How Can I Reduce My Energy Costs In The Winter?

89695665With the coming of autumn, the days get shorter and the leaves turn color and fall. Autumn also is the time of year when a homeowner’s thoughts turn to the anticipation of ever-rising winter energy costs. ‘Tis the season of dreading the monthly heating bills.

However, winter energy costs need not be a source of concern. By using a few simple methods, homeowners can find that keeping comfortable during the cold season is well within their budget.

Probably the easiest way to cut heating costs is to turn down the thermostat setting by a couple of degrees and dressing warmly. This can save an average homeowner about $180 a year on their energy bill.

Most property owners know that a lot of energy can be saved by weatherizing gaps around windows and doors to keep heat from escaping. Another easy fix is to unplug electronics such as computers and televisions that will suck up electricity, even when they are not in use.

Use your dishwasher rather than washing dishes by hand. Studies have shown that the machines are more efficient in the use of both water and even electricity, when used to heat the water. Just be certain the dishwasher is full before running it to achieve the maximum benefit.

When you run that dishwasher, also make certain you do so in off-peak hours. Peak hours for energy usage are when power companies charge the most for electricity. This can be a 30 to 60 percent increase in the off-peak rate. So scheduling your use of major appliances like the oven or the washer and dryer can result in hefty savings. Typically, peak hours are 6 a.m. to 10 a.m. and 3 p.m. to 9 p.m. If you can, save major chores for the weekend, which is considered off-peak.

Some chores will actually lower your energy bills. If you clean your furnace filter every two months you can see its efficiency increase by as much as 50 percent. Refrigerators will also run more efficiently if you clean the condenser coils.

Theses are just a few of the tips that can lower your winter energy costs. Follow us for more articles that will keep your heating and cooling systems running efficiently.

Ten Myths About Geothermal Heating And Cooling

 

Geothermal heating and cooling systems offer impressive benefits; they operate very efficiently and need relatively little maintenance. Unfortunately, a number of myths often discourage people from using this environment-friendly HVAC option:

1. Myth: Geothermal equipment does not have the ability to concurrently perform several different heating tasks. Truth: It is possible to heat rooms, a swimming pool and household water with the same system.

2. Falsehood: Wind turbines and solar panels work more effectively. Reality: For the same amount of money, geothermal quadruples the electricity savings of wind or solar.

3. Misconception: The typical geothermal cooling or heating system produces considerable amounts of noise. Actuality: This equipment operates rather quietly, and it is largely hidden from view.

4. Myth: These systems require electricity, so they are not sustainable. Truth: They consume one-fifth as much power as it would take to cool or heat a home with conventional electric units.

5. Falsehood: It does not make sense to buy geothermal equipment without tax credits. Reality: The latest technology and installation techniques are bringing costs near to the prices of standard HVAC systems.

6. Misconception: This equipment is just useful for heating. Truth: It performs equally well for cooling purposes. Secondary systems are unnecessary in many regions.

7. Myth: The pipes require a homeowner to have many acres of land. Truth: Aquifers and vertical installation often give people the ability to use geothermal HVAC on small lots.

8. Falsehood: These heating and cooling systems need costly replacements. Actuality: They last several decades, and it is almost always possible to replace individual components instead of the entire system.

9. Misconception: This HVAC option rapidly consumes water and may cause wells to run dry. Reality: Modern geothermal systems may draw water from aquifers, but they send all of it back.

10. Myth: Refrigerant must run through lines in the ground. Truth: The vast majority of geothermal units just send water through underground lines.

The reality is that geothermal heating and cooling provides a low-maintenance alternative that cuts emissions, reduces ongoing expenses and minimizes noise. Please check back regularly for further useful information on HVAC technology.

Tips On Controlling Home Comfort Costs

A comfortable life is a dream we all look forward to. However, there are several things that inhibit its achievement. Top on this list is the cost of living especially when all you require comes with a high price tag. However, there are several ways that you can use in controlling home comfort costs. This enables you to lead a comfortable and affordable life.

Are your windows and doors energy efficient? Do you require taking extra measures to regulate temperatures when it is cold or hot? If the answer to these two questions is yes or maybe then you need to change the window panes or the doors in your home. Energy efficient window panes are available which ensure that you keep out the cold or excessive heat. They therefore help to maintain the heat in your home. This will essentially save you a lot of money that could have been used to pay high bills due to excessive use of heaters or cooling systems.

There are heating or cooling systems that come with a manual regulator. This means that when it is not very cold, you can turn down the heaters to a manageable level. This in essence ensures that you keep the energy consumption of such appliances in check all the time. At the end of the month, you will have saved a lot of money on power bills. With advanced technology, there are systems that regulate themselves in accordance to the temperatures in the home. These will also help minimize energy consumption.

The interiors of your home need to be insulated in such a way that they minimize heat loss to the outside or conduction of cold from the environment. This can be done by the use of several types of materials that are poor heat conductors. It can be done by professionals to ensure that it lasts or you may improvise if you do not have the finances to have it done professionally.

There are routine maintenance procedures for different appliances that boost efficiency in use of energy. These include removal of any materials that may be clogging them and ensuring that all their parts are working properly. If your equipment is well maintained then you will have succeeded in controlling home comfort costs.

Other viable tip to control comfort costs in your home includes lighting up fires during the cold season. Am sure most of you rarely use the fire place. This can be used to cut down on the use of electricity for heating up the house. You may also change the garage doors if they are not energy efficient. There are other things that may be specific to your home. For more information or inquiry, you may contact us. We will gladly help you in controlling home comfort costs.

