Saving Energy – How homes use energy.

 

When we think about saving energy and money at home we first must think about how a home uses energy. Homes use energy in a variety of ways. Major appliances including refrigerators, stoves, freezers, washers and dryers use a significant amount of electricity in all types of households. Small appliances like coffee makers, microwaves, blenders and the like are also use energy in the home. Entertainment products such as cable boxes, gaming systems, computers, televisions and DVD players, etc. consume a large amount of energy in the home as does the lighting. But did you know that the homes largest use of energy is heating, cooling and ventilation products? These include space heaters, dehumidifiers, window units, air conditioning units, etc.  A home’s heating, cooling and ventilation system is responsible for using over 50% of your home’s energy.

 

Saving Energy – What is the Whole House Approach to Saving Energy?

 

When considering ways of saving energy and money we must consider the whole house approach. The “whole house” approach is really a “systems” approach. “This approach considers the house as an energy system with interdependent parts, each of which affects the performance of the entire system. It also takes the occupants, site and local climate into consideration” (U.S.DOE, 2012)

For instance, installing a new energy efficient air conditioner or heat pump alone will not lower your monthly utility bills if the duct system has leaks, the attic is not sealed and is un-insulated, and the humid summer breezes continually drifts under doors.  Only upon completing all of the needed improvements will a lower monthly utility bill be achieved.  Attempting to correct only one facet of the scenario directly impacts the entire home.  Thus, changes in any one part or component of the home’s energy system will impact performance of other parts.  Increasing attic insulation for instance will lessen required air conditioning and heating capacities causing more issues with short cycling and humidity and prevent you from saving energy and money at home.

 

 Whole House Performance Blower Door Testing- Leaky Ducts

 

Saving Energy – How you can save energy and money in your home.

 

  • Central Air Conditioner, Heat Pump or Gas Furnace: The most obvious way of saving energy and money at home is to consider replacing your central air conditioner with an ENERGY STAR- labeled model.  These units can save 20% or more of your cooling bill while a new ENERGY STAR gas furnace can save upwards of15% or more.

Saving energy and money using Energy Star Products

 

  • Ducts: The average duct system loses about 30% of the energy produced by the furnace or air conditioner when distributing  the air to the rooms. This energy loss can be reduced by having a licensed HVAC contractor seal all duct joints and penetrations properly as well as insulating all ducts in unconditioned spaces.
  • Thermostat: A programmable thermostat can save 5-30% on your heating and cooling bill by automatically adjusting the thermostat setting at night or when your home is unoccupied.
  • Insulation: Have your home inspected for adequate ceiling insulation for your area.  R30-38 is recommended for this area.

Not sure how your home is performing or interested in saving energy and money at home, contact Air Care Systems, Inc. for a consultation- 855-632-9449 or www.aircaresystemsinc.com

 

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