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Save Energy on Your Air Conditioning
General Cooling Tips:
– Use house fans. House fans help cool your home by circulating cool air throughout the house. An attic fan can “blow away” hot air that accumulates in the attic.
– Don’t reduce your thermostat setting to a colder temperature than normal when you turn on your air conditioner. This “over steering” will not cool your home any faster and could result in excessive cooling and unnecessary expense.
– Set the fan speed on high, except in humid weather. When it’s humid, set the fan speed on low.
– Consider ceiling fans to help spread the cooled air more effectively through your home without greatly increasing your power use.
– Keep lamps and TV sets away from your air conditioning thermostat.
– Shade air-conditioning units by planting trees or shrubs, but make sure you do not block the airflow. A unit operating in the shade uses up to 10% less electricity than one operating in the sun.
– Close shades or drapes on east, south, and west-facing windows during the hours when the sun’s intensity is at its peak.
– Turn off the air conditioner if the house (or air-conditioned rooms) will be unoccupied for an extended period.
– Use an Air Conditioner with a high Efficiency Rating. Select a room air conditioner that has an Energy Efficiency Rating (EER) of 10 or higher. Select a Central Air system that has a Seasonal Energy Efficiency Rating (SEER) of 12 or more.
– Room units work better if they run for relatively long periods of time as opposed to being constantly switched on and off.
– Consider purchasing a Planned Service Agreement. It will ensure that your system is always working at peak efficiency and help you avoid excessive energy costs. For more details on our Planned Service Agreement, call 970-925-8610.
Conduct a Home Energy Audit
A Home Energy Audit takes into consideration much more than just your heating and cooling systems, and will give you a benchmark from which to make decisions and measure your energy saving progress.
Here are some of the heating & cooling factors your audit should take into consideration:
Insulation in walls, floors, and attic
Vapor barriers in walls
Quality of windows – Single or double pane
Heat loss around doors and windows
Quality of insulation in doors
Integrity of ductwork – any leaks
Cleanliness of ductwork
Use of “passive” solar energy
Use of drapes and other window coverings to prevent heat loss
Efficiency of heating and cooling systems – condition of filters, etc.
Save Energy on Your Heating
General No-Cost Tips:
– Set your thermostat as low as comfortably possible.
– Clean or replace furnace filters each month.
– Clean baseboard heaters, warm-air registers, and radiators as needed; always make sure they’re not blocked by drapes, carpeting, or furniture.
– Use kitchen, bath and other ventilating fans wisely. These fans can pull out a houseful of warmed air in just one hour. Remember to turn these fans off as soon as they have done the job.
– Take advantage of “passive solar.” During the colder months, open blinds, draperies and shades on south-facing windows to allow the sun’s friendly rays to warm your home. Close them at night to reduce the chill and keep warm air inside.
– Close any unoccupied rooms that are isolated from the rest of the house, such as corner rooms, and turn down the thermostat or turn off the heating for that room or zone altogether.
Other Helpful Tips
Take a Holistic Approach to Total Home Energy Conservation
Your total home comfort and efficiency is the product of many systems: heating, cooling, lighting & electrical, plumbing and possibly others working together. It is the interplay between these systems, combined with the size, age, physical features and location of your home, and even your lifestyle, that combine to produce the total energy efficiency of your home.
Call 970-925-8610 now for a FREE, no-obligation Systems Evaluation and estimate today.
Consider the Use of a Digital Setback Thermostat
This convenient new technology eliminates the necessity of remembering to turn down the heat at night or at other times when you know no one is going to be home. You just program the thermostat to “set back” at the appropriate times and forget about it. Other features to look for in your thermostat: multiple daily settings, override or HOLD, and advanced recovery.
Have Your Air Ducts Cleaned
Cleaning your ducts periodically (at least every 2 to 3 years) will help keep your comfort systems operating efficiently and protect the health and well being of every member of the family.
Check the Seals Around Doors & Windows
The caulk around your windows can harden and crack with age. This is an easy maintenance task that can make a significant difference in the comfort of your home. Exterior Doors should fit snugly and have appropriate weather stripping to avoid heat loss and prevent drafts. A storm door can also help prevent heat loss and keep you cozy in winter and cool in the summer months.
Make Sure There Are No Leaks In Your Air Ducts
It may surprise you to learn that a single leak in an air duct can cost you up to 25% of the efficiency of your furnace or air conditioning system. Especially if your home is over 10 years old, a simple duct inspection and repair is a quick and affordable way to make sure your system is intact and operating at peak efficiency.
Have Your Heating System Tuned-up Regularly
Regular system maintenance is the single most important thing you can do to avoid major problems and repairs. By keeping your furnace running at peak efficiency, you can add years to its useful life. Bishop Plumbing, Heating & Air Conditioning offers a seasonal inspection of your heating equipment to get you ready for the winter months ahead.
For more details about our seasonal inspection call 970-925-8610 now.
