HVAC and a 2017 Volt…


I live in a Florida home that was built in 1999. I’ve repaired parts of my HVAC over the last decade, but I knew the overall system was grossly inefficient because it was using 70 kilowatts per day in the summer months, to only cool 1900 square feet!

A typical home with a more efficient HVAC uses about 50 kilowatts per day.

On the same day that I purchased my 2017 Volt (pictured above) my heat stopped working. When the repairman showed me the corroded and rusted out components in my HVAC I decided to pull the trigger on a brand new system. It was $7700 bucks total,  but knew that this was money that I’d have to spend eventually.

So what does my HVAC system have to do with my electric car?

The 2017 Volt has a 50 mile range, while my former 2013 Volt only had a 30 mile range. This means the new car will use more kilowatts, less gasoline. My old HVAC unit was wasting electricity, my new (16 SEER) HVAC unit will be more efficient, so the power saved with the new HVAC will power my car, and I’ll buy less gasoline.

Kinda interesting how my electricity and fossil fuels use are connected.

In reality all of our energy use is interconnected, if you’re a normal human being you use electricity and fossil fuels every single day. Most of the electricity from the power grid comes from burning fossil fuels; coal, oil and natural gas. So if you don’t have solar but you power your electric car off the traditional power grid you are still burning fossils!


Pictured here are the solar inverters in my garage along with a Level 2 charger for my Chevy Volt. Note that I can plug the car charger into my secure power supply (outlet in the middle) if I lose grid power.

This means that I can charge my car even if there is NO gasoline and the grid goes dark.

Eventually all homes will have some power generation and at least one electric car. Some folks have already done this, the true believers who voted with their dollars. Then there are the folks driving huge pick up trucks in a big inefficient home, wasting a ton of money and fossil fuels because they just don’t give a rip about anything.

Not me, not if I can help it!

Ben Alexander

December 2019


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