Energy Saving Tips
Energy savings is on everybody’s mind. Utility costs continue to rise and environmental issues are a growing concern. With a few, easy steps you can significantly reduce your energy consumption. You can start by scheduling regular maintenance with Richards Heating & Air Conditioning. An annual inspection will reveal any issues with your heating and cooling equipment and improve energy efficiency. On your own, remember to clean or replace HVAC filters monthly, clean warm-air registers, baseboard heaters and radiators. Take the time to make sure your furnace and air conditioner isn’t obstructed by drapes, furniture or carpets.
When you make the decision to install a new furnace, be sure to research Annual Fuel Utilization Efficiency (AFUE) ratings. This rating stands for seasonal average efficiency. The national minimum is 78%, but ENERGY STAR labeled models are available with AFUE ratings of 90%. A 90% AFUE for a gas furnace means an output of 90 BTUs useful heat for 100 BTUs of Natural Gas input. For air conditioning, SEER (seasonal energy efficiency ratio) represents the cooling output during an average cooling season divided by the total electric energy input.
Programmable thermostats are a feature of most newer heating and cooling systems. Programmable thermostats are both a convenient and easy option for conserving energy. With a thermostat adjustment of just seven to ten degrees Fahrenheit, you’ll save 10% per year on your utility bill. And you can program your thermostat to automatically adjust your indoor temperature for those hours when you are normally asleep or away from home. The latest thermostats are also Wi-Fi compatible, so you can adjust your indoor temperature from your smart phone, tablet or computer, even when you’re away from home.
Protect your home from severe weather conditions by insulating walls, attics and crawl spaces. Check that windows and doors close tightly. Seal cracks around ducts and even light fixtures to prevent drafts and air loss. Install screens in windows and doors to take advantage of fresh air during the warmer seasons. Close draperies against sunlight, to prevent unnecessarily heating your home in summer, but open draperies to take advantage of the sun’s heat during winter. In order to prevent drafts, remove air conditioners from windows during heating season and run ceiling fans in reverse to push warm air from the ceiling downward. By utilizing fans in the summer, you’ll assist your A/C. Just make sure to turn them off before leaving the room.
Inspect the inside and outside of your home with the “top to bottom” approach. Begin at the roof and work your way down, looking for possible problem areas. An energy solution may require nothing more than some insulation or caulk from your local hardware store. For greater savings, consider the installation of windows or a new energy efficient HVAC system. A quick phone call to Richards Heating & Air Conditioning will provide options for improved energy consumption and comfort levels.