Energy Savings

Will installing a programmable thermostat reduce my heating and cooling consumption? Yes, programmable thermostats can reduce the energy used for air conditioning or heating by 5 to 30%. Programmable thermostats, while not always digital, save money by turning the air conditioner to a higher setting (or heater to a lower setting) when no one is present in the house, or in the evenings when it is cooler. You can achieve the same savings without the programmable thermostat, but you would…

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Energy Savings

If You Have an Older Home Get a Home Efficiency Audit Before Deciding on Insulating or Replacing Your Furnace! Whether you should insulate or replace your furnace first depends on the situation in your house. Factors that influence this decision are the age and efficiency of your furnace, and the amount of insulation currently present in the house. In general it is more cost-effective to upgrade insulation than it is to upgrade your furnace. However, if your furnace is old,…

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Energy Savings

Why are my bills so high? There are a number of factors that cause differences in energy bills, so comparing your bill to someone else’s is like comparing apples to oranges. The ages of major appliances, especially refrigerators and air conditioners, can make a dramatic difference in your bill. In addition, if your house leaks air like a sieve while your neighbor’s house was just weatherized and insulated, you will have much higher heating and cooling bills. Other factors that…

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Energy Savings

What’s the single biggest user of electricity in my house? If your house has central air conditioning, the air conditioner will probably be the biggest user by far. Although used only a few months of the year, the annual cost can be much greater than the annual cost of your refrigerator, which is typically the next largest user. In hot climates, the annual air conditioner cost can exceed a thousand dollars. You can get a very rough idea of what…

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Energy Savings

What’s the most common mistake people make in trying to save energy around the house? Common mistakes people make include: Letting the furnace or air conditioner salesperson sell them a unit that’s much bigger than they need, Not getting the ducts checked for leakage when installing a new heating and cooling system, Thinking that “since heat rises, we only need to insulate the attic.” Floors over a basement or crawlspace, walls and windows also matter. Not using ceiling and portable…

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Automatic and Programmable Thermostats

In our modern, high-tech society, we don’t think much about some of the electronic gadgets in our homes. Take, for example, the ever-present thermostat a staple of American households for decades. It usually takes the shape of an unassuming box on the wall, but that modest device controls the comfort of your family on the coldest day in January and the hottest day in July. What Is a Thermostat? It is a temperature-sensitive switch that controls a space conditioning unit…

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Selecting a Heating System

When selecting a heating system, consider the following three characteristics carefully: the energy efficiency rating, sizing, and the system’s components. Energy Efficiency Rating The U.S. Federal Trade Commission requires manufacturers to provide an annual fuel utilization efficiency (AFUE) rating on all heating equipment. This rating provides consumers with information about the operating costs of a particular model that is being considered. Boilers and warm air furnaces available today have an AFUE rating of 78% to 97% compared to heating appliances…

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HVAC Maintenance: Saving Tons of Money In The Long Run

You don’t see them as much in older buildings, but newer buildings usually have HVAC systems (heating, ventilation and air conditioning) to control the climate. These systems help keep people comfortable by keeping the temperature regulated at all times of the year. During the winter, you have the heat you need, while in the summer you have air conditioning to keep you nice and cool. In order to keep your system running properly, you need to have regular HVAC maintenance….

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