Do you want to save energy and lower your yearly household operating costs? If so, you can start changing your consumption habits beginning today. Once you have an energy-conscious mindset, you can make smart choices and home improvements that increase your savings over the long term. You can use the following tips to save energy dollars throughout the coming year and beyond.
Ways to Start Saving Today
- Close all the window coverings in the early morning. This can reduce the heat gain that significantly adds to your air conditioner’s work load.
- Keep windows and exterior doors closed up to avoid wasting costly cooled air.
- Get savvy about major appliance use. Fill up the dishwasher before you use it, and skip the heated dry cycle. If you’re doing laundry, use the cold water setting on the washing machine, and clean out the dryer’s lint trap between loads.
- Set the thermostat on your storage tank water heater to 120 degrees to cut standby energy consumption.
- Examine the HVAC air filter. If it looks dirty, clean or replace it to keep the system running at maximum efficiency.
- Turn on ceiling fans when you’re in the room. The air movement under a running ceiling fan makes a body feel cooler, so you can turn up the thermostat a few degrees and still stay comfortable. If you do this throughout the cooling season, you’ll shave 3 to 5 percent off your annual energy consumption.
Save Energy Dollars This Week
- Exchange any incandescent light bulbs for Energy Star-rated compact fluorescents (CFLs) in your light fixtures and lamps. These energy-efficient bulbs only use 1/4 of the energy of incandescents, and they last up to 10 times longer.
- Put inexpensive and easy-to-install aerators on shower heads and faucets. You’ll instantly begin cutting hot water usage in half.
- If the storage tank water heater is older and uninsulated, buy an insulated blanket. Once it’s installed, standby heat loss in the tank will drop by up to 45 percent, saving you as much as 9 percent a year in energy costs.
- Trim back overgrown grass around the outdoor A/C condenser, clear away yard debris, and hose any accumulated dirt off the coil so vital airflow isn’t blocked. When it’s not struggling for air, the HVAC system operates more efficiently, and you’ll save energy dollars.
Energy-Saving Tips for The Next Month
- Hire a specialist to perform an energy audit. This detailed energy assessment identifies inefficiencies around the home that need attention, so you can make targeted improvements that save energy dollars over the long term.
- Air seal the home’s shell. Depending on the specific air leaks discovered by the audit’s blower door test, you can use caulking, weatherstripping and/or expandable foam sealant to put a stop to unnecessary energy waste.
- Seal and insulate the HVAC ductwork. When you have disconnected or damaged sections and ducting that leaks, up to 20 percent of the conditioned air produced by the HVAC system isn’t even reaching the registers. Correct any defects, use mastic sealant or foil-backed tape to seal up gaps, and wrap any exposed ducting in an R-6 insulation product.
- Insulate hot water pipes. You can reduce heat loss by installing foam piping insulation. It’s the most beneficial in areas where pipes are routed through uninsulated spaces of your home.
- Invest in an Energy Star-certified programmable thermostat. Programming in an 8-hour, 10-degree temperature change every day can lower your yearly HVAC energy consumption by 10 percent.
Tips to Save Energy Dollars Throughout the Year
- Boost attic insulation levels. Just by increasing the amount of insulation on your attic floor to the Department of Energy’s recommended R-38, you can cut yearly heating and cooling costs by as much as 30 percent.
- Replace inefficient older appliances. Even if they’re in good condition, aging appliances are costing you money. For example, if the refrigerator was built before 2001, it’s consuming 40 percent more energy than a new Energy Star-rated model would.
- Upgrade single-pane windows. Here in Florida, you’ll see the greatest energy savings by choosing new windows with a low solar heat gain coefficient (SHGC) with a slightly higher visible transmittance (VT) rating.
- Keep up with HVAC equipment maintenance. You can optimize the energy efficiency of your HVAC system over its entire service life by scheduling a spring A/C or heat pump checkup and a fall furnace tuneup every year.
To learn more ways to save energy dollars in your Sarasota area home, contact us today at Climatic Conditioning Co., Inc.
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