ENERGY SAVINGS IN HOMES EXPOSED BY LEADING PROFESSIONAL: Is going GREEN a BUST?
- Plug home electronics, such as TVs and VCRs, into power strips and turn power strips off when equipment is not in use.
- Set your cooling temperature up to 78°F. Dehumidified air at this temperature is very comfortable. This is particularly effective if used in conjunction with tip #3.
- Run your ceiling fan at all times when a room is occupied. The air movement will help to evaporate the moisture from the skin and cools you by the evaporation process. The room will actually feel 4° to 5° cooler than the indicated temperature.
- Set the thermostat and leave it set unless the area is going to be unoccupied for an extended period of time. If you don’t own or use a programmable thermostat, you should.
- Your Clothes Dryer pulls conditioned air from inside your home and pushes it outside at an average rate of 200 Cubic Feet per Minute (CFM). The average runtime for a dryer is 1 hour, which means that it is pulling a total of 12,000 Cubic Feet of air from your home and pushing it outside through the dryer exhaust vent. Since you are expelling 12,000 Cubic Feet of air, you are pulling in 12,000 Cubic Feet of air from the outside to compensate. This air must be conditioned. Make sure you run your clothes dryer when the temperature difference between inside and outside is at its smallest. There is a big difference in cooling 80 degree air to 74 degrees versus cooling 95 degree or more air down to 74 degrees.
- Unplug your computer and monitor when not in use.
- Use your microwave instead of a conventional electric range or oven.
- Keep the window coverings closed at least 75% during the hot periods of the day. This is most important for houses that face either east or west. Keep in mind that if your house faces east, the peak cooling demand may be in the morning.
- Analyze and improve your duct leakage situation. The most accurate method for this is conducted by a HERS Rater utilizing a Duct Blaster and a Blower Door. Although, minor duct repairs are easy to accomplish, ducts in unconditioned spaces should be sealed and insulated by qualified professionals using the appropriate sealing materials. We can help! Here are a few simple tips to help with minor duct repairs. Check your ducts for air leaks. First, look for sections that should be joined but have separated, and then look for obvious holes. Do not use regular duct tape to repair and seal your ducts, it will fail. Instead look for tape with the Under-writers Laboratories (UL) logo to avoid tape that degrades, cracks, and loses its bond with age. For rigid ducts use UL-181A tape, for flexible ducts use UL-181B tape.
- Keep door and windows closed as much as possible. This lowers the amount of air transfers with the outside.
- KEEP YOUR SYSTEM FILTERS CLEAN! Replace or clean your basic air filters every thirty days. For advanced filtration see manufacturers suggested replacement policy.
- Have your system serviced before the heating and cooling seasons. You change the oil in your car every 3000 miles to ensure performance and longevity. Why wouldn’t you do the same for equipment that cost almost as much? You and your family depend on it for their comfort. Service contracts can help with this process.
- Keep your outdoor unit clean. The accumulation of dirt, grass or other debris in the coils of your outdoor unit inhibits the transfer of heat and causes your equipment to run hotter, longer, and at a higher pressure.
- Try to avoid doing the laundry or heavy cooking the heat of the day. Keep the laundry room door closed when the washer and dryer are operating.
- Air dry dishes instead of using your dishwasher’s drying cycle.
- Replace incandescent bulbs with compact fluorescents (CFL).
- Always run a vent hood when cooking to remove heat and steam. Check to make sure your vent hood is ventilated to the outside and not your attic area.
- Houses with multiple systems must run both systems to achieve optimum performance.
- Make sure the fireplace damper is in the closed position for the summer and also in the winter if no fire is going. A great time to do this is when you schedule you spring air conditioner check up.
- Run bath fans for at least 10 minutes after showering or bathing to remove heat and humidity. Lower humidity means greater comfort in your home during the cooling season. Check to make sure your bath fan is ventilated to the outside and not your attic area.
- Take showers instead of baths to reduce hot water use.
- On the really hot days (above 95°F) don’t let the temperature inside the house reach more than 4°F above the desired temperature.
- Lower the thermostat on your hot water heater; 115 is comfortable for most uses.
- Wash only full loads of dishes and clothes.
- When entertaining large groups on hot days “pre-cool” your home and cut back on the amount of cooking and laundry during the heat of the day.
- Contact Bluegill Energy Management for a Home Energy Audit. We provide Turn-Key Solutions that provide dollars to sense as well as Building Science solutions for your homes’ energy, Heating, Ventilation and Air Conditioning (HVAC) and Indoor Air Quality (IAQ) problems.
The Cost of Going Green
The cost of going green is often raised as an issue. In most cases, it does not cost more to go green. In other cases, installing or replacing HVAC equipment, insulation, water efficient fixtures, etc… that are more efficient will cost more upfront but will reduce energy costs through the life of a building. Also, keep in mind that going green can also be achieved by changing daily habits with no cost. Some of these actions are: turning a light switch off that unused, unplugging appliances not in use, setting the water heater at a lower setting, find more at BLUEGILL Energy Management’s Energy Tips page. There are many tax rebates and incentive programs available for businesses, institutions, homebuilders, and homeowners to help offset the costs of going green. Many services offered by BLUEGILL include a customized energy and cost savings plan that will have the greatest effect on the building’s energy efficiency and yield the greatest savings for the cost. It can be done in stages if you do not want to do it all at once.
Making an existing building more environmentally friendly does not have to be extremely costly. The recommendations from BLUEGILL to green your home or commercial property do not have to be done all at once; you can pick the green projects that you feel would benefit you the most. Then at a later time you can implement them all or just choose the ones you want to do. Each recommendation over time can accumulate to make a structure’s environment healthy and sustainable.
Going green in new construction requires you to look beyond the initial costs of building and to analyze long term savings resulting from green building practices. Often buildings that meet green certifications requirements such as LEED can be built with a modest increase over conventional building costs. The building costs for certifiable green housing is expected to continue to decrease as the construction field becomes more informed and experienced.
BLUEGILL Energy Management, we are dedicated to providing homeowners, homebuyers, and businesses with unbiased and accurate information regarding the energy efficiency of their home or office. With today’s soaring energy costs, it just makes sense to inspect your home or business for energy inefficiencies so that you can then address those areas that will be most cost effective.
My co-host is an energy expert:
HERS, LEED AP, GBV, GBE, CEA, GBI,
LEED-H Green Rater, ICC-Energy Code Specialist,
CGP, BPI-BA, BPI-BE, BPI Proctor, RESNET QAD & Trainer,
Building Science Master, EPA Energy Star v3 Trainer<br/>
Bluegill Energy Management
www.bluegillenergy.com- Under Revision