Do you ever wonder how the rich and famous cool their homes? Imagine efficiency ratings taken to the extreme. Geothermal heat pumps. Multiple air conditioning systems in the same house. If you want an HVAC system you can aspire to, read on to learn how some of the wealthiest people are heating and cooling their homes.
Efficiency is Still King
It's fun to take a glimpse at how the other half lives, but there's a serious component to think about as well – people of means often live in large homes, so they have a lot of air to treat. If a wealthy homeowner doesn't want to lose his or her nest egg to exorbitant energy bills, energy efficiency is critical. So while the average Joe might not be able to afford the same air conditioning system that's popular with movie stars and business magnates, it's nice to know that even the one percent has similar efficiency concerns as everyone else.
A recent article in Air Conditioning, Heating & Refrigeration News profiled some of the fanciest HVAC and air conditioning systems that money can buy. In one case, a home buyer replaced his entire system, springing for shockingly efficient 21-SEER air conditioners. Yes, that's plural – in total, the buyer needed eight furnaces and air conditioners to account for the entire house. No wonder he was interested in efficiency! The entire system can be controlled from one iPad, providing a prime example of the latest in smart technology. In total, this lucky homeowner ended up spending $160,000 for his HVAC overhaul.
Cooling From the Ground and the Air
Another buyer was building a home in New York and decided to go for a geothermal heat pump, which uses stable ground temperatures to heat and cool the home with a minimum of energy input. But this builder didn't just go for any geothermal heat pump – he needed a massive 18-ton system, complete with both forced-air heating and cooling and radiant floor heating. The above-ground component of the system was almost too big to fit in the house. The cost? A cool $196,000. But it turns out it would have cost so much to pay for energy to heat and cool the house the traditional way that the big outlay of capital was worth it.
In Maine, a contractor had to install an air conditioning system in a custom home without disrupting the aesthetics. He went for an air-source heat pump system that included seven terminal units and three evaporators to cool down the large space. The kicker – to avoid messing with the look of the estate, he had to put the condenser behind a fence 180 feet from the house.
How to Cool Your Home like a Billionaire
Efficiency isn't just for the rich. While most consumers don't want and can't afford to spend six figures on an air conditioning system, they can find scaled-down models that operate on similar principles. Look for the highest SEER rating you can find. Efficient ductless air conditioners are growing in popularity. Federal tax credits could put a geothermal heat pump within your reach.
If you need help picking out the best air conditioning system to meet your budget, talk to an HVAC specialist today.