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Home Energy Saving Tips for Fall

As fall arrives and temperatures start to drop, many Manassas homeowners are looking for ways to save more energy on home comfort costs. The question is, how can you save energy while also staying comfortable? Below, we provide some basic tips for helping you stay warm and cozy while keeping your home energy costs low.

  1. Fix any drafty areas of your home.

When gaps and cracks start to form around your home’s doors and windows, these areas can let the warm air escape, which wastes energy while also making it harder for you to get comfortable. You can fight the draft by sealing any cracks around your doors and windows. Caulk around your windows, apply new weatherstripping to your doors, and seal any gaps around electrical outlets. These quick and affordable fixes can help you save up to 20% on your energy bills.

  1. Make sure that your vents are uncovered.

Over time, it can be easy to accidentally block your vents. Whether you rearrange the furniture in your living room or add new drapes and curtains, you may be blocking your vents without even realizing it. Make sure that your vents are uncovered and clear of any objects so that your heater doesn’t have to work harder than it needs to keep you warm.

  1. Replace your furnace filter.

A clogged or blocked furnace filter can start to impact your HVAC efficiency. That’s why it’s important to check your air filter at least once a month and replace the filter when it has become visibly dirty. Not only will this help improve air flow and efficiency, it will also help you maintain your indoor air quality throughout the year.

  1. Get an HVAC tune-up.

Routine HVAC maintenance is an important part of keeping your home comfort system running smoothly and efficiently year-round. Fall is the best time to get an HVAC tune-up as your HVAC system tends to get the heaviest use in the summer when temperatures are warmer and again in winter when they start to cool down.

During your HVAC maintenance visit, one of our licensed HVAC contractors will clean and lubricate your equipment while checking for any malfunctions or repair needs. By making sure that your system is operating correctly, your HVAC tech can help prevent costly breakdowns and help you save more money on energy costs throughout the year.

Save More Energy in Manassas

If you’re looking for more ways to save on energy costs in your Manassas, VA home, be sure to check out our blog each month for brand new content about HVAC and energy efficiency topics. If you think your HVAC system may be to blame for your high energy bills, give us a call today: (703) 496-5527.

How to Be More Eco-Friendly at Home This Summer

Eco-Friendly, Green, Energy-Efficient…whatever you call it, it’s always in fashion and good taste to be more environmentally aware.  Even though the idea of creating a greener home may seem overwhelming, —especially with the vast amount of information available out there on the subject—it doesn’t have to be a daunting endeavor. You can start by making just a few simple changes, which will make a pretty significant impact on your energy usage at home.

One side benefit of becoming more environmentally conscious at home is the savings you’ll see on your home energy bills. By not wasting excess energy, you won’t have to pay for that energy usage. Over time you’ll notice a significant decrease in your energy costs. Read on to learn what you can do starting today to decrease your energy usage and become more eco-friendly at home.

Home Energy Saving Tips

eco-friendly-home-during-summer

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Why Programmable Thermostats Are Worth It

It’s a puzzling dilemma for some homeowners whether they should buy programmable thermostats or not. Some people think that these tiny sensors will just cost them more money, while some believe that they can do a lot. There are many arguments about having programmable thermostats when it comes to energy savings. Professionally speaking, these thermostats can help you save heaps of cash on your energy bills. If you want to know more about energy savings, you can read the article through to make most of your HVAC system.

How can a programmable thermostat help me save energy?

Energy savings is defined as the amount of money and power that you save to run machines. Your heating and cooling system needs energy in order for it to run and make the temperature in your home comfortable. If you do not have a thermostat that can be programmed according to your desired warmth or coldness, you might be consuming more power than you need. This can make your electric bills soar up. When you have a programmable device to calibrate the temperature inside your home, you don’t need to keep turning your machine on and off. The thermostat will automatically keep the same temperature that you’ve set, so your machine doesn’t need to use more energy to meet your temperature requirements. You can set your device to energy saving set points depending, so you don’t have to run back and forth to your heating and cooling system to make your environment comfortable. Most programmable thermostats come with a vacation feature, which can be used to keep a certain temperature at home even if you are away. By this, your system won’t have a hard time coping up with weather changes so it won’t need too much energy.

