Having a home that is cool and comfortable is most important for your health and comfort. And if you are living in an area where temperatures reach up to 100 degrees on average, it’s especially important to get the most out of your cooling system. Here are some tips to help you keep your AC system running and save you from HVAC repair.
Fans can lower your AC costs.
If you have a ceiling fan and your air conditioner is working well, then you can use the fan to circulate the cool air around the room. This will also help keep closed doors from getting hot by adding some airflow as people come and go throughout the day.
Installing a programmable thermostat
Installing a programmable thermostat is an easy way to save money on your electric bill. If you’re handy and comfortable with basic electrical work, you can install one yourself. If not, you can call in a professional or hire an electrician to do the job for you.
Setting your thermostats offer convenience because they let us program our home’s temperature from wherever we happen to be at any given moment—no more running around turning up heaters every time someone opens a door!
Keep your air filter clean.
Keeping your air-conditioning filter clean will not only help your unit run at peak performance, but it can also save you money in the long run. A dirty air filter can cause it to work harder and longer, potentially causing it to break down sooner.
A good rule of thumb is to check your filters monthly and change them every three months if they aren’t easy to clean or if they seem worn out (if the seams are ripping). If you’re unsure if it needs changing, inspect them for mold or mildew growth on the edges of filters that are difficult to reach with a vacuum cleaner attachment.
Get rid of dust on the AC coils.
You can use a vacuum cleaner to get rid of dust from the coils. Avoid using water to clean them, as this could cause damage to the motor and other components. Also avoid using a broom or brush, as these can scratch the coils and create more problems than they solve. If you must use an abrasive cleaner, be sure it is nonabrasive; otherwise, you might end up damaging your AC unit even more!
Make sure the air conditioner is not in direct sunlight.
Place your air conditioner in a shady area, out of direct sunlight and away from heat sources. Since heat can build up inside the unit causing damage, it is important to place it in a spot where it will not be affected by direct sunlight or near any heat source such as a radiator or fireplace.
Install insulation around all windows and doors that lead outside.
The second step to improving the efficiency of your heating and air conditioning system is insulating all doors and windows leading outside. This can be done by adding insulation to walls, ceilings, floors and attics. Insulating the walls will help keep heat inside the home during winter months while preventing it from seeping through in summertime. Insulating ceilings helps to better regulate temperature because hot air rises up (and cold air falls down).
Seal any air leaks in your home (and replace weatherstripping)
Replace weatherstripping or reposition it. While you can buy new weatherstripping, you can also reposition the existing weatherstripping. Look at where air is coming in and apply more material to seal that area better.Close window coverings when you’re not using them. This will help keep cool air out of your home during the winter months, as well as reduce drafts around windows and doors year-round.
Air Conditioning service should be at least once per year
If you live in a hot climate, we highly recommend that you have your air conditioning (indoor and outdoor unit) serviced at least once per year to make sure your system is running efficiently. A poorly maintained heating and cooling system can cost you money and put your home at risk for damage caused by the buildup of mold, mildew, and bacteria.
The tips above are just a few of the many ways you can use to keep your home cool and improve indoor air quality. Saving on energy costs is important, and these tips will help you do that without sacrificing comfort or convenience—and with minimal effort!
As we’re in the heart of air conditioner season, you may find yourself dealing with an expired condenser fan motor. Fortunately, this is a repair that can be done by non-professionals. Start by confirming the issue is in fact a motor in need of replacement. Begin by turning off the power to the A.C. unit. Then manually try spinning the fan blade. If the blade does not turn freely, the motor is in need of replacement.
Most air conditioner models will allow you to replace the expired part with a universal condenser fan motor. But in using a substitution, certain criteria must be met. So before purchasing a replacement make sure you taken notes from the original unit on the following:
• Motor Diameter In Inches
• Horsepower Rating-be aware the some A.C. units have more than one
• Operating Voltage-units can range from 115-460
• Motor Shaft Size In Inches
• RPM Speed
• Direction Of Rotation
• Mounting (not all units are mounted in the same way)
This is not exactly a DIY project unless you have the technical expertise to do it. Please do not attempt to perform this service unless you are a qualified professional and have all the proper tools and safety equipment. If in doubt, please contact a reputable local HVAC company that can install your new fan motor for your condenser.
