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Summer 2013

Going Green: The Ultimate Guide

The environment is a hot topic in the HVAC industry today. With the amount of discussion about green technology and the abundance of green and eco–friendly products on the market, it can be easy to feel overwhelmed. If you find yourself asking what steps you take to be little greener, here are some helpful and easy guidelines.

Save Energy: Purchasing energy efficient appliances is a great way to reduce your environmental impact. If this is not an option for you, don’t worry. There are plenty of small changes you can make to cut back on your energy consumption. Unplugging appliances when they are not in use, replacing your old incandescent light bulbs with CFL or LED models, and drying your clothes on a line or drying rack are all simple ways to reduce your home energy use.

  1. Conserve Water: It’s easy to overuse water when we have it conveniently available at all times. Look at your water use habits, and then see where you can cut back. It can be as simple as taking shorter showers. Low–flow shower heads and faucet aerators are simple, inexpensive and effective devices to help with your water conservation. Even remembering to shut off the water while you brush your teeth can make a difference. 
  2. Use Less Gas: There’s no better way to save money and go green than to reduce the amount of gas you use. When available, take public transportation to work or school, or get exercise while you are helping the environment by walking or riding a bike.
  3. Insulate Your Home: If you’re heating or cooling your home, make sure that your windows and doorframes are sealing properly. Gaps in the frames make it easy for heat or cooled air to escape outdoors. As an added bonus, good insulation will allow you to trap cool air in your home. Open up your windows when it cools down at night and close them before it heats up again.
  4. Cut Down on Disposable Items: The convenience of single serving items, paper towels and plastic utensils are nice, but you can go green by trying to reduce your reliance on such products. Bring your own mug to the coffee shop or work, and switch to cloth napkins and towels. Washing them will make much less of an impact than throwing out disposable alternatives, especially if you let them air dry.

The best way to go green is to be creative. This guide should get you started, but remember, you don’t have to make huge changes. A lot of little steps can add up to great savings and a great impact.

 

Cut Your Energy Costs

Modern technology provides many comforts, such as keeping our homes warm in the winter and cool in the summer. Of course these comforts also come with a price, but there are always ways to conserve energy and lower your utility bills.

If you’re interested in reducing your energy costs, we have some quick tips to help you in the process:

Seal Up Your Home

If you have installed a new HVAC system but aren’t feeling the effects, check your door and window frames. Poor insulation is a serious efficiency problem, but it can be improved easily. You can easily seal cracks with some caulk and weather–stripping, or you can upgrade your doors and windows to help reduce air loss.

Unplug Your Appliances

This is a common and effective tip that people still tend to ignore. Some electrical appliances are still using energy even when they are turned off. Power strips that cut off the flow of electricity to devices not in use are great, but unless you have a power strip in every outlet you should be unplugging some devices. The time spent doing so is worth the potential savings.

Upgrade Your Light Bulbs

The next time you replace a bulb, go for the energy efficient ones. While they may cost more out of pocket, the savings they provide over time will make switching out your bulbs one of the easiest, most effective ways to cut energy costs.

Maintain Your Cooling System

Even energy efficient air conditioning systems can lose efficiency if not well–maintained. It’s up to you to make sure that they are running at maximum efficiency. Take advantage of regular maintenance, and don’t let your system work harder than it should. Simply changing your system’s air filters each month will make a difference in maintaining efficiency.

Get to Know Your Thermostat

You can turn your heating and cooling system down when there is nobody home, and installing a programmable thermostat will make it easy to set more consistent temperatures at varying times throughout the day.

Cut Back on Appliance Use

Cooking dinner or drying your clothes may not us a lot of energy but it does heat up your home. When it’s warm, hang your laundry to dry. Prepare cold salads for dinner. If you really want a hot meal, try a crock pot. The less heat you’re creating, the cooler your home will be, which means less work for your AC system.

When summer comes around, you want to be able to enjoy yourself instead of worrying about energy costs. Use these tips and start saving now.