The ENERGY STAR® program declares that 50% of the average American home’s energy consumption is devoted to heating and air conditioning. The problem with this is that if you happen to use an inefficient HVAC system, you’re bound to waste a lot more energy and end up paying for it in the end with frequent repairs and ballooning energy bills.
HVAC efficiency is all about having your heater and air conditioner operate less. It will not only help you save money on your bills, but it will also allow the equipment to keep running longer and reduce your maintenance costs, saving you money in the long run. Along with the financial benefits, HVAC efficiency is also environmentally friendly. The less you allow the heat and air conditioning unit to run, the less energy you utilize.
When we reduce energy consumption, less energy must be produced, resulting in fewer carbon emissions. Carbon emissions are usually what destroy the ozone layer and contribute to the bigger problem of global warming. Since we understand that using your heater and air conditioning system less makes good common sense, it’s now time to learn how you can achieve this goal.
Start with your thermostat
The initial way for you to have your HVAC system operate less is easy and free of charge. It is merely to set your thermostat according to the season. Many energy specialists say that it’s better to set the thermostat at 78 in the summer and 69 during the winter. Therefore your HVAC unit will run less since the temperature you set is nearer to the exterior temperature. This technique costs nothing, however if you are like many people, you will neglect to switch the setting on a regular basis. So a cost-effective option is to purchase a programmable thermostat. For about $20 (higher end models, with more customization, can run much higher), you can find one and simply do the installation on your own. You can also set the temperature higher while you’re gone, helping you save additional money.
Seal up your home
Another way to further improve one’s heating and air conditioning performance would be to set up and replace insulation in your house. It is often smart to update your insulation or change it out if it is aged. Though this may cost you up-front, you can possibly obtain a nice tax credit for switching it out.
Another excellent idea is caulk the doors and windows. Changing out worn caulk or incorporating new caulk is similar to shutting a typical size window in your house. You can even install film on your windows for added efficiency. Window film obstructs the sun’s rays and maintains a lower temperature in the house during the summer. Every one of these factors put together can add up to quite a savings in addition to a sizeable tax credit.
Save HVAC energy with routine maintenance
thing that you can do to boost efficiency of the HVAC system is to have regular maintenance performed and give your system a tune-up. Keeping the system adequately taken care of will help it to perform much better. Besides saving on your energy bill it will also help you save money by reducing the need to replace the equipment as often.
With some advance planning and a little money, it is possible to significantly lower your heating and air conditioning expenditures. It’s great for you and you’ll be doing the environment a big favor as well.
At Schmitt Heating and Air Conditioning, we understand how important the HVAC industry is in terms of aiding the environment and cutting down on energy consumption. This is why we are so committed to helping out San Francisco locals with limiting their energy bills and carbon footprint, with energy savings tips.
Don’t let the rising temperatures increase your home’s energy bills! There’s no need to budget in extra costs for your cooling bills this season, just keep these simple ideas in mind when the weather heats up.
By adopting a few new habits around your home, you can save energy and money while staying extra comfy this season. Before you crank up your AC and give into inevitably high energy bills, read on for a few great ways to save this season.
If you’re interested in learning more about your home’s cooling system, how to make it more efficient, or are in need of a maintenance check on your AC, call us today: (415) 689-7849
As winter approaches, many homeowners are getting ready for the holiday season and turning on their heater for the first time. As you start to turn up the heat, it’s important to be aware of your energy use as it can start to drive your heating bills through the roof. The key to keeping heating costs down during the winter is taking the necessary steps to heat your home more efficiently.
Energy Saving Tips for Efficient Heating
Want to save money on heating costs this winter? We’ve put together a list of energy saving tips for heating your home more efficiently this winter:
Inspect and improve home insulation.
Poor insulation can allow heat to escape. When you waste energy, your electricity bills tend to skyrocket. It’s important to inspect your home insulation and check for drafts. Replace any damaged or missing weather-stripping around your doors and windows. Adjust any door thresholds to eliminate any gaps that may allow warm air to escape. Don’t forget to check your electrical boxes for drafts, and fill any gaps with latex caulk or foam sealant. A little work can go a long way when it comes to home insulation as even the tiniest leaks and cracks can make an impact on your heating costs.
Use a space heater when you can.
You can use a space heater to help reduce heating costs when your family is all together during the holidays. Place the heater in the area where your family is gathering, like the living room or den. Then, turn down the furnace temperature. Though the rest of your home will be cooler, this is a good solution for families that are spending a lot of time together in one area of the home during the holidays. According to the California Energy Commission, you can save 5% on energy costs by setting your thermostat to the 60- to 70-degree range. The space heater will still use electricity, but you can save a significant amount of energy by cutting down on your furnace use and utilizing a space heater when you can.
Tune up your furnace.
One of the best ways to save energy throughout the year is to ensure that your HVAC system is running as efficiently as possible. Make sure that you get your annual furnace or heater tune-up before the heating season starts. During this maintenance visit, an experienced HVAC technician will ensure that your heating system is clean, lubricated, and working properly. This increases energy efficiency and can help you save money on heating costs in the long run.
If you are ready to take the next step toward optimal efficiency, Schmitt Heating and Air Conditioning is ready to help you find a brand new, high-efficiency heating and air conditioning system. Contact us today to find out more about your options or to schedule a consultation with one of our heating and cooling experts.
Consumers want to be warm and comfortable during winter. Staying warm is important, especially to elderly people and those with serious medical conditions. How can they keep chills at bay but also reduce winter energy costs? Here are some tips to ensure lower utility bills.
