Whether you’re trying to reduce your carbon footprint or simply your utility bill, there are plenty of reasons to cut back on energy consumption. You might think you’ll have to drastically change your lifestyle or invest a lot of money in new appliances to make a difference in your power usage, but the truth is, saving energy may be easier than you imagine. It doesn’t have to be a complicated ordeal, and in fact, there are some very simple ways to reduce your energy consumption at home.
- Make small shifts in your habits. Take shorter showers, for example, and turn off lights and ceiling fans when you leave a room. Get in the habit of running the dishwasher and washing machine at night or early in the morning, when it’s not a “peak” energy time of day. When doing laundry, use only as much water and detergent as necessary: there’s no need to waste water, and using excess detergent makes the machine work harder to rinse the clothes. Toss a dry towel into the dryer with your wet clothes, and they’ll dry more quickly. Run the dishwasher only when it’s full and you’ll save on energy and water. These little changes aren’t particularly disruptive to your lifestyle, but the can add up in terms of energy savings
- Give the thermostat a nudge. Adjusting your thermostat by just a couple of degrees can equate to big savings on your energy bill. In fact, some experts say it can bring your bill down by one percent for every degree you shift the thermostat. In the winter, it’s smart to keep it around 68 degrees Fahrenheit when you’re home, and several degrees lower if the house is empty. In the winter, aim for 75 degrees Fahrenheit or higher, and several degrees higher when you’re away from the house.
- Switch out the thermostat entirely. Changing from a traditional thermostat to a programmable thermostat can increase your home’s energy efficiency and some even give you the convenience of adjusting your thermostat remotely. This allows you to keep your home at one temperature while you’re away, and change the temperature before you return home so that it will be comfortable when you arrive. Note: a programmable thermostat doesn’t automatically save you money and energy, just by being installed. You have to actually program it in energy saving ways to see any shifts in your usage.
- Change your lightbulbs. Are you still using traditional incandescent light bulbs? Switch to halogen incandescent bulbs, compact fluorescent lights (CFLs) or light-emitting diode bulbs (LEDs) and you’ll see a significant difference in your energy usage. These bulbs use anywhere from 25 up to 80 percent less energy than traditional bulbs and last much longer. If you’ve delayed because they’re more expensive, it’s important to note that because they don’t need to be changed as frequently, they cost less in the long run.
- Try out some old fashioned ways. Your great-grandparents may have had a less convenient lifestyle than you do, but they also used a lot less energy. Try some of the practices they used in their everyday lives, and you can save energy as well! Hang your clothes on a line instead of putting them in the dryer, open a window to let air circulate, use curtains to control the amount of light and heat that enter your home, and use a hot water bottle, a sweater, or some socks to stay warm instead of cranking up the heat.
- Use your kitchen to your advantage. On hot days, eat cold meals or use small appliances like your slow cooker or microwave, rather than running the oven. Save your baking for cold days, when the radiant heat from the oven will help heat your home. Use cookware that fits over your burners, so that no heat escapes around the edges of the pot or pan. Defrost frozen foods in your refrigerator. Paying attention to how your kitchen affects your energy usage can mean big savings.
- Fight vampires. The vampires in your home don’t require garlic and a stake- just a power strip should do the trick. Idle electronics, like your television, scanner, printer, and microwave all use power even when they’re not in use. Plug devices into a power strip and you can easily flip a switch to prevent them from using energy when you’re not using them.
- Enhance your insulation. The insulation in your home can make a big difference in how much energy you’re using. Have a professional inspection to determine whether you need to bump up the level of insulation you have in your attic, basement, floors, walls, and crawlspace. If you live in a cold climate, you will need more insulation than someone who lives in a warmer area. It’s also smart to look for drafty areas in your home, sealing leaks with caulk to prevent the outside air from coming in and the inside air from escaping.
- If you do need new appliances, do your homework. Upgrading to energy efficient appliances can make a big difference, so look for the ENERGY STAR label when you shop. Appliances typically account for about 13 percent of your household energy use, and depending on the appliance, ENERGY STAR certified models can cut down on energy usage at a rate that’s between 9 and 45 percent. If you’re replacing your water heater, consider a tankless option to save both money and energy.
