Home appliances and products have become significantly more energy efficient over the last decade according to the Energy Information Administration (EIA), but those energy savings have been offset by an increased use of home electronics. Around 50 percent of American homes have more than two televisions. Around 40 percent have more than one computer. Worldwide demand for electricity is expected to double by 2035 according to the EIA. Taking steps now to lower your electric bill offers insurance against rising energy costs in the future.
Give Your Home an Energy Checkup
According to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), heating and cooling accounts for over half of the average home’s energy usage. Even fuel-burning HVAC products like furnaces rely on electricity to power ignition systems and blower motors. By making your home easier to heat or cool, you’ll substantially lower electric bills. A home energy audit is the definitive method used for to identifying sources of energy loss in your home.
During an energy audit, a professional technician typically performs a blower door test. A specialized fan is temporarily mounted into the frame of an exterior door of your home. The fan sucks air out of your home, creating a vacuum that makes it easier to locate areas with poor insulation or leaks. The auditors can then employ a thermographic scan or an infrared camera to pinpoint leaks and gaps in the building’s envelope with great precision. At the end of an energy audit, you’ll be presented with a detailed list of recommendations that’s prioritized according to costs and the expected return on investment.
Seal Up the Gaps in Your Home
Any feature, device or conduit in your home that passes through an exterior wall can create a gap that leaks conditioned air outside. If a window rattles, it’s likely leaking air in and out of your home. You can cut around 10 percent off of your cooling bills by weather-stripping drafty windows and doors and sealing leaks around plumbing, ventilation and electrical conduits.
Banish Energy Vampires
An “energy vampire” is a name given to any home electronic product that continues to draw electricity even when it’s not in use. Many energy-stealing electronics can be identified by an LED light that remains on when the product is switched off, such as televisions, DVD and CD players, stereo equipment and digital clocks. Devices with power adapters like cell phone chargers are also culprits. Electronics left on standby mode when not in use can account for as much as 10 percent of your electric bill. A convenient and affordable solution is to connect the devices to power strips that you can easily turn off with the flick of a switch.
Install a Programmable Thermostat
You can cut 10 percent or more off of your energy bills by installing an affordable programmable thermostat. These smart devices let your automate your HVAC system to operate according to your family’s schedule. You can program the thermostat to adjust temperatures while you’re away from home or asleep and automatically return to ideal settings at a set time. Most models have multiple settings for every day of the week, and you always have the option to override programmed settings at any time.
Schedule Regular Maintenance for Your Air Conditioning System
Ensuring that your cooling system is operating at peak efficiency is critical when it comes to lower electric bills. The EIA reports that air conditioning accounts for around 16 percent of the average household’s energy consumption. According to the EPA, around 5 percent of all of the electricity generated in the country goes towards keeping homes and businesses cool. At Senica Air Conditioning, Inc., we provide preventative maintenance that includes inspections, cleaning and adjustments to help keep your air conditioner operating at optimal energy efficiency. Regular tune-ups also lower electric bills by reducing the need for AC repairs and by extending the system’s service life.
Seal and Insulate HVAC System Ductwork
According to the EPA, up to 30 percent of the air that passes through a forced-air HVAC system’s ductwork is lost to leaks in the average American home. Leaky ductwork forces your air conditioning to run longer to reach the temperature set on your thermostat. Sealing and insulating ducts eliminates leaks and lowers your energy costs. Experts recommend leaving the work to qualified HVAC professionals. Improper work can disrupt the ductwork’s balanced air exchange between the delivery of conditioned air and the return of household air.
Purchase Energy Star Qualified Products
Manufacturers use a variety of rating methods to measure the energy efficiency of their products. In an effort to make it easier for consumers to identify energy efficient products, the EPA established the Energy Star labeling system. Products must undergo rigorous testing and pass high energy efficiency standards to qualify as an Energy Star qualified product. When purchasing a new air conditioner, looking for the Energy Star label helps ensure that you’ll find and energy efficient product that will lower electric bills throughout the unit’s service life.
As a leading provider of air conditioning systems in Tampa FL, Senica Air Conditioning, Inc. has extensive experience in providing services that help lower the electric bills in homes and businesses in our community. As your neighbors, we’re pleased to offer energy-saving tips that help you save money without sacrificing comfort.