Once you’re ready to install your universal fan motor, start by shutting down all electric supply to the AC unit via the breaker box for safety precautions; it’s very important that you do not skip this step. Before removing anything, take note of the motor’s wiring (what colors of wiring, how they are connected, etc.). The fan and motor can now be dismantled, which is generally done by removing bolts on the band that secures the motor. In some units, these bolts are actually attached directly to the motor. Now remove the fan blade. Before doing so, take note of the blade’s position on the shaft. Loosen the screws, and remove the blade from the motor shaft by twisting and tugging. Once the old unit is out, to install the new one, simply reverse the process described above. Be especially careful when reinstalling the fan blade. Make sure the blade is centered in the fan motor’s opening.
But you’re not quite done. Every time you replace a condenser fan motor, you should also replace the A.C.’s run capacitor, which is a cylinder-shaped device that helps to start or run motors. To replace it, again take down all technical data on the unit, and note wiring colors and positions before removing it with a screw driver. As with the fan condenser motor, your run capacitor replacement selection is based on its technical data, not shape or size.
To install the new capacitor, reverse its removal process, but before replacing any covering and reactivating the A.C., go stand outside by the A.C. and wait for the contractor to come on. When it does, it will buzz or hum and may take several minutes to do so. After hearing the contractor, replace the covering and restore power. Test the A.C. to make sure fan and cool air production are normal before you resume using it.
Now that you have your new fan motor installed, don’t forget to regularly clean your AC condenser, as having a dirty condenser can strain the fan motor and make it more likely to fail prematurely. This is pretty simply to do yourself but it is always recommended that you get a local professional do to an HVAC inspection and to do a more thorough cleaning. We hope this article helped you and on behalf on National Air Warehouse, we wish you a wonderful day!
Are you an air conditioner user?
Research shows It’s easy to see why. Especially in the south, summer months without air conditioning can be uncomfortable and miserable. In spite of the fact that about ⅓ of houses below the poverty line use air conditioning, it’s not cheap. In the US, an estimated 29 billion dollars. That includes repairs and energy costs.
If you’re looking to cut down on your energy costs, a programmable thermostat is one way to save a lot of money throughout the year. You can set it to turn off when you’re not around, or put it on a timer at night and save yourself around $180 per year. lower CO2 emissions. For each degree above 72F, you’ll save 120 lbs of CO2.
Another thing to keep in mind about your air conditioner: Whatever you’re using, it’s important to keep it in proper repair at all times. A well-primed air conditioner is generally safe for the environment, except for the energy usage it takes to run it and the greenhouse gases it takes to produce it. But a damaged or leaky air condition carries a risk of pouring CFC or CFM into the atmosphere.
With only 42% of air conditioner owner’s calling a professional when a repair is needed, that’s a lot of greenhouse gases being poured into the air. And a lot of energy to run your HVAC system when it starts to get dusty or wear down. Make sure to get your central air unit cleaned regularly, and have your window box air conditioners checked out by a certified professional as soon as you notice leaking or any other kind of damage.
Another option is a portable AC unit. Smaller AC units run on battery power, which significantly reduces your energy output, and there are eco-friendly options that use greener sources of fuel. Since they’re made to be smaller, they’re great for campers, and tiny houses. It means you can take them with you wherever you go, even if it’s just to the next room. That saves energy, the environment, and your wallet!
These days, it’s more common to have an air conditioning unit than a dishwasher, or even a garage. It makes sense. With global warming heating the planet, keeping cool in the summertime becomes even tougher to keep cool. But with about 2 tons of carbon dioxide, it’s a complicated situation. The heat leads to the air conditioner, which increases greenhouse gas emissions, which is slowly cranking the heat up. Air conditioners are a fact of life, but there are steps you can take to keep costs and CO2 missions to a minimum
Check out the infographic below from https://homeairguides.com for 10 essential facts and stats on air conditioning…
Disaster can strike anywhere – and whether it’s a hurricane or tornado, an earthquake or a wildfire, it’s important that you know what precautions to take before returning home after you’ve evacuated.
You should never enter your home without getting the green light from local officials first. Sometimes it’s not safe yet, even when it appears to be, so wait for an “all clear” before you try venturing back into your neighborhood.
What to Check When You Return Home
Once officials say it’s safe to return to your home, you still have to be careful. When you arrive, make sure there are no immediate threats to your safety, such as:
• Cracks in your home’s foundation or roof that could cause the house to collapse
• Electrical issues, like downed power lines or shorts within your home
• Gas leaks that could signal a break in the gas line
• Water and sewage issues that can cause serious illness or death
• Air quality problems, like mold or carbon monoxide
Expert advice: Don’t bring your kids or pets when you return to inspect your home. Make sure it’s safe, and if possible, cleaned up and repaired before you bring your family with you.
