Energy Savings Tips
By Betty Stephens of Quest Media
Whether you own or rent your home, you typically need lighting, heating, air conditioning, power for equipment, and other services. Here are some tips to help you to maximize energy efficiency and save you money all the while helping the environment.
Energy Saving Tips
Here are some Heating and Air Conditioning suggestions to save you on your energy costs.
1. Maintenance – Tune-up the heating, ventilating and air-conditioning (HVAC) system with annual maintenance. Even a new system declines in performance without regular maintenance. Having a contract automatically ensures that your HVAC contractor will provide pre-season tune-ups before each cooling and heating season. You can save energy and money, and your system should last longer with minimal costs for yearly maintenance fees.
2. Cleaning – Changing (or cleaning if reusable) HVAC filters every month during peak cooling or heating seasons. New filters usually only cost a few dollars. Dirty filters cost more to use, overwork the equipment and result in lower indoor air quality.
3. Sun Light – Control direct sun through windows, depending on the season and local climate. During cooling season, block direct heat gain from the sun shining through glass on the East and especially West sides of the house. You may choose solar screens, solar films, awnings, and vegetation can help keep homes cooler. Trees shade the house and help clean the air. Interior curtains or drapes can help, but it’s best to prevent the summer heat from getting past the glass and inside. During heating season, with the sun low in the South, unobstructed southern windows can contribute solar heat gained during the day.
4. Fans – Use fans to maintain comfortable temperature, humidity and air movement, and save energy year round. Moving air can make a somewhat higher temperature and/or humidity feel comfortable. Fans can help delay or reduce the need for air conditioning, and a temperature setting of only three to five degrees higher can feel as comfortable with fans. Each degree of higher temperature can save about 3 percent on home cooling costs. When the temperature outside is more comfortable than inside, a box fan in the window, or large whole house fan in the attic can push air out and pull in comfortable air.
5. Caulking – Plug leaks with weather stripping and caulking. Caulking and weather stripping let you manage your ventilation, which is the deliberate controlled exchange of stuffy inside air for fresher outdoor air.
No matter the season your home is competing with the weather outside to make sure the inside temperature remains comfortable. As outside temperatures cool off in the winter and heat up in the summer, your heating and cooling equipment requires more energy to keep your home at the desired comfort level.
Home heating and cooling accounts for approximately 50 percent of the average home owner’s energy costs. You can get control of your home’s comfort level and your heating and cooling costs by following the above simple tips.