Articles tagged with: ac

Home Energy Efficiency Tips for For All Seasons!

Here are a couple of home energy efficiency tips for your home not just for winter or summer but for all year-round! This should help you save a lot from your utility bills. These tips will not also help you save money but you are actually saving energy and doing your part for the environment!

Home Energy Efficiency Tips for Winter

  • Set your thermostat to 68°F during the day and 60°F at night. This should allow you to save at least 3% on your heating costs during winter.
  • Install a window kit to the inside of your windows so that no cold air will come in and no warm air will go out.
  • Change the filters of your heating system at a regular basis. A well-maintained heating system can save money and increase the comfort level in your home.
  • Make sure your furnace is airtight because you may be losing more heat than you are generating.
  • Check all the ductwork in your home for any air leakage if you want to save up to 10% on your heating costs. If you found any leakage be sure to use a silver metal duct tape to seal it – or better yet, call a professional to do it.

Home Energy Efficiency Tips for Summer

  • Check the air filter of your AC unit on a regular basis. A clean air filter will improve the unit’s efficiency and save both energy and money.
  • Your thermostat should be set to a comfortable level (~76°F.)  76°F should be comfortable enough for you and your family as it is the most energy-efficient indoor temperature.
  • Get a professional to look at your AC unit just to make sure that it works properly and there are no issues with it.
  • Don’t forget to ensure your windows and the doors are closed every time you turn on your AC.
  • Make sure that your TV, lamps or other appliances are not close to your AC thermostat as it may cause for your air conditioner to cool the room more than is needed.
  • Be sure that there are no object or furniture blocking the ducts and fans of your cooling system so the cool air can circulate freely and properly.

Home Energy Efficiency Tips All Year-Round

  • Did you know that a water heater has the third highest energy expense in most homes? If you have a water heater at home be sure to set its water temperature to 130°F instead of 140°F to save a couple of dollars each month.
  • Use a microwave to cook meals instead of an oven to save energy. This not only saves energy from the use of the oven itself but in cooling the house after baking.
  • Wash your clothes in cold water and you will save at least $50 per year.
  • Another way to save energy in the laundry room is to put a dry towel in the dryer with each load of wet clothes. The towel will absorb dampness and reduce drying time, saving energy and money.
  • Replace incandescent light bulbs with more efficient compact fluorescent and/or LED bulbs. Besides saving energy, you will also save money in the long run, since the life spans of these bulbs is substantially longer.
  • If you have a crawl space, inspect it regularly to ensure that the insulation inside is dry. When insulation gets wet, it isn’t as effective. Be sure to find the source of the moisture and replace any damaged insulation.
  • Vacuum the coils on your refrigerator at least every three months. The dirt buildup makes the refrigerator work harder to keep the contents cool and therefore uses more energy.

HVAC Warning Signs

Most people don’t think about their HVAC unit until its broken, which is too late.  Here are five helpful warning signs that your unit may need servicing by a certified heating and cooling technician.

It’s Not Cooling:

The most obvious sign that your HVAC needs help is that it’s not cooling. Your HVAC technician will check for the three primary causes:

Evaporation coils: They may be clogged, if there clogged with dirt the system will not cool properly and you’ll be hot.

Leaking refrigerant: Your technician will have to run a test to locate the source of the leak and fix it for your system to start operating at its full capacity.

Leaking ducts: If you have a leak in your duct, the cold air that should be keeping you cool is spilling into the attic, between walls, or outside your home.

Making Weird Noises:  

The cause of unwelcome noises could be a loose fan, screws that need to be tightened, clogged coil fins or parts that need lubrication.

Your Bill Goes Suddenly Up:

Your electric costs should be about the same this month as they were in the same month a year ago. If you notice a big change, chances are something is wrong with your HVAC system.

It Smells funny:

If you notice a foul odor coming from your vents, you could be experiencing a problem which results from bacterial growth within the HVAC system vents.

It’s Leaking:

If you notice any discolored circles on your ceiling, dripping or puddling near your unit, you have a problem. The cause for the leak could be an overflowing pan, clogged filter or backed up condensate line.

If you notice any of these problems with your system, it’s time to call a certified technician.

Summer Savings

Simple ways to save money on your summer cooling bill:

You can save money by setting your thermostat a few degrees higher during the warmer months. Basically, if you normally set it at 72 try setting it at 74 in the summer months. This small adjustment could save you up to 10% percent on your cooling bill.

Go out, enjoy the warm weather by visiting a park, the beach or just relaxing in your back yard. When you come back into the house after being outside you won’t notice that the thermostat is set a few degrees higher.

Change that filter! You should change your air filters every 30 days and schedule a yearly AC unit maintenance call.

During extra sunny days, you should close all of your blinds/shades. Especially on days when your not home or away on vacation. This will help reduce the temperature in your home.  If you don’t have blinds, use a sheet to cover the window.