Cracks in the Foundation or Roof
The first thing you should look at when returning home is your roof. Check for signs of damage from the front and back of the house before entering. If you notice any sagging or holes in the roof, be extremely cautious as it may not be stable.
Look for cracks in what you can see of the foundation, and peek inside the windows to see if there’s standing water or if ceilings are sagging – these are signs that the home’s structure is unstable and it could be dangerous for you to go inside.
If you believe it looks safe from the outside, you can head inside. (Check out this checklist to uncover storm damage before it’s too late for safety tips on inspecting your home.)
Who to Call: Contact a professional repairman, roofing specialist, contractor, or inspector to take a closer look at the damage.
Officials will warn you if there are downed power lines in your neighborhood, but in the absence of a warning, you still need to check things around your home.
You should never touch fallen electrical wires, and if there’s any standing water in your home, turn off the electrical power immediately as long as you don’t have to stand in water to do it.
Who to Call: In case of electrical issues, immediately call your local electrician for assistance.
If you smell natural gas or propane, don’t go in – even if you think it’s just that the pilot light in your stove is out or that it’s coming from elsewhere. Even a small spark, like one from your hot water heater or an electrical short, can cause an explosion.
Even if you don’t notice a smell, but you notice a hissing sound of gas escaping or see other signs of a leak: IMMEDIATELY EVACUATE the area and seek assistance.
Who to Call: Immediately contact your designated energy company, 24-hour emergency number at 1-800-400-4271, or call your local emergency response number.
Water and Sewage Problems
Check for leaks around your home immediately. Watch for soggy floors, walls and ceilings – if you see any, the home’s integrity could be compromised, and you’ll need to leave right away. (It’s common for floors, walls and ceilings to get wet after a disaster, so moisture isn’t necessarily a sign that the home is about to collapse.)
If you discover puddles or floodwater, never let it touch your skin – even if you’re outdoors and you believe the water is coming from a nearby river or stream. There are three main types of wastewater, which includes water from flooding, but you can’t always tell what you’re dealing with by looking at it:
- Clean water – Clean water isn’t necessarily clean, but it comes from a clean source like a leaky faucet or broken pipe that carries city water to your home.
- Gray water – Gray water is definitely contaminated. It comes from sources like overflowing rivers and streams, washing machine and dishwasher overflows, and other sources that contain bacteria.
- Black water – Black water can contain deadly bacteria, as well as grease, sewage and dangerous pathogens. It can come from backed up sewage drains and other sources that carry wastewater, and it can pollute rivers and streams. You should never attempt to handle black water yourself.
If water is flowing inside your home, shut it off at its source immediately – right after you turn off the electricity.
Who to Call: In case of water and sewage problems, contact your city utilities, waste management company, or your local plumber.
Air Quality Problems
Open the doors and windows as soon as you can – your home needs to air out before you can stay there for any length of time. The biggest concerns with air quality in a disaster-claimed home are:
- Mold – Assume your home has mold issues if it was flooded. Mold can be extremely dangerous to your health.
- Carbon monoxide – Carbon monoxide can kill you, so bring along a battery-powered carbon monoxide detector when you inspect your home.
If you are concerned about air quality, immediately evacuate your home and call for assistance.
Who to Call: For potential carbon monoxide, call your local HVAC specialist or fire department as soon as possible. Mold inspectors and specialists are available for any potential mold from leftover water damage.
Damage caused by damp on a wall in modern house
Pests and Animals
After a disaster, snakes, spiders and other wild animals can seek shelter in quiet, undisturbed places. Be particularly careful if your home sustained broken windows or pipes during the disaster, if walls are cracked, or if your roof sustained significant damage.
Who to Call: If you notice any wild animals, quickly contact your local animal control company. For smaller animals such as rodents and insects, exterminators are available.
Safety Tips When Inspecting Your Home
When you inspect your home, follow these safety tips:
- Pay attention to strong odors or fumes that can signal dangerous chemical mixtures.
- Don’t connect a portable generator to your home’s electrical system.
- Remove wet items from your home as soon as possible to help prevent mold growth inside.
- Follow water advisories; if officials say you must boil water before using it, make sure it stays at a rolling boil for at least one minute. If possible, use bottled water for drinking and brushing your teeth.
