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Green-up Your Home This Spring And Summer!
Your heating and cooling equipment accounts for a whopping 47 percent of your household energy bill, according to Connect4Climate.org – nearly three times more energy than the next closest energy-eating culprit. The good news, if you’re a green consumer, is that there are ways to chip away at that number.
Whether it’s investing in ENERGYSTAR®-rated equipment, getting smarter with your smart thermostat, or just improving airflow around the house, you can adopt simple ways to shrink your carbon footprint at home.
Home Energy Saving Tips
Here are ten energy-saving tips to get you started.
- Watch those air filters – Check your filters about once a month, cleaning or replacing them (depending on the model) as needed (be especially vigilant if you have shedding pets). A clogged air filter can reduce HVAC efficiency by 10 to 15 percent, and will cause unnecessary wear and tear on your equipment.
- Mind your ductwork – Duct leaks can prevent the air you paid to heat or cool from ever reaching your living space. In shoulder seasons (like now), look for obvious air leaks in visible ducts (especially joint seals), but remember: most of your ductwork is behind the walls, so consider a professional duct inspection about once every five years.
- Use your thermostat – With a central air conditioner, every degree you drop your thermostat below 75 degrees could cause you to use three to five percent more energy. The good news is that the reverse is also true. For the best balance of comfort and economy, the U.S. Department of Energy suggests shooting for a summertime indoor temperature of about 78 degrees.
- Add window accessories – Consider adding sun-blocking window treatments in the summer and insulating treatments in the winter. For more efficiency tips using window accessories, see the U.S. Department of Energy website).
- Add insulation – Insulation is one of the best bang-for-the-buck ways to reduce energy use and costs at home. And not just during the winter: Insulation will keep the cool air in during the summer, too.
- Keep your condensing unit out of the sun – Shading your outdoor condensing unit can reduce A/C costs by about two percent.
- Keep vents clear – Make sure that vents in rooms you’re using are open and not blocked by furniture, rugs or drapes.
- Use your ceiling fans – Moving air feels cooler when you’re in the room, so turn on those ceiling fans when people are around om the summer– you’ll be able to keep temperatures a little warmer with no loss in comfort. The same is true in winter, when a fan can push rising warm air back in the room to keep you toasty. Just remember to reverse the fan blade direction between seasons – see your fan’s instruction manual to learn more.
- Maintain your equipment – Your heating and cooling equipment will lose about five percent efficiency every year that it’s not serviced – which means that professional cooling maintenance or heating maintenance will basically pay for itself in lower energy bills alone. It will also help keep your A/C or furnace running more reliably.
- When it’s time to upgrade, always choose an HVAC pro – Big box stores may seem cheaper, but as the saying goes, “you get what you pay for.” A qualified home heating and cooling technician will know how to get the most from your equipment year after year. They’ll also know the ins and outs on tax credits, incentives, and manufacturer’s rebates, so they’ll be able to steer you in the direction of better deals on ENERGY STAR®-certified equipment.
Summer’s coming – is your A/C ready? Make sure it is with annual air conditioning maintenance from the pros at Bottini Fuel! Contact us today to learn more about A/C installations and air conditioner maintenance in the Hudson Valley!
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