Choose Energy Efficient Appliances
Energy Star ovens, refrigerators, freezers, and other appliances are so-named for good reason: they run more efficiently than old or cheap machines. Insulation meets or beats regulatory standards and you can tell by how hot or cold they feel to the touch when running. Consider trading old models for new ones.
Go one better and maintain appliances throughout the year. Clean them, have a certified technician check them regularly, and replace filters where appropriate. Clean the condenser coil on your refrigerator. Do not over-fill the refrigerator and freezer or leave them empty. Even if you have nothing to put in the refrigerator, load it with full jugs of water.
Set an Appliance Timer
The sound of a furnace running is almost enough to make householders feel warm in its own right. When that sound ceases, that is the signal you just lightened the financial load. Do not allow a furnace or water heater running all day. Set both of them to operate when people are inside the house and preparing to use them. Otherwise, their warmth goes to waste.
Peak hours of energy use are between the hours most individuals get up and go to bed. Consider starting the dryer or dishwasher just before you settle down for the night or load up an hour earlier each morning. Not only will you pay less but there is a better chance both loads will be full, thereby ensuring more efficient use of energy.
Unplug and Play
When you unload puzzles and board games from the closet or run outside to host a hot dog roast, unplug the appliances you are not currently using. Computers, the television, microwave, and other items continue to leach power even when turned off.
More Energy Ideas
Follow us and read more about energy. Learn many more ways to run your home efficiently and affordably without suffering the winter blues.
We are a trusted and licensed HVAC company. In addition to providing our esteemed clients heating and air conditioning services (inspections, repairs, maintenance, installations and replacements), we regularly give our clients HVAC-relevant information through face to face interactions, as well as blogs. We give our clients home energy efficiency tips to help them reduce their furnaces’ energy consumption while receiving sufficient heat, as well as save a percentage of their utility bills. The temperature to set a furnace depends on several factors including efficiency of the furnace, loss of heat through surfaces and loss of heat through gaps on surfaces
Furnace-related energy efficiency ideas
Lower furnace’s temperature degree or switch it off
Furnace users can save a significant amount of energy by lowering their furnace temperature degree or switching the furnace off when premise/ rooms are not in use. To enjoy warm air, people should wear warm clothes or cover themselves with heavy/ warm clothing to complement the heat emitted by the furnace. Running the furnace at high degree increases energy consumption, and does not necessarily ensure indoor air warmth. Furnaces should be switched off when premises are not in use since no warm air is required.
Clean, repair or service furnace parts
Dirty filters, clogged/ blocked vents, and damaged furnace parts reduce the efficiency of a furnace; resulting in high consumption of energy to keep the air warmed sufficiently. Furnace parts’ repairs, cleaning or replacement should be scheduled to prevent furnace inefficiency. Premise owners may be able to do some of the furnace parts’ servicing, such as filter replacement, but advanced servicing requires professional HVAC intervention.
Insulate surfaces and seal drafts
Furnace’s energy consumption may also be saved by insulating walls, floors, roofs, doors and windows with materials that do not allow conduction of heat to the exterior of those surfaces. Insulating such surfaces ensures that the already accumulated indoor heat does not escape, and that the furnace can be operated at a lower degree to provide the needed warmth. Drafts cause warm air to escape, therefore, requiring the furnace to be run at a high degree and for long to keep indoor air warm. Sealing those drafts ensures maintenance of the heated air indoors; eliminating the need to run the furnace at a high degree or longer than necessary.
People can enjoy ample heating of their indoor air while saving energy and utility bills. While some home energy efficiency tips can be implemented by premise users at no cost, some tips need professional HVAC servicing. Call us for all your HVAC needs.
Recently, the federal HVAC efficiency standards, particularly when applied to propane and natural gas furnaces, have gone from static to unresolved. Propane and natural gas furnaces account for more than 40% of average residential energy consumption; consequently, a modest rise in efficiency requirements can have a big impact on the total national energy consumption. On the other hand, even with the minimum AFUE rating stuck at 78 for more than two decades, raising the HVAC efficiency standards has proven difficult to enact.
The Annual Fuel Utilization Efficiency, AFUE, shows the percentage of energy that contributes to heating versus the amount wasted. For example, for a furnace with AFUE rating of 78, 78% of the energy generated from natural gas contributes to heating while 22% is lost. The Department of Energy proposed raising the rating to 90% by 2013; however, a court order delayed the implementation of the new efficiency standards for boilers and furnaces.
Modern condensing furnaces recover a large amount of that lost energy, thereby improving AFUE ratings and reducing the annual utility costs, particularly in the northern states with longer heating seasons. Whereas standard furnaces have a single heat exchanger, condensing furnaces have two. The second one extracts heat from hot water vapor and uses it to heat the home, instead of sending it up the chimney. As the hot vapor condenses, it drains into the home’s plumbing system.
Even as would-be furnace buyers got familiar with the new condensing furnace technology, enactment of the new standards hit a snag. Opponents argued that the extra expenses forced on homeowners by the directive to upgrade were too much. These expenses include retrofitting and installing new venting, and in some cases, modernizing to a new water heater that is compatible with the new venting.
Until a federal court makes a verdict on the matter, the postponement of enactment will continue, and the HVAC efficiency standards will remain at the 1990s levels. However, homeowners who need to upgrade their heating and cooling systems to lower their fuel consumption can buy high–efficiency HVAC equipment, including higher AFUE furnaces.
Homeowners with questions about HVAC efficiency or any other heating and cooling service should contact their local HVAC contractors.