How to Rebuild
When it’s time to rebuild or repair your home, file an insurance claim if you can. Some types of insurance (like flood insurance) aren’t mandatory everywhere – it’s a special policy that you must purchase in addition to your regular homeowners insurance policy. However, particular types of insurance may be suggested or required for particular areas. Flood insurance is recommended in areas like Miami where flooding and hurricanes occur more frequently.
You’ll have to read through your entire policy to see what’s covered and what you’re responsible for doing before you file a claim.
How to File a Home Insurance Claim
Follow these steps to file a home insurance claim with your provider:
- Call your insurance company as soon as possible after a disaster.
- Fill out claim forms immediately to avoid delays.
- Ask your insurer to send out an adjuster to inspect the damage.
- Prepare for the adjuster’s visit by listing everything that’s damaged in your home. Don’t throw away damaged items until after the adjuster sees them.
- Keep your receipts for emergency repairs. The same is true if you’re displaced – hold on to hotel receipts so you can prove how much the disaster has cost you.
When you’re cleaning up after a disaster, you may find it necessary to hire professional help – especially if you’re dealing with mold, soot and smoke damage, or sewage. If you don’t need professional help, follow these tips:
- Wear safety gear, like rubber gloves, goggles or breathing masks to protect yourself.
- Work in teams when you’re moving heavy items like sofas and beds.
- Throw away food that’s been exposed to floodwater or mud, even if it was sealed in a can or container.
- Rest when you need to – post-disaster cleanup can be a big, stressful job.
- Air out your home by opening doors and windows, and use fans to blow air out of your home.
- Throw away things you can’t clean or dry easily, like cosmetics, mattresses, paper products and heavy rugs.
- Clean all surfaces with hot water and dish detergent or bleach.
- Get rid of standing water as soon as you can to reduce the risk of illness or disease (and to minimize places for mosquitoes to thrive).
- Don’t handle hazardous materials. Call the fire department to inspect and remove them.
Like this article? You can find this article along with other high quality content on https://www.redfin.com/ a leading publisher for all things related to home buying and selling.
As far as new small business strategy is concerned, the future appears to lie firmly within the eco-friendly sphere. According to German-based Roland Berger Strategy Consultants, the global market volume for environmental technologies will exceed 20 billion euro by 2025.
The term “environmental technologies” covers a lot of territory, but it also represents a lot of opportunity. Whether you consider such a strategy sustainable in the long-term, there can be little doubt that this is one diverse and growth-oriented niche for entrepreneurs who have vision and a desire to couple business innovation and environmental responsibility.
The great advantage of launching a green business is the global nature of environmentalism, a phenomenon that’s growing by leaps and bounds, which means that entrepreneurs in this niche are entering a burgeoning market. And there’s always the personal satisfaction angle, making money doing something that contributes to preserving our environment. Yet many such ventures constitute something completely new and represent a certain financial risk.
Growing a green business may require significant financial resources, which means owners are well-advised to investigate different options, including a small business loan, small business startup loan, or a business line of credit. Each option comes with its own unique advantages.
A small business loan is government-guaranteed, which allows lenders to offer loans at low interest rates. With a line of credit, you pay interest only on the amount you borrow from your credit line. There’s also a supportive system of green business organizations that can provide support, direction and advice where financing is concerned. The Clean Economy Network, Eco Tuesday, Green Chamber of Commerce and Green Drinks are just a few examples of an environmentally focused business networking community that can help new entrepreneurs in myriad ways.
Some of the most innovative and appealing new business ideas within the eco-friendly market niche are those that impact the way people live and help them find ways to live healthier and more sustainable. Food sourcing is a major area of concern in many parts of the world and it’s been a hot issue in the U.S. for many years. People, even those who live in small apartments with no space to grow food but on the roof, stand to benefit from a business that supports the set-up and maintenance of rooftop gardens from both a physical framework and garden and seed supply standpoint.
Concerns over non-renewable energy sources have been with us for decades and helped spawn the development of alternatives such as wind and solar power. Statistics show that solar power can supply as much as 70 percent of a family’s heated water needs over the course of a year. Combined with rapid growth in the solar panel business and the likely increase in conventional energy costs, solar power would seem to represent a very attractive business model for an aggressive and forward-thinking entrepreneur.
There’s been steady growth in the gas and electric scooter business in recent years. Oppressive traffic patterns, the cost of gas and car maintenance and heightened awareness of global warming has led many to opt for a cheaper, more sustainable way of getting around. That’s been good news for scooter dealerships, which would seem to offer a promising business model for years to come.