Mistakes To Avoid When Choosing A New Air Conditioning Unit

There are a couple of things that you need to take into consideration when choosing a new heater, heat pump or air conditioner. Without proper precaution, you might end up spending more money on a mediocre product that is likely to cost you more on regular repairs. This article shares information on the mistakes most people make when buying HVAC systems and how you can avoid them.

Disregard SEER Rating

Seasonal energy efficiency ratio (SEER) rating is what determines how efficient a HVAC unit is. The higher the rating, the better the unit ought to serve you. The minimum SEER rating in most modern units is 13. Getting a product with a rating of at least 16 would be the best idea.

Rebate

Rebate opportunities will vary from one state to the other. In some states, you can get as much as $1500 in rebate when buying HVAC units. To get more information on this, you can contact any of the contractors around your area.

Buying the Cheapest Item You come across

Low prices can be attractive, especially when you are short of cash. However, when you think of the long term benefits of buying a highly priced HVAC system, you’ll be wise to avoid the cheap ones. While highly efficient products force you to dig deeper into your pockets, you will be able to save up to $300 worth of energy cost annually.

Maintenance Contracts

It is easy to ignore maintenance contracts, especially since you are required to spend more money on the service. However, it is important to note the benefits of regularly servicing your unit. You can save money on repair and energy bills by constantly ensuring your unit is in optimal condition.

You can call us for more information on choosing new air conditioner and we’ll help you make an informed decision.

Raising Efficiency Standards Will Help Yet Also Harm Some Homeowners

Since 2009 the U.S. Department of Energy, also known as the DOE has been working towards creating efficiency standards that all HVAC equipment must comply with. As a result, there have been remarkable changes in the levels of efficiency found in modern HVAC equipment. Modern HVAC Efficiency Standards are saving homeowners a bundle on annual HVAC operation costs.

After the development of the condensing furnace that boasts a 90 AFUE rating, the DOE set out to make that efficiency rating standard for homeowners in northern states. Homeowners living in colder climates consume a lot of fuel to keep warm during harsh winters. The DOE determined that if all homeowners were to switch to an AFUE 90 rated furnace when their older model wore out, these northern states would consume far less fuel during the winter.

Due to the fact that the new condensing furnace is currently the only furnace that has an AFUE rating of 90, homeowners would have few options when replacing their worn out units. Unfortunately, this will cause problems for many homeowners. The condensing furnace requires homeowners to install a totally separate venting system to accommodate the new furnace. In homes that have little access to existing walls, this will be a problem due to space issues.

After installing the condensing furnaces and having to make several expensive alterations to homes, HVAC professionals recognized the financial burden the new efficiency standards would place on homeowners. The costs of a new furnace and venting system, combined with the expense of alterations is nearly crippling for some homeowners. As a result many HVAC professionals opposed the DOE’s proposed raising of the standard efficiency rating from 78 to 90, so the case is currently being held for review.

This new rating was set to be enforced in 2013, but with the case being held up, the standard efficiency rating remains at 78 for northern states. After researching and discovering that the 90 AFUE rated furnaces only waste a scarce ten percent of the amount of fuel they burn, many homeowners have already installed one. Learn more about latest news on the raised HVAC Efficiency ratings and how a condensing furnace helps to save money and the environment by contacting a local HVAC contractor today.

What Is Whole Home Performance?

In order to save money on electric bills, it is essential to find ways to conserve energy. One of the best ways to achieve this goal is to practice Home Performance. What is Whole Home Performance? It is a “whole house” approach to upgrading the home’s interior comfort and efficiency.

There are numerous Home Performance contractors specially trained to provide a variety of improvements that decrease energy waste. For instance, they perform upgrading to furnaces and improve HVAC efficiency. Insulation is inspected and lighting and appliances are replaced as well.

When energy waste is detected, it is possible to reverse the problem. Drafts are blocked and appliances are made to work efficiently. The end result is lower monthly utility bills and a comfortable and healthy home environment.

What is the Price of Whole Home Performance?

Each upgrade starts with an inspection and evaluation. A contractor will recommend a plan of action that caters to an individual’s budget. For a small investment, it is possible to receive energy savings that more than covers the upgrades. An extra bonus is the increased level of comfort in the home. To get started, there are rebates, tax credits, and other financing options available.

How Much Energy is Saved?

Since the average household wastes up to 40 percent of the electricity consumed, a few upgrades will make a big difference. The total savings will depend on the home’s location and the chosen improvements. A Home Performance contractor will be able to supply an estimate of savings before investment.

Benefits of Heightened Home Performance

When the home is working efficiently, the air will be cleaner and less moisture will be present. This eliminates harmful mold from forming. Insulation and caulking tasks will lower energy waste. As electricity is preserved, the environment will breathe a sigh of relief as well. In the long term, home value will increase.

Home Performance Affects on the World

Each household is a small piece of a large puzzle. If every home takes small measures to save energy, there will be a drastic reduction in greenhouse gas emissions and expensive energy imports. Upgrade for efficiency will support the creation of jobs as well.

It is essential to call your local trusted HVAC technician for a Whole Home Performance check. This professional will have the knowledge to present a plan that works best for individual needs. It is the first step on the road to a cleaner environment and lower monthly electric bills.