- Update your HVAC. If you’re ready to see big savings, look to your heating and cooling system. Heating alone can add up to 40 percent of home energy use, so upgrading your HVAC to a more efficient model can mean significant savings on your energy bill. Not quite ready to upgrade? Proper maintenance saves energy, too. Keeping your ducts clean and your HVAC in good working order will ensure that it runs more smoothly and efficiently.
If you need to find a professional to check your HVAC, or you’re in the market for air duct cleaning, repair, and replacement services in Tampa, St. Petersburg and the surrounding area, please feel free to call Air Rescue at (813) 375-9982. Since 1946, our family-owned business has been providing superior service at unbeatable prices, offering heat and air conditioning repair services, new HVAC system installations, and more for homes and businesses. The service team at Air Rescue Air Conditioning consists of 75 expertly trained and licensed technicians, who work quickly and efficiently. Our service and pricing guarantee ensures that we always arrive on time, offer you the lowest price in the industry, and leave you 100% satisfied. Schedule your service visit today, and we’re confident that you’ll make us our HVAC company for life.
Your HVAC system includes your air conditioner, heater, and the air ducts that run throughout the house. By scheduling regular air duct cleaning and air conditioning maintenance in Tampa, you can keep your entire system in good condition. This is important to reduce your energy bills, future maintenance costs, and keep your family healthy. Here is a better look at why it is important that your air ducts be in good condition:
Keep Energy Bills Low
If your air ducts are slowly leaking air, then you are gradually losing money. As your heated and cooled air leaks through the ducts, your energy bills are rising every month. By keeping your air ducts in good condition—with regular inspections by qualified HVAC personnel—you can keep your energy bills low throughout the year. Sealed and quality air ducts keep the air contained and flowing in the directions it should be. This will make your home more comfortable and reduce your energy bills.
Reduce HVAC Strain
The more your heating and air conditioning units must work, then the more strain and use is being put on them. If your air ducts are leaking, rusted, or broken, then your HVAC units must compensate for the leaking air. By overcompensating, these units will work much more than normal, which will cause unnecessary strains and repairs. You may have to replace your air conditioner and heater or schedule costly repairs sooner, if your air ducts are not in good condition.
Prevent Air Contamination
Part of your system’s job is to filter the exterior air before it reaches the inside of your home. Filtering removes dust, dirt, pollen, and other air contaminants so that you will have a healthy and comfortable interior. If the air ducts are leaking, then these contaminants are also leaking into your house. This can cause allergic reactions, asthmatic symptoms, and other potential health concerns. Ensure your air is healthy by keeping your air ducts in good condition.
Air duct repair and duct cleaning are necessary tasks to keep the indoor air quality of your home comfortable and healthy. Your ducts are an essential component of your air conditioning and heating appliances, and they contribute to the airflow and air quality that enters your home. Continue reading to learn more about your home air quality and how air duct repair and air conditioning service in Tampa, FL, work together.
Your air ducts handle both your heating and cooling air flow, which means they are almost constantly bombarded with dust, dirt, mold, and other damaging influences. Duct cleaning every two to five years is crucial to keeping this dust and mold from entering the rest of your home and damaging your family’s health. However, your air ducts may be leaking, which warrants air duct repair. If your air ducts are leaking or damaged, then they could be pulling in even more dust and contaminants, which can then enter your home. If these contaminants are not caught by your air conditioner or furnace filters, then you risk possible health concerns for you and your family.
You may think your air ducts only need an occasional cleaning, but there are times when you will need to call your HVAC contractor for a duct replacement. Let’s look at the answers to some common questions about duct replacement and other AC maintenance in Tampa and St. Petersburg, FL.
Should my ducts be replaced or cleaned?
Determining whether your ducts should be cleaned or replaced is up to your HVAC contractor. A duct cleaning is often sufficient to solve any duct problems. However, there are times when a contractor will suggest a duct replacement over a cleaning. If your ducts show significant damage—from mold growth and other factors—or ducts have collapsed, then your contractor will likely suggest a duct replacement. If your ducts are found to have been improperly installed or designed, then you may need a replacement instead of a cleaning. A replacement can ensure that these problems do not return and that the installation was done correctly.
When should my ducts be replaced?
If your ductwork or your house was constructed several years ago, then you may need duct replacement. Even with proper cleanings, ducts can eventually degrade, or past materials may not be as efficient as newer materials. Your HVAC contractor should inspect your ducts to determine if they need to be replaced. He can also look for signs of extensive mold growth, which may be another sign you should have your ducts replaced. Dirt, dust, and some mold is to be expected in all ductwork. If it is extensive, however, then you could risk further damage to the ducts or health problems for your family.