Consider Replacing Your Older Energy-Wasting Equipment With Today’s High-Efficiency Systems
If your system is more than ten years old, you can probably save a lot of money by replacing your gas furnace, boiler, or heat pump with a modern, high-efficiency unit. With the skyrocketing cost of fuel and electricity, the savings in your utility bills could literally offset the cost of the new equipment.
Call (970) 925-8610 today and inquire about our seasonal inspections.
Save Energy & Money With These Plumbing Tips
There are many things you can do to reduce your utility bills and help the environment by conserving resources.
Water heating is the second biggest energy consumer in the average home, second only to space heating. In general, water heating energy saving measures are inexpensive and effective all year round. Today’s best water heaters are far more energy efficient that those even a few short years ago.
If it’s time to replace your water heater, call us at 970-925-8610 for more information.
Lower the Water Heater Thermostat
There is no need for you to use water that is heated to 150 degrees Fahrenheit or above. However, most electric water heaters are pre-set to at least 150 degrees. Not only is this dangerous, but it is also a waste of energy and money. We recommend you reset your electric water heater to 125 degrees. Should you happen to run into a “hitch” in resetting your system, or would prefer to have a professional technician do it for you, call us at 970-925-8610 to set up an appointment.
Drain Your Water Heater
Another way to save with your water heater is by draining it on a regular basis. Unless you have soft water, it is important to drain a couple of gallons of water from the bottom of your water heater at least two times a year. Water deposits can collect on the bottom of your water-heating unit, surround the heating element and reduce efficiency. This amounts to a layer of insulation around the element, which forces it to work harder to heat the water.
Insulate Your Pipes
The escaping heat from exposed pipes makes it more difficult to keep the water hot and the house cool. Insulating the pipes is inexpensive, and the payback period is usually less than a year.
Flow restrictors for the showerhead can cut the water flow from around seven gallons a minute in the heaviest volume showers, to as little as a gallon and a half a minute. On average, they will cut your total energy expenditure for hot water by about 44 %. All flow restrictors cut the amount of water you use, without cutting back on pressure.
Other devices that can help to conserve water are aerators. The aerator simply reduces the amount of water in the flow. There will be a slight reduction in flow pressure, but it will barely be noticeable. To install aerators on your faucets, simply screw the aerator onto the end of your tap.
Check your plumbing and fix any leaks or leaky faucets on a regular basis. The majority of leaky faucets only require a rubber washer.
Many energy saving strategies apply to specific areas of the home. The following will focus on three specific areas of the home where new habits can have a lasting effect on the amount of energy and money that are spent each day.
Shower – It takes 30 gallons of water to fill the average bathtub. If you shower instead and have an average flow of about four gallons a minute, a five-minute shower only uses 20 gallons of water. In addition, if the water is a half and half mix of hot/cold water, you will save five gallons of hot water every time you substitute a shower for a bath.
Let Bath Water Cool – If you decide to take an occasional bath, also take advantage of the warm water. Allow the warm water to cool before you drain it. A hot tub of water could give off enough heat to warm your whole house for an hour or so.
Shampoo in the Shower – For those with long hair, shampooing should be done while in the shower instead of a separate time in the sink.
Electric Shave – For those that shave, be sure to plug the drain while shaving and only draw enough hot water to get the job done. This will save a few dollars on fuel bills over a year.
The Laundry Room
Full Loads – Perhaps the best thing you can do is save up your laundry until you can wash nothing but full loads. Doing this, you will use your laundry appliances less often, and you will use them at peak efficiency.
Cold Water – Also, try to use cold water for most loads and always use cold water to rinse.
Suds Saver – Some washers have special suds saver features. which allow you to use one tubful of hot water for two or more loads of laundry. The suds savers leave about an inch of water in the storage tub in which the dirt and soil from the previous load has settled.
Full Load the Dishwasher – Use the dishwasher only when it’s full. It is going to use 14 gallons whether you have one or 50 dishes in it.
Scrape Before Loading – Be sure to scrape the dishes before loading them. This will allow you to skip the hot rinse.
Do Not Use the Rinse-hold – You will be able to save three to seven more gallons of hot water if you don’t use the “rinse hold” setting on you dishwasher.
Air-Dry the Dishes – Also, let your dishes air-dry. If you don’t have an automatic “air dry” switch on your dishwasher, then turn it off after the final rinse. Then prop open the door.
By employing these strategies and making the minor adjustments that have been suggested, you will be able to help conserve energy, protect the environment, and begin saving money immediately. These energy saving tips have been proven to successfully cut back on energy costs, resulting in lower monthly utility bills and a more efficient way of living. Bishop Plumbing, Heating & Air Conditioning hopes these strategies will help you find success in your energy conservation and money saving efforts.
If you have any other questions about your plumbing systems, please contact Bishop Plumbing, Heating & Air Conditioning at 970-925-8610.