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Want to Save Money This Summer? Do This.

The conundrum that every Californian in Anaheim faces in the summer is how to stay on budget while energy costs rise and event season kicks off? Though they come around each year, the summer festivities in Anaheim always feel like once-in-a-lifetime events. Starting with Cinco de Mayo and ending with the Temecula Valley International Film Festival, with the Taste of Anaheim and plenty of other exciting events in between, Anaheim locals can’t be expected to simply stay in all day to cut costs.

Don’t let your lifestyle take a hit this summer. Instead, save money by increasing your home’s energy efficiency and cutting your energy bill significantly.

How to save money while away from the home this summer

Between a full workweek, errands, nights out, weekend trips and vacations, most of your time is spent outside your home in the summer. Rightfully so in the beautiful SoCal summer season. So what can you do as an Anaheim homeowner, to cut costs while you are outside the home?

Turn up your thermostat

Keep your system running efficiently by sticking to a consistent thermostat setting from the start of the warm season all the way through summer. If you really want to save money, set your thermostat to 78. This is a relatively comfortable temperature for occupants and it prevents the system from constantly running throughout the day and at night. As you spend much of your time away from home during the summer, you’re used to turning up your thermostat to this temperature from a more comfortable 72-74 degrees.

What this does is keeps your home at a consistent temperature regardless of whether you are home or not, without hiking up your energy bill, or requiring your system to re-cool your home each time you come home from work or a larger trip.

When you are home, use portable and ceiling fans strategically to stay comfortable while consuming significantly less energy.

Think energy efficiency with your electronics

Always look for the energy star label when purchasing new appliances or electronics for your home to ensure long-term savings on your monthly bills. You can also use your electronics efficiently by using cool water to clean yourself, the dishes and your clothes, as your water heater can account for up to a quarter of your monthly energy bill. Dimmers can keep your lights from running on full energy consumption whenever they are switched on. LED lights and other more modern versions of common electronics are designed to run more efficiently.

Keep cool air in and hot air out

A home that is not sealed well can literally pour money out of its cracks during the summer months. Your HVAC unit will consistently struggle to keep your home cool if the cold air in your home is escaping through poorly sealed windows and doors and insufficiently insulated attics. Simple weatherstripping and caulk can sure up entryways and windows. Insulation is a larger expense, but investing in proper attic ventilation, insulation and solar barriers can save you bundles in energy expenses in the long-run.

Don’t just shutoff, unplug

Any appliance or small electronic device that is plugged into an outlet will consume energy, even when set to idle or off completely. Keep this in mind as you take trips this summer. While this won’t apply to appliances such as your fridge, chargers, lamps, TVs and computers should be unplugged completely to conserve energy and save money this summer.

Keep your budget on track this summer by utilizing these energy saving tips. If part of your energy savings is upgrading your HVAC system, review the top air conditioning units in Anaheim in our products page and give us a call to schedule an installation.

Energy Efficiency Tips For Your HVAC System

Turning off the AC

For those concerned more about energy use as opposed to quality of life, then turning off the AC would be the better option. For most people however, there are several considerations to keep in mind before leaving the unit off for the whole day. Depending on the size of the home and the equipment’s capacity, it could take some time before the house cools down to a comfortable temperature before one comes back. During the summer, the house could also become very hot and make life hard for pets.

A programmable setback thermostat allows one to automatically program their AC to run less when the house is unoccupied. This device has multiple time and temperature settings (for both heating and cooling mode) for various times of day and days of the week. Energy Star-rated thermostats come readily programmed for normal weekend and weekday use.

To make the most of this gadget, one could set the wake, sleep and return temperature to their desired level. The leave temperature should be set about 5 to 10 degrees higher than the desired level. The return time should also be set for about one hour before when one comes back. If the house doesn’t feel comfortable on entry, lowering the temperature or setting an earlier time could help. With some fine-tuning, one can achieve good energy savings without sacrificing too much on comfort.

