Earth Day 2015: Heating & Cooling Efficiency
This Wednesday will mark the 45th anniversary of the worldwide event known as Earth Day.
The theme for this year's Earth Day is "It's Our Turn to Lead":
"On Earth Day we need you to take a stand so that together, we can show the world a new direction. It’s our turn to lead. So our world leaders can follow by example."
Although the Green Movement often suffers from "analysis paralysis," you don't have to feel overwhelmed. Small changes in one room can have drastic impacts on your entire house. Let's take it slow by focusing on your home's HVAC system, by far the biggest factor in your home's total energy use. By implementing these green tips and tricks in your home, you could easily save up to 40% on your energy bill. See, Earth Day is great for everyone.
Earth Day HVAC Efficiency Tips
1. Windows & Doors
- Seal air leaks around doors and windows with fresh weatherstripping and weatherproof caulk.
- Close blinds and drapes when the sun is out to reduce solar heat gain.
- Plant trees and shrubs outside of sun-facing windows to add shade. Celebrate Earth Day by planting a tree!
- Consider purchasing solar screens, insulating drapes, and door sweeps for increased insulation and protection from the sun's rays.
- Use an incense stick or light peice of toilet paper to inspect areas where you suspect an air leak.
- In addition to all doors and windows, make sure to check air ducts, attics, and basements.
- Seal air ducts with mastic sealant or get professional Aeroseal air duct sealing from Gold Medal Service.
- Schedule a Home Energy Audit with Gold Medal Service to pinpoint the exact locations of all of your energy losses.
- Caulking and insulating your home will save you hundreds of dollars every year on your energy bills.
- Caulk is very cheap but goes a long way in terms of energy savings. Watch this video to learn how to caulk around your home:
- Keep thermostat away from any heat sources, including sunlight, lamps, candles, and appliances. The temperature misreading will cause your system to run longer than necessary.
- According to energy.gov, "By turning your thermostat back 10° to 15° for 8 hours, you can save 5% to 15% a year on your heating bill — a savings of as much as 1% for each degree if the setback period is eight hours long."
- If no one is at home, turn your thermostat off or set it to a higher temperature in summer, lower in winter.
- We recommend setting your thermostat to 78°F (26°C) while you are home and higher while you are away.
- If you don't have one already, install a programmable thermostat for maximum savings. According to energy.gov, you can save 10% every year by using a programmable thermostat.
- Install whole-home ceiling fans to save money on heating and cooling bills and reduce energy waste.
- This only works if you don't have the A/C running at the same time. Remember, you will only feel the benefits by being in the same room as the fan.
- You can even save money in the winter by reversing the direction of the fan, creating an updraft and distributing the warm air more effectively.
- Call Gold Medal Service to schedule your ceiling fan repair or installation today!
- Check and/or replace your HVAC filter every month.
- Write the date on the filter to know when you last replaced the filter.
- A general rule of thumb is that if you can see light passing through the filter, it is still good to use. If no light passes through, it is clogged and in need of replacement.
- We recommend using HEPA (high-efficiency particulate air) for maximum filtration.
- A clean filter saves you money and energy by lightening the load on your HVAC system.
Are you ready for the hot months ahead? How about your HVAC system? The most important thing you can do to lower cooling costs this summer is to schedule annual HVAC maintenance with Gold Medal. We will conduct a full system check-up, giving quick and easy suggestions for ways to improve energy-efficiency. When we leave, your air conditioner will be running at peak efficiency and the money you spent will quickly be made back on your energy bills!
Go Green and Save Green today!