Growing a green business takes vision and a strong sense of innovation, as well as a belief in the urgency of investing in the long-term health of the environment. It’s a great way to think globally and act locally, as the saying goes.
Just a few years ago, the term “green living” would have brought up visions of treehouse hippies gardening in the nude. But not anymore. Society seems to have finally accepted that we are responsible for the state of our planet and that it’s the only one we will ever have.
If you’re looking for ways to give back to Mother Nature, keep reading for environmentally friendly changes you can make to your home and lifestyle without sacrificing your quality of life.
If you’ve yet to make your home purchase, you’ll have more options than ever when it comes to buying a green home. The Huffington Post explains that your first priority is to determine the efficiency of your home’s heating and cooling system, which is what accounts for the vast majority of your energy consumption. If you’re looking for a home with solar power, discuss with the builder what types of materials have been used in each panel’s construction.
Many utilize heavy metals, which are soldered with a lead-based solution. These can’t be recycled, and if damaged or at the end of their life cycle, may do more harm to the environment than good. Alternate forms of renewable energy include wind power and hydroelectricity. Unfortunately, these technologies remain expensive for the standard consumer. A geothermal heat pump, according to Money Talks News at CBS, utilizes geothermal heat and can help keep your home cool and comfortable without severely impacting your local environment.
One of the most important features of an environmentally sustainable home is its location in proximity to community amenities and services you’ll use. If you are truly interested in lowering your carbon footprint, consider buying a home in a walkable location. By walking or biking to and from the grocery store, park, school and work, you will not only save money, but you’ll have zero negative effect on the atmosphere. As an added bonus, these activities are great for your cardiovascular health and may help you maintain a healthy weight.
When you already own your home, there are still numerous upgrades you can make, including installing energy-efficient appliances and windows that keep the outside elements where they belong. These, however, may be cost prohibitive for the environmentally aware homeowner on a budget. Redfin asserts that there are many other home improvements that that won’t break the bank – many, in fact, are free – that you can implement yourself without bringing in an expensive contractor. These include sprucing up your landscape with native plants and performing preventative maintenance on your hot water heater each year. Even simple things such as enrolling in paperless billing, switching your halogen light bulbs to LED or CFL lights, fixing leaky faucets and using a rain barrel to collect water for irrigation can have a big impact.
Your home’s insulation can also lower your utility bills and therefore your environmental footprint. Even if you upgrade to an energy-efficient HVAC system and keep it set to 68 degrees in the winter and 72 degrees in the summer, it will still work double time if your home can’t maintain its temperature. EnergyStar.gov explains that home improvements made to a typical home might include sealing air leaks and insulating to meet 2012 International Energy Conservation Code installation requirements.
The chemicals you use to clean your home every day can also burden the environment. LiveScience explains that certain chemicals, such as VOCs, are used to enhance these products, but can actually cause impaired neurological functions. When inhaled, these and other chemicals can affect the respiratory system.
While green cleaners, which are commonly touted as top-shelf products at your local grocery store, are an environmentally friendly option, they are not without their downfalls. They can be expensive and may require more work in the form of additional scrubbing to remove heavy stains. Many also don’t kill germs. A viable alternative for most household surfaces is to use a mixture of vinegar and citric acid, which will clean, disinfect and help reduce mold spore growth.
You can avoid tracking many potentially harmful germs and bacteria into your home, which will eliminate the need for harsh cleaners, by leaving your shoes at the door and washing your hands as soon as you arrive home.
There are numerous environmental impacts of growing your own food, and they are all good, assuming you avoid harmful pesticides and insecticides. While you have access to a vast array of fruits and vegetables at the grocery store, these items have likely traveled hundreds to thousands of miles via train, plane and truck to get to your local store shelf. Local produce, either sourced from the farmers market or grown in your own backyard, eliminates much of the emissions associated with food growth. As an added benefits, adding plants to your property where there previously were none will further help offset your carbon footprint by absorbing CO2 in the air.