How can I install a programmable thermostat at home?

It’s easy to install one in your home since most programmable devices come with manuals. On the other note, if you don’t want to incur any troubles when installing your thermostat, you can look for technicians who can help you out. You can give us call to have your programmable thermostat installed today and enjoy energy savings while using your heating and cooling system without hassles.

What Does SEER Mean?

What does SEER Mean?

HSPF,SEER, and AFUE are all cooling and heating ratings which are used to gauge the capability and efficiency of various systems. The standards are all governed and regulated by government departments, and every heating and cooling device in the market is assigned one of these ratings. People looking to buy such equipment thus need to know what these ratings mean.

Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio (SEER).

SEER is the total cooling output provided by a system during its operation divided by the total energy input. This is a rating which measures the efficacy of the chilling process of heat pumps and HVAC systems. A higher number translates to greater efficiency and more energy savings.

The minimum SEER number required by the government is 13.0. However, older systems have a rating of as low as 8.0. It would make sense to switch to equipment with a higher rating. For every $100 worth of energy consumed by a device with a rating of 8.0, the same level of cooling can be obtained from a 14.0-rated system, with about $42 realized in savings.

Average Fuel Utilization Efficiency.

AFUE rates the efficiency for oil and gas-powered furnaces and is usually indicated in percentages. The number shows the fuel consumed in heating a home and the level of wastage. A higher AFUE rating translates to more efficiency.
Heating Seasonal Performance Factor.

The HSPF rating indicates warming effectiveness of heat pumps (the SEER is what indicates the device’s cooling efficacy). A higher number translates to more efficiency and cost-savings. HSPF is a seasonal measure which considers the fact that heat pumps aren’t usually used much during the autumn and spring. The rating can thus be considered as the average factor for the whole heating period.
To calculate the HSPF the total yearly heating requirements are summed up and divided by the electrical power consumed. The industry standard system compares the BTUs of heating output to the total electrical wattage consumed (a watt of electricity has 3.4 BTUs). Most modern systems come with a HSPF of 6.8, with newer pumps required to have a factor of at least 7.

You can save money by upgrading to a heating/cooling system with a higher HSPF, AFUE and SEER ratings. To provide maximum energy savings for your home, you can contact an expert to recommend the perfect systems for your home. Call us for all of your home HVAC needs.

4 Effective Tips To Control Home Comfort Energy Costs

As energy prices are soaring high, you need to look for solutions to keep your energy bills low. Of course, you wouldn’t want to compromise the comforts of your home, just to save a lot. Most people think that saving means sacrificing, but this isn’t true if you know how to find great options that will give you comfort and value at the same time. Here are tips on effective energy saving to protect your pocket from the rising energy costs.

Proper Insulation

Your walls need to be properly insulated to ensure that your heater doesn’t work double-time during winter. Heat may go out instantly if there are cracks or tiny openings on your walls. Based on research, well insulated homes are guaranteed to save up to thirty percent on energy costs.

Programmable Thermostat

A programmable thermostat can help keep your home cool or warm, depending on your preference. The good thing about having a programmable device is you don’t need to consume too much electricity when reheating or cooling your place. Most people turn off their HVAC machines when they go out, so they have to start heating or cooling their homes again once they arrive. You might be surprised how much these things cost in the market and how easy they are to install. A programmable thermostat might be your best friend after you see your next energy bill.

Annual Maintenance

You don’t need to experience dilemmas before calling a contractor to check your furnace filters, dishwashers, water heaters and other things that you use at home. With regular maintenance, you can be sure that your home is safe from untoward risks such as flue fires, shower scalding and carbon monoxide poisoning. Safety should be your number one priority, whatever the case may be.

