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.
Tampa residents can always count on a spike in energy bills and other costs related to keeping their homes cool during the sweltering summer months. If cooling costs are making a huge dent in your monthly budget, it may be time to make some investments of time and money that will create greater savings in energy and AC maintenance costs in the long run.
Tampa has a humid, subtropical climate, and the city stays hot from May through October. Even the winter months will have a few days where you’ll need to turn on the air conditioning. Seasonal highs for the summer months have average highs in the 90s and lows in the 70s. The high humidity makes the heat even more uncomfortable.
Because temperatures in Tampa get so high, and because the city has an extended hot season, residents can end up spending quite a bit of money on keeping their homes and businesses cool. Not all this expense is necessary, however, as inefficient habits and home and HVAC maintenance needs can drive up energy bills in the summer. Smart property owners can lower their bills by adopting some new behaviors and making a few needed changes to their home and business property.
According to the U.S. Department of Energy, air conditioning accounts for about 48 percent of the average home’s energy consumption . A great deal of this energy is wasted on cooling empty homes or operating inefficient HVAC units. By optimizing your home and your habits, you can shave a significant amount off your energy bill. Good AC maintenance practices can also save you money by extending the life of your HVAC unit.
Ways to Save on Summer HVAC Costs
For homeowners looking for ways to save on their summer cooling bills , these tips make a great starting point:
- Turn the thermostat up – Perhaps the easiest way to reduce cooling-related energy costs is to use your unit less. By maintaining a slightly warmer temperature in your home, you can save a significant amount on your heating bill. Wearing lighter clothes, such as thin shirts and shorts at home will help you avoid getting too hot from a higher setting on your thermometer.
avoid turning your thermostat to a cooler-than-usual setting when you turn it back on after having it turned off for a while. It won’t make your home cool more quickly, and will just result in a cooler-than-comfortable room and added energy expense.
- Use a ceiling fan – Ceiling fans can make a room feel six to seven degrees cooler, thanks to the wind chill effect. On moderately warm days, you can get away with using just fans for cooling. On hotter days, you can use them along with your AC unit. You won’t have to work the AC unit as hard to reach a comfortable temperature, saving you energy, as ceiling fans use less electricity.
- Install a dehumidifier – Humidity makes your HVAC unit work harder to cool your home. In very humid parts of the country like Tampa, this can be a big problem. Adding a dehumidifier to your unit will help with this problem. You can have an air conditioning contractor install a dehumidifier on your HVAC system to better manage humidity levels in your home. Most experts recommend maintaining a humidity level between 40 and 60 percent in your home for maximum comfort.
- Install a smart thermometer – How often are you away from your home for hours, but still leave the air conditioner running? A smart thermometer can help you avoid spending money to cool an empty home. These thermometers can be programmed to operate only during certain hours, and some can even learn your daily routine and run the unit accordingly. Some even have a convenient feature that allows you to control them remotely from your smart phone, ensuring that you don’t waste energy while you’re at work or away from home, but never come back to an uncomfortably warm home, either.
- Install solar screens or window films – Solar screens are less expensive than installing new windows and can help intercept up to 70 percent of solar energy before it enters your home. Experts with the U.S. Department of Energy say these screens are helpful for east and west-facing windows. Window films can also block solar energy. These thin, metallized sheets reflect heat before it can penetrate window glass.
In addition to these methods, you may also wish to install sturdy curtains and blinds in your home to reduce the amount of solar energy making its way through your windows.
- Have your HVAC unit serviced – An inefficient or improperly operating HVAC unit will cost you in energy bills. There are a variety of things that can go wrong with an HVAC unit that can run up your energy bill, such as improperly operating fans or malfunctioning condensers. According to the Department of Energy, about 20 or 30 percent of the air moving through the ducts of a typical home is lost through leaks in the duct work. Hiring an air conditioning contractor in Largo, FL to come to your home and inspect your unit and ductwork can help you identify maintenance needs that may be running up your power bill.
- Insulate your home – If you’re living in an older home, it may not be sufficiently insulated. If your home has a garage that was enclosed to create additional space, this space may not have been properly insulated, either. Hiring a contractor to check your home for proper insulation, and to perform other maintenance tasks such as installing new weather-stripping can help lower your cooling bills.
Air Rescue’s Track Record
For homeowners who wish to hire a Largo AC maintenance firm to help with their HVAC system needs, finding a reliable provider is important. Tampa residents have been using Air Rescue for their HVAC needs for generations. This family-owned Tampa business has built a reputation over 70 years for great customer service and technical excellence in installing, maintaining, and repairing HVAC units.
