Air Conditioning Service
Tips to Save on Energy Costs
If you are looking for ways to lower your monthly energy bills, the following tips will go a long way in assisting you to reduce the energy usage in your home.
Use Compact Fluorescent Light Bulbs (CFLs)
CFLs use 70-80 percent less electricity than traditional light bulbs and last 10-20 times longer than incandescent light bulbs. The only drawback to CFLs is that they contain a small amount of mercury and must be disposed of appropriately as you would some batteries and other items requiring special disposal.
LED is the latest in lighting and is often the first choice for light fixtures that are difficult to reach. Whereas CFLs are 4 times more energy efficient than a standard 60 watt incandescent bulb, LEDs are ten times more energy efficient than the incandescent bulb. LED lighting has the advantage of providing brighter light and will outlast incandescent bulbs as well as CFL’s. An incandescent bulb will last around 1,000 hours, CFLs will last 8,000 to 10,000 hours, but the LED light bulb lasts from 30,000 to 50,000 hours.
The U.S. Department of Energy estimated that if the entire US exclusively used LED lighting over the next two decades, this could result in the cost of energy savings of a whopping $120 billion, while “reducing our electricity consumption for lighting by a quarter and reduce carbon emissions by 246 metric tons.”
The drawback to LEDs is first their cost, and the starkness of the light provided. In addition, LEDs don’t burn out in the same manner of other bulbs, they grow dimmer over time.
Turn Off Appliances and Lights
Turning off appliances when they are not in use can add up to energy savings. This includes small appliances, televisions and computers. Standby power usage of small appliances is eliminated when they are turned off.
Shutting off lights in unoccupied rooms can save on your power bill. To save even more open curtains and use natural sunlight rather than electric lights. In the winter time sunlight can reduce the amount heating needs to run.
For summer time savings e-film can prevent the suns heating up your home through windows, and cut down by up to 99% the amount of UV light entering your home.
Use the Microwave and a Toaster Oven
Cooking a single casserole dish that will fit into a microwave oven or toaster oven can save big on the energy bill. Save the big oven for when you are cooking multiple dishes.
Seal the Envelope
If your windows are allowing cold air to enter, caulk and seal them. For older windows with little or no insulating properties either replace them with energy star windows, or, if new windows aren’t in the budget, seal them with clear plastic film. Sunlight can still enter, but drafts will not.
Seal Cracks and Holes
The amount of energy lost through cracks and holes can be enormous as this causes your HVAC system to work harder to compensate.
- Check ductwork for loose tape, loose pipes and missing insulation.
- Seal around plumbing and cables that intrude through the floor or wall with expanding foam. • Inspect around exterior doors for missing or damaged gaskets and replace if necessary.
- When a fireplace is not in use close the flue. Don’t forget to have your chimney inspected and cleaned before winter begins!
- Energy Star Appliances. If you are purchasing new appliances choose Energy Star for the most energy efficient models available.
- Upgrade inadequate insulation. Significant heat loss during the winter and heat gain in the summer can occur due to insufficient insulation. While upgrading walls and floors can be a big job, in most houses, upgrading the attic insulation is a feasible DIY job that will save big. Recommendations have been updated and vary from R-30 to R-60. Online guides at www.energystar.gov can assist you in determining the amount recommended for the region in which you live.
- Use Low Flow Plumbing Fixtures in the kitchen and bathroom to save on water usage.
- Upgrade heating and air conditioning systems with Energy Star certified for the most savings. If your system is 10 years old or older or breaks down frequently, it is likely time for a new one. An Energy Star qualified system can provide energy tax credits for even larger savings.
- Renewable Energy is another means of saving money. An increased number of people each year are going with renewable energy alternatives. Many experts recommend choosing a geothermal energy system as the most cost effective and longest lasting HVAC system, if it is in the budget. The geothermal system while costing more initially will quickly pay for itself and outlasts any other.
Depending upon the area of the country that you live in, solar energy may be a beneficial energy alternative for your home. Passive solar offers assistance if not a solution and many uses of passive solar are inexpensive. They include using skylights to obtain lighting and heat and can utilize a shutter or shade to prevent heat gain in the summer. Window tinting can provide light while blocking heat as well. Other simple uses of passive solar are for example, dark colored rugs used to capture the suns heat in front of windows on sunny winter days.
Cypress Heating and Air Conditioning’s certified professionals provide reliable and expert service and repair, as well as heating and air conditioning installation in the Katy/Fort Worth areas. Your comfort is our number one goal.