Let Professional Technicians Handle Things for You

Adding insulation, maintaining your HVAC system and installing a programmable thermostat may not be too easy for some people. In such occasions, it is best to call technicians who are professionally trained to avoid accidents. You can call us for additional energy saving solutions or ask us about controlling home comfort costs. We will surely attend to you as soon as we can.

When Will HVAC Efficiency Standards Increase?

Most people know that HVAC efficiency is important to reducing energy use and keeping heating bills affordable. In fact, back in 2009, the DOE came together with industry experts to find an effective way to increase the AFUE (annual fuel efficiency utilization) rating by increasing the minimal rating from the current standard of 78 to an AFUE of 90. Unfortunately, even though this increase in AFUE would most certainly help reduce energy use, the financial impact for some families was far too expensive.

In order for homeowners to meet the higher AFUE requirement, existing HVAC equipment would need to be replaced with a higher HVAC efficiency furnace. Currently the only type of furnace that could meet the new higher HVAC efficiency standards is a condensing furnace. These furnaces utilize two heat exchangers, making them exceptionally efficient; however, this efficiency does not come without problems.

Implementation of the higher efficiency HVAC equipment was delayed by a court order. HVAC industry experts argued that adopting these higher AFUE standards would be difficult for some families. Not only would existing homes need to be retrofitted to handle the new type of heating equipment, but the necessary changes would be challenging to complete and the cost could be quite high.

Condensing furnaces utilize two heat exchangers as well as a completely different venting system. The condensing furnace is designed to utilize the condensed vapor from hot water created during the process of burning gas. This heat source is typically lost up the chimney in a traditional gas furnace, but the condensing furnace is able to use it to help heat the home. These differences from a typical combustible furnace mean that extensive retrofitting would be necessary in order to accommodate the higher AFUE condensing furnace. Additionally, in attached homes, the required modifications can be even further complicated because access to outside walls is often limited in these homes.

With the high cost of retrofitting a home, the courts have delayed implementation of the higher AFUE standards; however, as the case goes through court, it is anyone’s guess what the future might hold. Homeowners who are interested in increasing energy efficiency or who need HVAC services should contact their local HVAC contractor.

What To Include In A Summer Energy Savings Plan

Summer months are associated with heat and humidity. You will want to be comfortable inside your home, so you turn up the air conditioning. This consumes a great deal of electricity and raises utility bills. It may be smart to begin a summer energy savings plan to make your home run more efficiently. Here are some items to consider.

Run Fewer Appliances

Household appliances require a large amount of electricity to run. Running fewer appliances will certainly add up to energy savings. For example, you may start hanging wet clothes out on a laundry line. This will take the place of the energy needed to run the dryer. The smell of fresh towels, sheets, and clothes will be an added bonus.

It is also possible to replace the oven with your outdoor grill. Summer is a wonderful time to cookout on the barbecue. Besides meat, it is possible to prepare vegetables as well. When using the grill, it is not necessary to run the oven and raise the entire inside temperature. Besides saving energy on heating the oven, it will also save on air conditioning used to cool the house.

Roofing

The roof is a place that allows hot air to enter during the sunny summer months. In warm climates, it may be wise to apply a reflective coating to your home’s roof. This will not allow the warmth of the sun’s UV rays to become absorbed, so heat will decrease in the home, and the strain on your air conditioner will be lowered. Also, you may wish to replace your old existing roof with Energy Star materials. This will save energy and protect the environment at the same time.

Air Conditioning

An air conditioner is one of the most energy demanding appliances in the house. To continue an HVAC energy savings home energy savings plan, there are a few ways to keep cool without wasting energy and money. For example, there are new energy efficient HVAC system replacements that use up to 50 percent less energy than older units. A professional HVAC company will be able to recommend the best unit and properly install it in your home.

The above tips should help you develop a solid summer energy savings plan. It is important to learn various ways to conserve electricity, save money, and help the environment. Contact your local HVAC service team for more information concerning more efficient systems and other ways to save energy.