When should my ducts be inspected?
Your ducts should be professionally inspected and cleaned every two to five years. However, there are some signs that can signal the need for inspection. If you notice your utility bills are rising, or your HVAC system is degrading quicker, then you may have leaky ductwork. Watch out for these signs to call your HVAC company for a professional duct cleaning and inspection.
Your HVAC system is designed to keep your home at an even and comfortable temperature, throughout every season of the year. If you have recently noticed that your home’s heating and cooling bills have increased, but your HVAC unit is functioning properly, the problem could lie in your air ducts. A company that offers HVAC repair in Tampa can help you decide whether air duct cleaning or sealing could help boost the efficiency of your HVAC system. Aeroseal duct sealing is a terrific service that could dramatically benefit your home. Read on for a look at the benefits that Aeroseal can offer you.
Reduced Heating and Cooling Bills
One of the top advantages of Aeroseal duct sealing is that this service can help you cut back on your monthly heating and cooling bills. If your air ducts are leaking, they could be wasting significant amounts of climate controlled air. After your Aeroseal duct sealing service is complete, you can expect your system to be up to 20 percent more efficiency. This improved efficiency will translate into reduced heating and cooling bills over time.
Improved Indoor Air Quality
When your HVAC ductwork is leaky, it could invite airborne allergens, dust particles, and other contaminants into your system. As your HVAC system delivers heated or cooled air throughout your home, these particles could contaminate your indoor air. The Aeroseal duct sealing procedure will completely seal off your ducts from outside contaminants. As a result, your indoor air will be cleaner, fresher, and healthier for you to breathe.
Enhanced Household Safety
Safety is a top concern when you have gas heating appliances in your home. Leaky ducts can create the ideal conditions for carbon monoxide and other toxic gases to enter your indoor spaces. When you take the time to schedule Aeroseal duct sealing services, you can rest assured that your ducts are completely sealed and protected against the dangers of carbon monoxide contamination.
Are you wondering if you need HVAC repairs in Tampa? If so, then it’s important to realize that heating and cooling problems can sometimes be related to your air ducts. Continue reading to learn if your heating and cooling issues could be due to a leak in your air duct system.
Signs of an Air Duct Leak
When there is a leak in your HVAC system’s air ducts, there are a number of warning signs that can manifest. First, you may notice that the unit has trouble heating and cooling your home. If your heating and air conditioning are running for longer periods or more frequently despite the unit working efficiently, then you may have an air duct leak. Other symptoms of leaky ducts include an unusual increase in energy bills and rooms that feel stuffier or a different temperature than the rest of the house. Finally, if you can see that an area of the ductwork is kinked, crushed, or tangled, then there may be perforations along with the visible damage.
Problems Associated with an Air Duct Leak
The most obvious issue related to a leak in your air duct system is that some of your conditioned air escapes outside instead of getting circulated through your home. This can lead to increased energy costs and, because you may find part of your home uncomfortable, you may adjust your thermostat and force your HVAC unit to work even harder. Also, leaks in your ducts can allow pests to enter you home and, if water gets into the system, this can lead to mold growth that sends mold spores into your house every time the HVAC system turns on.
Solutions for an Air Duct Leak
When there is a problem with your ductwork, your best option is to call a professional. These individuals can perform a full inspection of the system, repair damaged connections and ducts, and properly seal up any holes or leaks. If you suspect that you have a leaky air duct, then contact a duct repair professional as soon as possible.
While many of us are familiar with the dangers of outdoor air pollution, indoor air pollution can also have a significant impact on your health and wellbeing without you even knowing it. If you have been experiencing allergies, respiratory issues, or other health symptoms when you are at home, you may be suffering from poor indoor air quality. A company that offers heating and cooling services can help you improve the cleanliness of your indoor air. During your next air conditioner repair in Tampa, you may want to ask your heating and cooling experts about whether you are eligible for an air filter replacement or duct cleaning.
There are several steps that a heating and cooling company can take to help you improve your indoor air. By replacing the air filters in your air conditioning unit, your technician can remove dust, pollen, and other particles that may be clogging up your indoor air. A company that offers duct cleaning can also thoroughly clear out your HVAC ducts and eliminate traces of mold, dust, and harmful contaminants.