More ways to go green
- Create a homemade compost bin
- Shop with reusable grocery bags or make your own out of repurposed T-shirts
- Avoid bottled water
- Use cold water for doing laundry
- Turn off the lights and water when you leave a room
- Better yet, avoid flipping the light switch up and utilize natural light
- If you must drive, go the speed limit and reduce your trips to as few as possible
- Shutdown electronics when not in use – sleep mode is still uses energy
- Contact your local energy company see if you qualify for green power incentives
- Opt out of unnecessary mailings, such as credit card offers
- Reuse office papers by allowing your children to draw on the back before recycling
- Switch to digital subscriptions for your magazines and periodicals
- Organize a community swapping event
- When you dine out, eat at local restaurants that source their food locally
- Lower the thermostat on your hot water heater to 120 degrees or less
- Unplug phone and computer chargers when not in use
- Craft using recycled materials
- If you have a baby, switch to cloth diapers, which can prevent thousands of pounds of added landfill mass over the course of three years
As you can see, there are a myriad of ways to go green whether you’re buying, renovating or simply trying to be more aware of the environment. Even implementing a few of these changes will have a positive impact today and for future generations.
Sustainable, Smart, and Cost Efficient? Here’s Your Guide to Smart Home Technology
Utilities can be taxing on both the environment and your wallet. Sometimes we even waste utilities when we don’t need to, which usually comes as quite a shock when the bill comes in. We scratch our heads and think, “wow, there’s no way I used 897 kilowatt-hours of electricity this month.” (The average U.S. household uses that much each month and 10,766 kWh per year.)
Fortunately, there are several in-home tech products that will save you money on your utility bills and help the environment at the same time.
How Much Electricity Do You Use Around the House?
Each month, your utility bill is calculated based on how many kilowatt-hours are consumed.
So just how far does one kilowatt-hour go?
A kilowatt-hour, which is a measure of electrical energy equivalent to a power consumption of 1,000 watts for one hour, could power ten incandescent 100-watt lightbulbs for an hour. One kwh costs about $0.12 (so leaving the lights on, despite what your mother said about turning them off to save money, isn’t as expensive as it seems). Check out this table, which lists common household appliances and how much energy they use in an average month:
Appliance average kWh used each month and average cost
||Appliance Average kWh used each month
||Average cost each month
|One LED Lightbulb
|Wireless modem and router
|One 60-watt Incandescent Lightbulb
|Washer and Dryer
|Heating and cooling
So does that mean you have to put on a sweater or take a cold shower? Not necessarily. If you know what you’re doing, you can save hundreds of kWh each month by utilizing the latest in-home technology.
Heating and Cooling
- Smart Thermostat: One of the most common smart home additions, smart thermostats are arguably the best way to save the most money. As most of your utility bills are heating and cooling, installing and using a smart thermostat can have a huge impact on your bills. Additionally, most are compatible with smart home assistants like the Amazon Echo, Google Home, or other automated assistants. Smart thermostats work by keeping temperature settings consistent. Some have sensors to keep tabs on hot and cold spots in your house, and you can program them to adjust temperatures in your home while you’re gone at work, on vacation, or sleeping, so you’re not wasting energy on climate control you don’t need.
- Motorized Shades: Another great way to money, motorized shades are often overlooked in the heating and cooling department. These shades allow you to set specific times when they should open or close. Almost all the settings can be done from an app and will work whether you’re home or not. Some of the even smarter ones can auto adjust to the temperature outside to maximize your savings. You will end up saving money by keeping the sun out when it’s hot in the day or choosing to let the light warm up your space. You can also opt for honeycomb shades, which are designed especially for insulation, but any shade or drape with the right spacing will help slash your heating costs.
Average Savings: Between $131 and $145 per year
- Smart Lights: Smart lights, like Philips Hue and LIFX, can save you cash through programming, motion detection and remote access to your lights when you’re away from home (for security during vacation purposes), but that’s not all there is to it. Smart lights are LEDs, which cost significantly less to operate than traditional incandescent bulbs.
Average Savings: Between $80 and $120 per year
Games, TVs and Other Appliances
- Surge Protectors: Certain small appliances such as video game consoles are known as drain devices. This means that even when someone isn’t using it, the device is still using energy. This is where conservation based surge protectors like the Belkin Conserve Switch Surge Protector come in! These surge protectors allow you switch things off with a remote, which prevents drain devices from wasting energy. Other types, like ThinkEco, cut down consumption when your plugged-in devices are in standby mode.
Average Savings: Between $60 and $80 per year
- Energy-efficient washers:Though there aren’t smart washers per se, energy-efficient washers are a smart way to save. Certified ENERGY STAR products can help you save on both electricity and water, so you get even more bang for your buck when you pay your utility bill water bill. Typically, an ENERGY STAR washing machine uses 25 percent less electricity than its non-eco-friendly counterparts do. Another tip to save money while washing clothes is to waste them with warm (not hot) or cold water.
Average Savings: Between $75 and $125 per year
How Much Water Does Your Household Use?