With Air Rescue’s assistance, Tampa homeowners can enjoy lower energy bills and cooler homes . Call Air Rescue today for a free consultation to learn more about how this AC maintenance and repair company can help you.
Insulation is important to keep your home from leaking air and maintaining the efficiency of your HVAC system . If you do not have enough insulation in your attic and walls, then you risk straining your furnace and air conditioning installation in Tampa. Watch the Angie’s List video to learn more about the importance of sufficient insulation.
As seen in the video, if you can see the beams in your attic, then you do not have enough insulation. Without insulation, your heating and air conditioning units will work overtime to provide enough warm and cool air. Quality insulation protects your home from heat transfer, allowing you to keep cold air in or out, depending on the season. If you do not have enough insulation, then you may spend more in energy bills and HVAC maintenance. Consult with a qualified air conditioning company about your insulation needs.
Though furnaces are not used often in Florida, it is still necessary to have regular furnace tune-ups in Tampa and Sarasota, FL. Your entire HVAC system is important to maintain, and that includes your furnace. Without regular inspections, repairs, and replacements, you risk extensive furnace repairs. Here is a quick guide on what to do with your furnace to keep it running at peak efficiency:
Schedule Regular Inspections
The most important step to keeping your furnace in good shape is to schedule regular inspections. Your entire HVAC system should be inspected at least once or twice a year to ensure it is running at peak efficiency and without damages. When you do not run your furnace often, you may not notice a leak or other necessary repairs until it is too late. With a regular inspection by your HVAC contractor, you can prevent costly repairs in the future.
Listen for Odd Noises
When you do turn on your furnace, be aware of certain noises that could signal a problem. Scraping, banging, popping, and squealing are sounds that should never be ignored. These sounds are indicative of different problems with your furnace burner, such as a malfunctioning blower motor or a broken motor mount. Either way, it is important that a professional be called in right away.
Look at Heating Bills
Just as you should pay attention to your air conditioning bill, you should be aware of your heating bill. If it has been rising over the months your furnace has been on, or if it jumped significantly from the previous winter, then you may have an inefficient furnace. Have your HVAC contractor out to service your furnace as soon as possible.
Replace After 15 Years
If your furnace or air conditioner is over 15 years old, then consider purchasing a new one. Even if you do not use your furnace often, it is still aging and becoming less efficient every year. Newer models have updated technology that can save you money on your heating bill and keep your house warmer when you need it.
If your current HVAC system is failing to perform to your standards, but you are not ready to invest in new heating and cooling units, you may want to talk to your technician about the benefits of total system rejuvenation . During your total system rejuvenation appointment from a company that offers HVAC repair in Tampa, a certified technician will perform a series of comprehensive repair procedures. This two hour service includes a complete inspection of all major parts, sanitization of your heating and cooling units, and a six month guarantee against repair problems.
To get a head start on your total system rejuvenation, be sure to contact your local heating and air conditioning professionals. With the winter season on its way, now is an excellent time to make sure that your heating and cooling system is fully prepared to help you stay warm and toasty when you are at home.
In Tampa, a functioning air conditioner isn’t just a luxury, it’s a necessity. The temperature in the summer climbs up to the 90s and stays there, which means your air conditioner can quickly become your favorite appliance. Though you don’t have to get a high-efficiency air conditioner for your Tampa home, you’ll find that it’s in your best interest to do so. Here are just a few reasons to choose a high-efficiency air conditioner .
Earn a Tax Credit
The government is invested in many efforts to reduce energy waste and greenhouse gas emissions. One of these efforts involves encouraging people in all sectors to adopt more environmentally friendly practices and purchase high-efficiency products. The government offers a $300 tax credit for air conditioners recognized by EnergyStar as the most efficient models of 2016. High-efficiency models cost more than less-efficient models, generally speaking, so a cost-balancing tax credit is a great incentive to go for the more efficient option.
Reduce Carbon Footprint
Reducing greenhouse gas emissions isn’t just something the government can do—it’s something everyone must be involved in. By some estimates, climate control accounts for as much as 50% of the average household’s energy usage, making your HVAC system the single most energy-hungry appliance in the house. One relatively easy way to make a dent in your carbon footprint is to invest in a high-efficiency air conditioner. When shopping for a new system, look for a SEER (seasonal energy efficiency ratio) of 13 or higher.