 

Energy Efficiency Tips for Hot Days

When it’s very hot, most AC units run round the clock to maintain a reasonable indoor temperature. There are a few things one can do to lower the equipment’s power consumption. Such include cleaning the filters, vents and registers regularly, using a ceiling fan and closing the curtains during the day. Old HVAC devices typically consume more power as compared to their modern counterparts. Replacing an old unit with a newer Energy Star-rated A/C with a high SEER rating could help one realize significant savings on their energy bill.

 

A/C Fan Settings

Setting the fan to automatic as opposed to running it continuously helps save more energy. There may however be some valid reason why one may want to let the fan run continuously. This can be done to reduce the risk of fan failure, reduce dust and humidity or improve air circulation in the house.

 

Using Ceiling Fans

Ceiling fans used in conjunction with an A/C can help save energy. The fans create a chilling effect which allows for the A/C set point to be raised without affecting comfort. Because ceiling fans use less energy as compared to an air conditioning system, one can save about 20-50% this way.

 

Saving Energy Without Using a Timer on the Thermostat

Turning down the thermostat can save a significant amount on the heating bill. It can also be lowered during unoccupied hours and at night. Registers and vents should also be kept clean to enhance unobstructed air flow. Vents to unoccupied rooms should also be shut. If the house has a fireplace, the doors and dampers should also be shut. One also needs to insulate ductwork in unconditioned areas, such as the attic and crawlspaces. It should also be checked frequently for leaks. Plastic window insulation kits and a whole-house humidifier will also help save energy.

 

Heating Options

Space heaters are better at saving energy because one only heats a single room as opposed to baseboard heaters which heat the entire house. This however only applies when one is comparing between electrical devices. Steam baseboard heating would be cheaper because natural gas is cheaper than electrical energy. Follow us for more articles that your HVAC systems running comfortable and efficiently.

Myth Busters: 8 Ideas About Energy Efficiency Debunked!

Greater emphasis is being placed on energy efficient products and practices on a day-to-day basis. However, there are several energy efficiency myths that can easily be discredited the right information.

• More energy is needed to turn lights on or off rather than leaving them on for extended periods of time.

Fluorescent lights are thankfully left in the past due to the enormous amount of time and energy used to ignite fluorescent bulbs. Lighting from this dated source would require at least 5 minutes in preparation time before reaching their full lighting capacity. Fortunately, modern day bulbs take a second or less to reach maximum strength. Therefore, remember to shut off any light that is not needed within a 10 second time frame.

• Ceiling fans can enhance any room by keeping it cool whether or not a person is present.

People typically turn on a ceiling fan as a personal cooling mechanism. The belief that leaving a fan on to cool a room after leaving will only increase energy usage and related costs. Make a decision to only turn on a ceiling fan when the AC is off. Turn off both the fan and AC during absences from home.

• More energy is used to constantly turn computers off or on.

Computers and related devices have become much more technically advanced in recent years. Consumers can remain confident that computers will not be damaged and excess energy is not wasted while powering down or restarting. Automatic shutdown or sleep mode can both be used to conserve energy when a computer is not needed.

• Constantly changing the temperature setting on the indoor thermostat will change the overall temperature much faster.

Just the opposite is true for this widespread myth. In fact, turning a thermostat up or down constantly according to personal needs will only cause an HVAC system to work longer and harder, using excessive energy.

• Use a space heater to promote energy efficiency.

Natural gas is the more common source for heating in the United States. Electricity can cost up to 10 times more than natural gas, which negates energy efficient goals with the use of a space heater.

• Air drifts related to excessive energy costs are generally caused by windows and doors.

Air ducts help distribute air throughout a home. More often, leaks in air ducts and improper insulation in places like an attic or ceiling are the cause of air drifts.

• It takes a greater amount of energy to cool down an area when the AC has been off for an extended period of time.

Abide by the general rule of only using AC when needed and leaving it off when it is not in use.

• A large investment in appliances or parts is needed to become energy efficient.