Have you been running your air conditioner, but there are distinct rooms and areas of your house that never seem to cool down? You may need to look at how well your air ducts are holding up. They could be leaking cool air, and you may not even know it unless your AC contractor serving Tampa comes out for air duct cleaning. Thankfully, there is a great new sealant known as Aeroseal that can solve your problem efficiently.
Aeroseal is a type of mist that will seal any leaky air ducts from the inside. Once your air ducts are cleaned and sealed, you may notice a vast change in your air conditioning. Temperatures throughout the house should even out because air is not escaping elsewhere. You should also notice better savings when you get your energy bill, because you will not be losing cold air in your ductwork. Since your air conditioning unit should not have to work as hard anymore, your energy use will reduce, thus helping the environment and saving you money.
Sufficient Insulation is Essential to Save Money on Energy Costs this Winter!
If you didn’t already know, October is National Energy Awareness Month. Now is the time to get your home ready for the upcoming winter months. Homeowners should make small changes and other things to help save energy, reduce energy waste and save money on electric bills. Although October is Energy Awareness Month, every month should be Energy Awareness Month!
Now is the best time to get your insulation inspected. Insulation deteriorates over time, it will become less efficient at insulating your home during the cold and hot months.
Some insulation professionals state that 2/3 of homes in the United States are not efficiently insulated. Having your home insulated properly and weather stripping your home can save you money on your electric bills.
Signs of Inefficient Insulation
One way of telling if you have insufficient insulation in your home is if you have trouble keeping your upper floor heated or cooled. Even if you don’t have this problem, it’s still a good idea to occasionally check your insulation.
Begin in your attic, insulation on the attic floor keeps heat from escaping as it rises through the attic. Experts say that if you can see the attic floor joists then you need more insulation.
It is easy for homeowners to go to their attic and check their insulation, but there are more difficult places to check, as in insulation inside your walls. In order to check the insulation in your walls you will need to hire a professional who can use infrared cameras to make sure you have enough insulation.
When you are adding insulation, make sure you ask about a recommended R-value, which measures the efficiency of the insulation. The higher the R-value, the better the insulation will work. The kind of insulation is also an important factor. Some types insulate better than others.
Energy Star recommends that you have an R-value of 38, anywhere from 12-15 in. of insulation. A higher R-value of 49 might be recommended for colder regions.
Be sure to do some research before hiring a company to do an energy audit or add more insulation to your home. You should ask friends and family who they recommend, check trusted online websites or you can call Air Rescue at 888-638-3792.
You can also add weather stripping to the edges of doors and windows to help reduce energy costs.
For potential new home owners, one of the first things you take into consideration is the plumbing, cabinets, floor and counter tops. The HVAC system ends up being the most unsatisfying feature of the new home.
There are 9 important things you should remember when you get your HVAC system installed. These will help avoid having your AC company come back out to your home.
- Make sure the design and ductwork are correct. If they aren’t balanced or sized correctly your home may not cool or heat properly. Externally insulated ducts that are round are the most efficient type of ductwork.
- Be sure the size of your HVAC unit is correct. The size of your HVAC system depends on the size of your home as well as how many windows , how much shade and how much insulation your home has. How much air leaks in and out of your home is also taken into consideration.
- Placement of your outdoor unit. The worst place to put the unit outside is by a bedroom window, which could be bothersome to you and your family. Also, make sure it is somewhere where it can’t be easily damaged.
- Balance dampers in ductwork. The worst place to adjust the air coming into the room is at the diffuser grill. Balance dampers should be installed away from the diffusers and should also be balanced by a qualified tech.
- Refrigerant. Federal Law states that R-22 should be cut out by 2015. I recommend systems that use the eco friendly R-140A.
- Location of the Air Filter. They should be located where they can be easily accessed. Filters should be changed every couple of months so it should be located easily.
- Return Air. Air that enters a room must be equal to the amount of air that leaves the room. Otherwise there is no space for the cool air to occupy. Each room should have a register and return air diffuser.
- Condenser Coil. Single metal coils last longer and are more efficient, for example aluminum or copper coils. This is very important for corrosive environments.
- Efficiency. The minimum efficiency for air conditioning systems is 13-SEER, this has been in effect since 2006. The higher the SEER, the lower the energy use.
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