ENERGY SAVING TIPS
60% of your utility bill comes from your heating and cooling system,
making it the largest energy expense in your home. Listed below are
energy saving tips to help you save money on your monthly utility bills.
Your equipment needs to be serviced by a licensed professional
at least twice per year. Studies have shown that lack of proper
maintenance can reduce equipment efficiency by 5-10%.
INSPECT YOUR FILTER EVERY MONTH
Restricted air filters can cause your heating and cooling unit to waste
energy and can shorten the life of your system. Check your air filter at
least once a month and replace if necessary.
USE CEILING FANS TO HELP COOL YOUR HOME
Ceiling fans use very little electricity, and are an efficient addition to
cooling your home.
INSTALL WINDOW TREATMENTS
Along with keeping curtains and shades closed during the heat of the
day, solar protection films are also an excellent way to block heat and
UV rays. Available at $2.25 per square foot, this film can be custom-fit
to your window specifications. DIY home window tint kits may be
ordered at www.snaptint.com
DO NOT COVER OR BLOCK OUTDOOR UNIT
Keep a minimum 12″ clearance around your outdoor unit from vines,
tall grasses, shrubs, etc. Also, turn off your system when mowing or
trimming around your outdoor unit to prevent grass clippings or other
debris from accumulating on the sides or top of unit.
BEWARE OF COTTONWOOD!!!
When it looks like it is snowing outside in June, you know the
cottonwood is flying! White fluffy cottonwood seed gets sucked into
your outdoor coil every time your air conditioner is running, creating
the equivalent of dryer lint on the outdoor coil. You wouldn’t go without
cleaning the vent screen on your dryer, and like wise your outdoor
air conditioning unit coil needs cleaned too. You may need to clean
your unit more than once per season! An air restriction at the outdoor
coil is the biggest cause of component failure in all outdoor units.
INSTALL A PROGRAMMABLE THERMOSTAT
Programmable thermostats automatically adjust your home’s
temperature settings, allowing you to save energy while you’re away
or sleeping. The key is to use your programmable thermostat sensibly.
Everyone’s home is different due to age, insulation, widows etc that
contribute to heat loss and heat gain during the coldest days of winter
and the hottest stretch of summer. Short cycles of less than 8 hours, or
severe settings of more than 5 degree setback periods won’t save much
energy and may shorten the life of your equipment. During the winter
months, we would not recommend that you go below your desired
temperature more than 5 degrees, due to heat loss. In the summer
we do not recommend setting your thermostat above 75 degrees in
extreme heat, as your equipment must work harder to remove heat
from inside your home’s walls, flooring, and furnishings. On very hot days,
it could take an hour or more to drop the inside temperature by
1 degree as your unit works to compensate for heat gain.
INSPECT YOUR HOME FOR PROPER INSULATION
Does Your Attic Have Enough Insulation? Did you know that insulation
loses it’s loft over time, reducing it’s effective R-Value? Inadequate attic
insulation causes your system to work harder to achieve and maintain
your desired temperature, which can raise your utility bills. You could
have the best and most efficient HVAC system in the world, and still
lose a great deal of the benefits because your home is inadequately
insulated. In addition, with extreme temperatures reaching upwards
of 100 degrees or more, you may need to LOWER the temperature
on your thermostat to combat heat gain. You may also want to
consider installing wind turbines in your attic to help with heat gain.
Attic insulation may be purchased at Home Depot or Lowe’s. Whether
you choose to DIY or arrange for professional installation, adding
attic insulation is a smart investment for your home.
*The suggested R-Value in attics for Kansas is R-30 to R-40 or 9-12 inches.