While estimates vary based on location, the average U.S. household uses about 90 gallons of water every day. Unfortunately, most of that water is wasted through toilet flushing and showers. Dishwashers, washing machines and outdoor watering also waste a large amount of water. We’ve created a chart that shows how much water common household items use and how much it costs.
||Average Gallons Used Each Time
||Average Cost Per Use
|Shower (10 Minutes) with ordinary shower head
|Shower (10 Minutes) with water-saving showerhead
|Dishwasher (non-ENERGY STAR)
|Dishwasher (ENERGY STAR)
|Toilet Flush (Regular)
|Toilet Flush (low-flow)
||Less than $.01
|Outdoor watering (30 minutes)
Other than cutting down on water consumption by investing in ENERGY STAR appliances, doing fewer loads of laundry and taking shorter showers, there are a few devices you can add to your home to drastically reduce your water consumption.
Showers and Faucets
- High-efficiency faucet aerator: Aerators are a great way to save money on water. They work by adding air to your water. This means you can keep your water pressure while cutting your water usage in half!
- Smart home water meter: While they don’t give you direct savings, smart home water meters can be a great investment. By showing you how much water you use and where it goes, you can adjust your water usage in certain areas and save money.
Average Savings: About $100 per year
- Smart toilets:Smart toilets are beneficial in two ways: they save water and they can help eliminate toilet paper waste. The EPA states that toilets labeled with WaterSense labels can reduce water usage by 20-60% and save around 13,000 gallons of water per year.
Average Savings: About $100 per year
Smart Home Security
- Smart Home Security System: A smart home security system is another way to save money, albeit indirectly. While the products themselves don’t save you money, having them can help decrease your insurance bill. Think of it like having airbags in the car – your insurer knows that you’re taking measures to mitigate risk, which means your rates are likely to go down. The latest-and-greatest security systems monitor your home’s electricity and wiring, and record activity that goes on inside and outside your house. Sometimes you can even get a claims-free credit, which offers you a discount if you haven’t made a claim in the past.
Average Savings: Up to 20% of your normal bill
Original article from Redfin
In last week’s post, we talked about some of the functional and cost-related benefits that programmable thermostats offer for businesses. Once you’ve made the decision that a programmable thermostat is right for your business, you’re faced with a wide array of choices. Here are a few of the options you have to consider when deciding which programmable thermostat best meets your business’s needs.
- Single-Stage vs. Multi-Stage Programmable Thermostat
Whether you need a single-stage programmable thermostat or a multi-stage option depends on the heating system in your building. A single-stage programmable thermostat will be sufficient if your building relies on a single source of heat (such as a furnace or a heat pump) and a single source of cool air (such as an air conditioning system), and if both of these sources provide hot or cold air at just one level. However, if your business’s system has inputs from two heat sources–such as a heat pump and a boiler, or a heat pump and a solar panel–you should look for a programmable thermostat that offers up to two-stage heat alongside one-stage cool.
- Heat Pumps vs. Conventional Systems
Some programmable thermostats are designed to work specifically with heat pump systems, while others are intended for use with conventional systems. You can also find products on the market that work well with both system types. When choosing a programmable thermostat, make sure that the type you choose aligns with the heating system in your building.
- System Programming Options
Some products on the market allow you to program your thermostat to correspond with a weekday/weekend schedule, which is ideal for businesses that close on weekends or have different weekend hours. Instead of having to run the same program every 24 hours, you can create a 5-2 day program or a 5-1-1 day program. That way, if your business shuts down on the weekend, you don’t have to worry about remembering to reprogram on Friday night so you don’t accidentally drain your budget by pumping in warm or cold air when there is no one in the office or the store.
- Programmable/Non-Programmable Thermostats
While it is clear that programmable thermostats offer a wide range of benefits for businesses, there may still be times when you may find yourself wanting manual control over your thermostat. For instance, in the face of an unexpected heat wave or cold spell, you probably want to take full control over your thermostat to make sure your employees and customers stay comfortable. If you want to prepare for such circumstances, you should look for a programmable/non-programmable thermostat, which can be changed over when needed.
National Air Warehouse offers programmable and non-programmable thermostats that can meet the needs of any business or homeowner. Contact us today for more help choosing the right option for you!
No matter what type of business you run, keeping the building at a comfortable temperature is a key priority. If you’re in retail, you want your customers to feel comfortable enough to browse the shelves for impulse buys, even after they’ve found what they were initially looking for. If you’re in charge of an office, you want to make sure that the temperature of the building doesn’t interfere with work productivity. At the same time, as a business owner or manager, you also have to consider the costs associated with heating and cooling.
