendly, easy-to-use fashion.
selected from http://www.consumerenergycenter.org