Energy Saving Tips for Your Home

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Every homeowner can reduce the utility bill by reducing the amount of electrical power used in the home. It is best to begin with the appliance that uses the most energy. This is the home’s HVAC system. It is responsible for thirty percent or more of a home’s energy usage. The following tips will help reduce energy use and lower the utility bill.

Ceiling Fans

Invest in energy efficient, reversible ceiling fans for each room. Set the spin of the blades to clockwise or counter-clockwise depending on the heating or cooling season. During the summer, the blades help circulate the cooled air in the room. The breeze makes the room feel cooler, thus the thermostat can be set at a higher temperature. In the winter, warm air is circulated throughout the room. The thermostat can be set at a lower temperature because the room feels warmer.

Air Filters

The home’s air conditioner needs regular maintenance in order to work efficiently all year long. The system pulls in household air through the filter and sends it to the heating unit or evaporator coils. The filter stops contaminants such as dust and hair from entering the appliance and coating the coils. If this happens, the unit will work harder, not be able to effectively dehumidify the air and use far more energy than it needs to. To prevent this, change the unit’s air filters at least once a month. Some room vents also have filters that need to be changed as well. There are reusable filters that can be cleaned with a blast from the garden hose. When dry, they can be replaced and used again.

The Outside Condenser Unit

The filters are not the only air conditioner maintenance the system needs. Every month, ensure the outside condensing unit is free from plants and other debris. Nothing should be placed on top of the unit. Inspect the belts and hoses visually and have any worn or cracked items replaced immediately. This will prevent the unit failing when it is needed the most. During the summer, provide the unit with shade so the motor can run cooler. Inspect the aluminum fins and straighten any bent ones with a fin comb.

The Inside Evaporator Unit

Inspect the inside evaporator unit. Notice if any electrical wiring appears cracked or worn. These should be replaced immediately as well. Pour a cup or two of household bleach into the drain pan and drain hose. This will kill any algae, mold or fungus growing in the hose. Left unchecked, it can block the hose and cause water to back up into the house.

Ducting System

Have the home’s ducting system inspected and cleaned once a year. Leaking ducts allow moist air to escape into the attic where it can cause mold growth and water damage.

Article by Ryan Edun of Iceburg’s One Hour Heating and Air Conditioning.

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About Author

Walter’s contributions to CleanTechies over the past 4 years have been instrumental in growing the publications social media channels via his ongoing editorial and data driven strategies. He is the founder and managing director of Sunflower Tax, a renewable energy tax and finance consultancy based in San Diego, California. Active in the San Diego clean technology community, participating in events sponsored by CleanTech San Diego, EcoTopics, and Cleantech Open San Diego, Walter has also been a presenter at numerous California Center for Sustainability (CCSE) programs. He currently serves as an adjunct professor at the University of San Diego School of Law where he teaches a course on energy taxation and policy.

2 Comments

  1. Nice and useful tips. The filters have to be cleaned often if the area is very dusty. The best way to reduce the ambient temperature of a building, hence reducing the load on an air conditioner, would be to put up a heat shield on the roof. If it is a flat roof, bamboo poles could be laid down to form a framework on which jute sacking cloth is fitted. The bamboo poles will be placed on bricks to keep the shield at least one foot off the roof’s surface. A hose pipe is used to keep the sacking wet and through evaporation, keep the heat off the roof. This system , if my memory was developed at one of the Indian Institute of Technology departments. The room temperature can be brought down quite efficiently and in addition, the wet sacking helps keeps dust down.

  2. I’m a huge proponent of us using ceiling fans to save money of bills. Being from the south, I find that the combination of ceiling fans and open windows works wonders. And if you really want to be efficient combine that with a good energy-efficient ceiling fan and you can really keep a lot of cash in your pocket!

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