Save Money on Cooling
Though a high-efficiency system may cost more than a less-efficient system initially, you can easily make up the difference throughout your new air conditioner’s lifespan. Depending on how efficient your new system is, you could save hundreds of dollars a year on your energy bills. Since cooling accounts for such a huge portion of the average home’s energy use—especially in Tampa—investing in a new and efficient air conditioner can be a big deal for your household budget.
Geothermal heating has been available for over half a century. Over the decades, homeowners who are looking to save on their heating and cooling bills have chosen to make the switch to geothermal heat pumps. With services from a company that offers air conditioning repair and heater repair in Tampa , you will be able to switch your conventional HVAC system to a state-of-the-art geothermal unit. Geothermal heat pumps offer several advantages over traditional HVAC systems. Read on for an explanation of how geothermal heat pumps work, and why a geothermal system may be the right choice for your home.
How Geothermal Heat Pumps Work
When you install a geothermal heat pump in your home, your interior spaces will be heated and cooled naturally by the earth. Geothermal heating connects your home’s heating and cooling system to heat exchange pockets that are located deep under the earth’s surface. Since the earth remains at a consistent temperature throughout the year, geothermal heat can be used to cool your home in the summer and heat your home in the winter.
The Benefits of Geothermal Heat Pumps
A geothermal heat pump system can offer many advantages to your home. Unlike conventional HVAC systems, which rely on electricity, natural gas, or other fuel sources, geothermal heat pumps are powered by the energy of the earth. As a result, your geothermal heat pump can dramatically improve the overall energy efficiency of your heating and cooling system. Your geothermal heat pump will also save you on your heating and cooling costs over time.
Choosing a Geothermal Heat Pump System
Once you have decided that a geothermal heat pump is the right choice for your heating and cooling needs, you will be ready to choose a system for your home. Geothermal heat pumps can either be constructed as closed-loop or open-loop systems. A closed loop system pumps liquid through closed tubing that has been installed deep underground. An open loop system, by contrast, circulates liquid through an open well source. Your heating and cooling contractor can help you choose the right geothermal heat pump for your climate.
During the hot summer months, there are several steps that you can take to beat the heat and help your air conditioner operate at its best efficiency. In this video, you will tour some handy tips to help you keep your home cool in the summer. Your air conditioner will be able to cool your home more effectively when you install shades, curtains, or awnings over the sunniest windows in your home. Additionally, you can save energy when you connect your heating and air conditioning to a programmable thermostat. With a brand new ac installation in Tampa, you can rest assured that your air conditioning unit is operating at the best level of efficiency. By keeping these simple times in mind, you can achieve the best cooling performance from your air conditioning system.
When you install a new HVAC system in your home, you can expect your furnace to last for up to 12 to 18 years before you need to schedule significant furnace repair in Tampa. In the event that your heating and cooling system is no longer able to properly heat or cool your home, it may be time to consider a furnace replacement. For example, if you have noticed that your heating bills have skyrocketed lately, it may be time to talk to your company offering furnace repair to schedule a furnace replacement for your home.
To learn more about knowing when to schedule a furnace replacement, be sure to check out this video from Angie’s List.
Your HVAC system relies on a series of ducts to deliver climate controlled air throughout your home. While your air ducts will typically provide you with smooth performance, there may come a time when you need to schedule an air duct replacement . When your air ducts begin to leak, your heating and cooling system will have to work even harder to provide your indoor rooms with air. When you notice that your air conditioning unit is no longer operating efficiently, you may want to hire a company offering HVAC repairs in Tampa. From air duct cleaning to a full duct replacement, your HVAC technicians can help you get to the bottom of the issue. To highlight the importance of routine HVAC repair, let’s take a closer look at the problems with leaky ducts.
Higher Energy Bills
One of the top problems that is associated with leaky air ducts is higher energy bills. When your air ducts spring a leak, climate controlled air will escape from your system. As a result, your HVAC unit will need to work even harder to try to deliver heated or cooled air to your indoor spaces. If you have noticed that your energy bills have been steadily on the rise, leaky air ducts may be to blame.
Increased Service Calls
Another problem that is associated with leaky air ducts is an increased number of service calls for your HVAC system. When air is leaking from your ducts, your HVAC system may end up running continually throughout the day and night. This increase in operation can lead to mechanical problems and other issues.
Poor Air Quality
Finally, leaky air ducts may create poor indoor air quality for your home. An air duct that leaks may spread dirt, dust, and allergens into your indoor air. Since poor indoor air quality can result in a variety of health problems for you or your family members, it is essential to have your leaky air ducts addressed by a licensed technician.
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