The new year is here and it’s time to think about New Year’s resolutions, including ways to save money. One way to save money is with a focus on energy conservation. When we use less energy in the daily running our homes, we save money and benefit the environment.
Energy conservation helps reduce monthly utility costs. The good news is that while some energy saving strategies, like upgrading to a new ENERGY STAR® HVAC unit, are huge investments, others only require simple changes in behaviors. Start the year off fresh with a renewed focus on how you can create energy efficiency in your home.
10 Tips for Creating Energy Efficiency to Save Money
1 – Upgrade to LED Lights
LED lights are a smart investment for homeowners. While LED bulbs cost more upfront when compared to incandescent lights, they last 25 times longer. Also, LED bulbs use 75% less energy, which leads to savings on your monthly energy bill. Due to new regulations, incandescent bulbs will be phased out over the next few years because of their energy inefficiency. Start saving now with LED bulbs.
2 – Seal Air Leaks
According to the U.S. Department of Energy, sealing air leaks in the home can lead to significant energy savings. When air escapes your home through cracks or openings, your HVAC system has to run longer to keep your home at the ideal temperature. That excess use leads to higher energy costs. Not only that, but cracks may also create spaces where moisture sits leading to mold and mildew growth and contributing to poor indoor air quality. Use caulk or weatherstripping to seal leaks in walls, windows, doors and floors.
3 – Switch to ENERGY STAR appliances
Old and energy inefficient appliances can cost you money. Switch to ENERGY STAR appliances, which must meet certain efficiency standards for both energy and water savings. Today’s energy efficient appliances offer the same or even superior functionality with less energy usage. Also, smart technology options allow homeowners more control over their appliances, which can lead to even more energy savings.
4 – Invest in a New HVAC System
HVAC units over 10 years old are less efficient than newer models. In fact, new energy efficient models can save up to 20% in energy usage for both heating and cooling your home. New regulations have phased out Freon or R-22 refrigerant, which most older air conditioning units use. Upgrading your HVAC system benefits the environment by reducing energy costs and eliminating the use of the ozone depleting R-22 refrigerant.
5 – Install a Smart, Programmable Thermostat
Smart and programmable thermostats allow homeowners better control of your home’s temperature. Better regulation of the temperature saves money in energy costs by adjusting the thermostat setting based on a programmed schedule. Smart thermostats offer even more features like tracking behaviors and remote access to create the ideal temperature for your home. Don’t waste energy. Instead, invest in a smart thermostat.
6 – Add Insulation in the Attic
Over time, the insulation in your attic compacts reducing its effectiveness and creating poor temperature regulation for your home. The insulation in the attic protects your home from air entering or exiting through the roof. When heat transfer occurs, your HVAC unit must work harder to maintain the desired temperature in your home. This problem can be easily resolved by adding insulation to the attic. Blown-in fiberglass insulation is easily installed by professional contractors to create a better barrier to reduce heat transfer and save on energy expense.
7 – Schedule HVAC Preventative Maintenance
HVAC preventative maintenance not only saves on energy usage but also improves air quality and extends the life of your unit. Most preventative maintenance plans include the cleaning and inspection of your HVAC system. The air filter is changed or cleaned, and worn or damaged parts are identified. When your unit is regularly maintained and cleaned, it runs more efficiently because it doesn’t have to work as hard to move air through the unit. Save money on energy bills with regularly scheduled HVAC maintenance.
8 – Use Window Coverings
Did you know that heat transfer through windows is responsible for up to 30% of HVAC energy use? One way to combat this issue is with the effective use of window coverings, like blinds, shades and drapes. For best results to keep your home cool, shut blinds and curtains during hot and sunny times of the day. When the sun sets and the temperature cools, open the blinds or curtains. Do the opposite to keep your home warm. During winter months, open the curtains or shades during the day to allow the sun to warm your home. Then, close the windows at night to keep cold air out. This simple change in behavior can lead to big energy savings.
9 – Clean Air Ducts
Like with HVAC maintenance, cleaning your home’s air ducts makes it easier for your HVAC unit to move air through the system. This means that your HVAC unit doesn’t have to run as long to produce the desired temperature. Not only do clean air ducts save money on energy costs, they also improve indoor air quality. For a DIY solution, regularly vacuum out the vents in your home. However, for best results, professional air duct cleaning provides in-depth cleaning of your entire duct system.
10 – Invest in Zone Heating
Zone heating is the ideal solution for accurate temperature management in your home. Zone heating divides your home into separate areas where the temperature can be set differently for each area. This means that you can save on energy usage by not heating or cooling the areas of your home that aren’t in use. Zone heating offers both energy efficiency and temperature comfort.
Conserve Energy with Better HVAC Solutions
Home HVAC usage accounts for up to half of your home’s total energy usage. That means, if you want to converse energy and save money, you’ve got to consider changes to your HVAC system management. Smart solutions like regular maintenance, energy-efficient units and proper cleaning all benefit your energy savings plan.
At J&W Heating and Air, we offer home HVAC solutions to help you save money on energy costs and maintain the ideal temperature for your home. Contact us today to schedule a consultation for your Jacksonville, Florida home.