When you’re trying to achieve an optimal temperature balance on a tight budget, you may want to think about getting a programmable thermostat. Read on to learn why programmable thermostats make sense in business environments.
Programming Your Workplace Environment in Advance
With traditional, non-programmable thermostats, someone in the office has to set the temperature manually in order to ensure that the building remains at the right temperature. Whether you plan to do it yourself or rely on one of your employees, manual management of the thermostat poses a risk for unintended consequences. For instance, if someone accidentally forgets to turn down the thermostat for the night in the dead of winter, you may find that heating costs are starting to eat into your budget. At the same time, when someone overlooks the need to turn on the air conditioner, customers and employees alike may find themselves sweaty and uncomfortable in the heat of summer, which can lower sales and/or productivity. With a programmable thermostat, you can reduce the risk of human error by setting the thermostat to be on when you need it and off when you don’t.
In addition, a programmable thermostat allows you to prepare for expected changes in temperature. During the winter, you probably don’t want to run your heater at night, but if you program your thermostat to start running an hour before people start arriving for work, you can ensure that they won’t spend their first hour trying to thaw their fingers instead of advancing organizational goals. If you live in a place where there is a temperature swing in the summer, you can do the same thing with the air conditioning–making a plan to ensure that the cooling system turns on in time for the heat of the day–but no sooner–and turns off by the time people start to head home.
Key Features for Business Owners
Aside from the general benefits of being able to program your thermostat, there are a few other benefits that many programmable thermostats offer for businesses. These include:
- A warranty, which will ensure that you are making a good investment when you buy a programmable thermostat.
- Power source options, so you can decide whether it is more cost-effective for you to use batteries or hardwiring to run your thermostat.
- Low upfront costs, which typically range between $85 and $125.
- Free shipping — if you order from National Air Warehouse!
National Air Warehouse offers a variety of programmable thermostats that can meet the needs of business owners around the country. Contact us today to find the right product for you!
In last week’s post, we talked about the performance considerations that homeowners and home builders must make when choosing between insulated flexible duct options. When it comes to the choice between products, cost is often the other major factor that you may be considering. Whether you’re trying to optimize the heating and cooling system in your own home or working to meet the needs of your clients as a home builder, it is important to ensure that the duct you choose falls within your short-term and long-term budget. There are two main factors that affect the prices of insulated flexible ducts: diameter and R-value. Read on to learn more about the direct (and indirect) costs (and savings) associated with each.
The Impacts of Duct Diameter and R-Value on Cost
In general, the lengths of insulated flexible ducts are standardized around 25 feet, regardless of their diameter. That way, you always have the option of cutting the duct to whatever length you need. As duct diameter increases, so does the amount of insulation in a 25-foot-long duct, which explains the simultaneous increase in price. When you think about buying a duct with a larger diameter, you also have to consider the cost of the supports that you will need to prevent the duct from sagging when you install it. Ideally, you want to prevent the duct from sagging by more than about two-and-a-half inches, so with large-diameter ducts, you should plan to us a support every four feet.
As you consider the upfront costs of ducts, the other key factor is the R-value. The R-value indicates the effectiveness of the insulation, with a higher R-value associated with higher effectiveness. Insulated flexible ducts can range between R4 and R8, and the price increases for higher R-values. At the same time, choosing a duct with a higher R-value may save you money in the long run–especially if you live in a cold area–since ducts with higher R-values are more effective for trapping heat and can therefore help lower your energy bills.
The Relationship between R-Value and Duct Diameters: Ratings vs. True R-Values
When you’re thinking about energy savings, it is also important to acknowledge the interplay between R-value and duct diameter. A duct with a 6-inch diameter and a duct with a 14-inch diameter may both be rated R6, but the true R-value — that is, the true effectiveness of the insulation for retaining heat — is higher for the 14-inch duct, simply because the larger amount of material makes it harder for heat to escape. That means that R-value ratings are can only truly be compared for ducts of the same diameter. Therefore, the discrepancy between R-value ratings and true R-values is another factor that you should keep in mind as you weigh the short-term and long-term financial costs of different insulated flexible duct options.
At National Air Warehouse, you can find competitively priced insulated flexible ducts with R6 and R8 ratings, ranging in diameter from 4 inches to 20 inches. Contact us today for more help finding the right one for your project!