Tuesday, February 10, 2015

Tips for Your Home

Your Home Heating & Cooling

Heating and cooling your home uses more energy (costs more money)  than any other system in your home -- typically making up about 50% of your utility (PG&E) bill.
No matter what kind of heating and cooling system you have in your house, you can save money and increase your comfort by properly maintaining or by upgrading your equipment. But remember, an energy-efficient furnace alone will not have as great an impact on your energy bills as using the whole-house approach. By combining proper equipment maintenance and upgrades with recommended insulation, air sealing, and thermostat settings, you can save about 30% on your energy bill while reducing environmental emissions.
Older homes duct systems typically leak air from 30% to as much as 55% and are uninsulated or the original insulation is falling off.  Homes with asbestos insulation can be infiltrating the ducting air stream and blown into the house through your duct system every time you turn on your furnace.  This is very bad for your health and your loved ones who visit.
Air Filtration Systems are now available with up to 99% filtration and with the system installed on your Furnace it will clean the air cycled through the system or simply when it operates or you can run the furnace fan on a scheduled bases with some newer technology available in todays thermostats/controllers.  Newer thermostats are also available with WiFi which can be controller via an App on your cell phone or tablet.

Heating and Cooling Tips

  • Set your programmable thermostat as low as is comfortable in the winter and as high as is comfortable in the summer, and -- depending on the season -- raise or lower the setpoint when you're sleeping or away from home.
  • Clean or replace filters on furnaces and air conditioners once a month or as recommended.  Typically changing your filter every 3-4 Months is recommended, depending on use & area you live.
  • Clean warm-air registers, baseboard heaters, and radiators as needed; make sure they're not blocked by furniture, carpeting, or drapes.
  • Eliminate trapped air from hot-water radiators once or twice a season; if unsure about how to perform this task, contact a professional.
  • Place heat-resistant radiator reflectors between exterior walls and the radiators.
  • Turn off kitchen, bath, and other exhaust fans within 20 minutes after you are done cooking or bathing; when replacing exhaust fans, consider installing high-efficiency, low-noise models.
  • During winter, keep the draperies and shades on your south-facing windows open during the day to allow the sunlight to enter your home and closed at night to reduce the chill you may feel from cold windows.
  • During summer, keep the window coverings closed during the day to block the sun's heat.

Long-Term Savings Tips

  • Select energy-efficient products when you buy new heating and cooling equipment. Your contractor should be able to give you energy fact sheets for different types, models, and designs to help you compare energy usage.
  • For furnaces, look for high Annual Fuel Utilization Efficiency (AFUE) ratings. The national minimum is 78% AFUE, but there are ENERGY STAR® models on the market that exceed 90% AFUE up to 97% AFUE. For air conditioners, look for a high Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio (SEER). The current minimum is 13 SEER for central air conditioners. ENERGY STAR models are 14.5 SEER or up to 21 SEER.

Other Tips

  • Besides changing your Furnace Filter, your AC Coil should be cleaned every year.  Homes with Fresh Air Systems also should have a filter that’s needs replacing on a scheduled basis.
  • Air intrusion from your attic or crawl space can lower the efficiency of your Heating & Cooling System.  Expanding foam or caulking can seal to prevent air intrusion into your home.  Replace door seals, clean window seals & install wall outlet/switch insulators to prevent air from enter through outlets & switches. 

If you are in San Benito County or Santa Clara County give us a call at (831) 630-9018 and have one of our Service Techs Inspect or Service your system today.  Its never to late to SAVE Energy or lower the cost of your utility bills.