Oct 15 2015

There are many opportunities to lower energy usage throughout your Sarasota-area home. Reducing energy consumption does not need to involve expensive upgrades or huge sacrifices. There are many simple, and affordable tips that can help you to save on energy and start saving.

  • Schedule a tune-up — Your furnace or other heating equipment should be given a tune-up by a professional HVAC technician. It is best to take advantage of maintenance services to keep your heating and cooling system in good working order. Maintenance increases the performance of your system so you save energy.
  • Upgrade your furnace — If your furnace is old or in bad condition, you are likely better off purchasing a new system. A damaged system will need frequent repairs which could turn out to be quite expensive. The good news is that modern systems are much more efficient than older models. Just look for the Energy Star label on the high-performing systems.
  • Switch out the filter — Once the air filter becomes clogged with particles and other debris, your furnace’s efficiency will be lowered. You can prevent this by replacing or cleaning the filter when it gets dirty. How often this needs to be done will depend on the type of filter.
  • Upgrade your thermostat — Programmable thermostats offer more options and better control over your heating than manual thermostats. You can even access and make changes to your home’s heating remotely if you install a Wi-Fi model. As much as possible, use recommended guidelines for setting your thermostat so you can increase energy efficiency. Each degree lower that you can bear to set your thermostat will result in savings on your energy bill. Proper use of your thermostat will keep your energy usage low and improve the performance of your furnace.
  • Remove blockage of registers — If your registers, baseboard heaters, or radiators become blocked, your system won’t be able to distribute air efficiently.
  • Reverse your ceiling fan — By switching the direction of your ceiling fans to clockwise, warm air will be pushed downward, thereby distributing the heat.
  • Seal your ductwork — If your home’s ductwork has tears or damaged seams, your heating system will be forced to work much harder to keep everyone warm.
  • Let the sunshine in — Open curtains, shades, or blinds that cover windows that receive direct sunlight. The sun can do a pretty good job of providing much-need heat for your home.
  • Seal doors and windows — Although air leaking out through the gaps around your doors and windows might not seem like a big deal, the energy loss that occurs from this can be substantial. Caulk and weatherstripping can be used to great effect to seal any leaks or gaps.
  • Take quick showers — We realize that the hot water feels great when it’s cold outside, but you should resist the urge to take long showers. You will reduce your energy usage and save water as well.
  • Schedule an energy audit — If you want to zero in on your home’s problem areas as they relate to a loss of energy efficiency, you should hire a professional to perform an energy audit.
  • Close your fireplace damper — This should be done whenever your fireplace isn’t in operation. An open damper is akin to an open window, which can severely undermine your heating efforts. Close off your fireplace if it is not being used. If you don’t plan on using your fireplace at all during the colder months of the year, you should plug and seal the flue to prevent heat loss.
  • Use your water heater’s warm setting — There’s really no reason to set your water heater’s temperature too high. Switching it to warm will keep you comfortable and remove the risk of getting seriously burned.
  • Purchase a humidifier — The use of a humidifier will allow you to keep your thermostat low without sacrificing your household’s comfort level.
  • Wrap up your water heater — Wrapping your water heater in a blanket will help to insulate the unit, improving its energy efficiency.

Also, fortunately, Florida’s winter is nowhere as severe as that experienced in many other states. In Florida, we have the advantage of getting through much of the year without even needing our heating system. Dress appropriately, and if all rooms aren’t occupied, consider using space heaters or a zoning system. There is no need to force air to the entire house if only a few rooms are occupied.

Contact the friendly professionals at All American Heating & Cooling for more expert tips to save on energy as the weather cools down. You may call us at 941-479-6060 for more information. Our team is ready to assist with your heating and cooling needs.

Image Provided by Shutterstock.

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