Daily practices and habits regarding energy expenditures can greatly impact overall efficiency, even if your house’s parts and appliances are aging.

Be sure to share this knowledge with employees and family members, and follow our blog for more great HVAC tips and information!

How Can I Reduce My Energy Costs In The Winter?

Reducing energy costs just requires a little contemplation. By taking several simple steps, you can significantly reduce your energy consumption and your energy bills. Winter electricity reduction can be as simple as using certain appliances only when needed.

Reduce energy cost in winter by not using unnecessary appliances. Shut off exhaust fans around the stove in the kitchen and in the bathroom. If you don’t use a room stop heating it. Plug up heating vents and direct the heat to rooms you are using.

Take advantage of nature and the elements that already exist in your home. Sunshine is free and it creates a lot of heat when it is pointing at the Southern facing windows of your home in the winter. At night be sure to close your curtain to preserve the heat generated during the daylight hours. In your home you probably have a little known heating complement in the form of a ceiling fan. When the blades turn clockwise on a low setting, heat is pushed back down into the room, helping the room maintain a comfortably toasty temperature.

Use these simple steps to stay warm when it’s cold outside. Wrap up in a sweater or thermal sweats a keep your feet in thick socks. If you have hardwood or tile floors and even if you have carpeting, add throw rugs for warmth. Make your home even cozier by insulating your home when weather stripping is added to doors and windows stopping drafts.

Keep certain areas clean to keep costs low. Your dyer will need to run longer to dry your thicker winter clothes if you forget to clean the lint trap. Clean the lint trap between dryer loads. Keep your furnace vents and filters clean. This will keep your furnace working efficiently and your costs lower.

There are simple things you can add to help you feel warmer as well. By adding a humidifier, your home will feel warmer without having to turn up the thermostat. Heat always seems warmer when the air is damper.

The basic steps to reduce energy cost are avoided running the exhaust when it’s not needed and shut off the vents in unused rooms. Let the sun warm your rooms and allow your ceiling fans to warm your rooms. Wear warm clothing indoors, stops the flow of cold air with insulation, keep your filters clean and last but not least, make your humidifier do double duty. All these things combine to create a winter electicity reduction.

Will HVAC Efficiency Requirements Increase Anytime Soon?

The need for better HVAC efficiency resulted in a 2009 attempt by the DOE to increase HVAC efficiency standards. They worked with HVAC leaders as well as experts in the utilities field in order to adopt higher AFUE, annual fuel utilization efficiency, requirements for combustible heating equipment. While these proposed changes were intended to reduce energy consumption, it also raised concerns regarding the high cost homeowners would likely face when trying to implement the new minimum requirements.

Currently the only option homeowners would have in meeting the higher HVAC efficiency requirements proposed by the DOE, which was to raise current minimums from an AFUE of 78 to 90, would be to install a condensing furnace. These furnaces are extremely energy efficient, but they do have a down side for some homeowners. Unfortunately, condensing furnaces require a completely different venting system which could make retrofitting a home for this type of system an expensive and complicated endeavor.

Condensing furnaces are able to provide extremely high efficiency because they capture the heat in hot water vapor that is typically wasted with other combustible heating systems. By capturing the hot water vapor and condensing it, the heat that is released can be used for more efficient heating of a home; however, the necessary modifications and costly installation would make implementing this type of requirement difficult for some homeowners to manage.

The new higher HVAC efficiency standards were slated to go into effect in 2013, but due to the high cost of implementing the higher AFUE requirements and successful efforts by the HVAC industry to argue against adopting these new minimum standards, a court order has delayed the implementation. Of course, with the case still in the legal system, this could eventually change.

For now, homeowners can still take advantage of greater AFUE ratings as well as the cost saving benefits of not having to retrofit their homes for greater energy efficiency. Whether you choose a new high efficiency furnace or you need fast HVAC repairs, a leading HVAC contractor will be a great resource. Contact your local HVAC contractor for all of your HVAC needs.