If you have a garage encourage everyone to enter and exit through the garage door as it will reduce the amount of hot air entering the house directly from outdoors.  If you have kids like I do who are constantly coming in and going out, put a limit on how many times they can go out and come back in.

If you have ceiling fans, use them, a lot! Make sure they are turning in the right direction though. Turn the fan on and stand below it, if you can feel the breeze, your in business.

Just remember if you have family pets inside your home that anything over 76 is not suitable for them.

Save Money and Stay Cool

Summer is here and the temperatures across the country have started to rise. For some of us, it is a welcomed change from the cold winter. However,  it also means that expensive cooling bills are on their way and the fights over the thermostat in your home and for some our workplaces.

When it comes to controlling temperature, even small adjustments can have big impacts. For every degree, you adjust your thermostat to, results in about a 3% savings. If your cooling bill is $200 during the hot summer months, that equals about $6 per degree per month. The key to adjusting your thermostat is to still keep the space feeling comfortable. This is where the use of air circulating fans come into play.

Don’t believe the myth that standard air circulating fans do not cool the air and that the only way air can be cooled is with some type of refrigerant added to the mix. What air circulators do is make your body feel like it is being cooled. Think of it this way. Imagine you’re outside on a hot day and there’s no breeze at all, it’s going to feel really hot. But if there’s a slight breeze, it will feel cooler. The air temperature has not changed, but the moving air passing across your skin gives your body the feeling that it’s cooler. There are scientific formulas that could explain this, but for this example, we need to agree that air blowing across our skin makes us feel cooler. By creating an artificial breeze in our homes or workplaces, you can set the temperature higher but still feel comfortable.

An added benefit of using fans is that they distribute the cool air from an air conditioner vent evenly throughout the cooled space. Almost all homes and workplaces have areas that are normally warmer than the other areas. Using fans will distribute the cool air more evenly from room to room within the space. This will take stress off your HVAC unit so that you will not have to run it longer than it needs to just to get that one area cool enough to feel comfortable.

Air circulating fans use electricity, so how much do I really save? Fans do use electricity, however, the amount it takes to operate a fan compared to an air conditioner is a great deal less. An average fan uses about 40 watts. A typical household air conditioner will use between 1000 watts for a single window unit that can cool 1 or 2 rooms to 3500 watts for a central air unit. If using an air circulating fan allows you to raise the thermostat 3 to 4 or more degrees that could mean your air conditioning units operates about an hour less a day, which can add up over the course of a month or over a hot summer.

The Right Temperature for your Home This Winter

For many homeowners, wintertime is the time of year when they are tempted the most to turn their thermostats up to the highest setting possible in order to keep all of those cold drafts at bay. While this may seem like a good idea, it is not. Constantly setting the thermostat to a high temperature during the wintertime will cause a big spike in energy bills. In order to save money and keep your HVAC system from working too hard, here are some ways you can program your thermostat in order to save energy and money during those cold winter months.

Day Time Temperature Setting

Setting the thermostat too high when it is cold outside is the equivalent of tossing money out of the window. The warmer your home is the faster thermal energy will be lost to the outside. The lower the temperature is inside of the home, the slower the rate of thermal energy loss. To achieve optimal comfort, it is recommended for homeowners to set their thermostats between 68 to 72 degrees while there are people inside of the home. 68 to 72 degrees is a temperature range that is not too warm or cool, and is sufficient enough to warm up the home just enough so that everyone is comfortable regardless of the type of clothing they have on.

Night Time and Away Temperature

When the house is empty for an extended amount of time and at night, it is a good idea to lower the temperature to 58 to 62 degrees. When everyone is sleep and less active, there is no need for the heating and cooling system to waste energy when it is not needed as much. That temperature setting is also enough to keep the pipes in the home from freezing when the temperatures outside drop and no one is home.

Energy Efficient Appliances

Older furnaces and heat pumps take longer to heat up the inside of a home. This can cause the home to feel colder than it really is since the appliance is taking more time to heat things up. In order to improve how fast the furnace responds and to maintain the warm atmosphere inside of the home, it is a good idea to replace all older appliances including the furnace with energy saving appliances.

Digital Thermostats

Invest in a digital thermostat to make setting and maintaining temperatures a breeze. Digital thermostats make it possible for homeowners to set their thermostats in advance and not have to worry about setting them again until the season changes. Make sure to follow the manufacturer’s instructions and install the digital thermostat in an area that is convenient for you to reach and away from all drafts, sunlight, furniture, doorways, and windows.

When setting a digital thermostat be mindful of the times that everyone is awake and sleep. Consider programming the device so that it lowers and raises the temperatures shortly before everyone gets up, goes to sleep, or leaves the house. If the home is going to be empty for three hours or more, do not forget to set thermostat to a lower temperature to save energy and money while you are away.