Save Energy at Home : HVAC by Brunswick Plantation Living Kevin Anderson

energy star partnerHere at Brunswick Plantation and Golf Resort our developer backed in house Condo & Town Home construction division has been a proud Energy Star partner since 2010.

If you are considering purchasing a new home, an Energy Star certified home is the best choice for your family, the environment, and your wallet.  If you are interested in saving energy on the home you living in now….read on.

Up to 50% of the energy consumed in your home is used for heating and cooling it.  So informed choices about your home’s heating, ventilating, and air conditioning (HVAC) system  will have a large effect on you power bills and your comfort.

DIY Heating Solutions:

merv-8-air-conditionerChange your air filter regularly

Inspect your air filter monthly, especially during heavy use months  of winter and summer. If the filter looks dirty after a month, change it.

  • At a minimum, change the filter every 90 days. A dirty filter will impede air flow and force the system work harder to keep you warm or cool – wasting energy. Be sure to purchase a MERV 6 or higher filter…any filter rated for 90 days should work.
  • A clean filter will also prevent dust and dirt from building up in the system – leading to expensive maintenance and/or early system failure.

hvac tuneupTune up your HVAC equipment yearly

Think of HVAC maintenance like you think of car maintenance.  Keeping it tuned up will get it better gas mileage and similarly your HVAC will get better efficiency and improved comfort when it is kept at optimal condition. . Learn more:Maintain your Equipment: A Checklist

programmable thermostatInstall a programmable thermostat

programmable thermostat is perfect those those who have a regular schedule of coming and going.  However, they can still benefit those who don’t.   For example, you can program the thermostat to raise or lower the temperature during sleep and wake hours to reduce energy costs. Used correctly, a programmable thermostat can shave $180 from the average home a year.

duct-seal-workAir Seal Ducts

Ducts are what the air flows through from your heat pump, central AC, or furnace to the room where the grill is.  They can be hugely wasteful if they are not sealed properly and result in a leaky system. This step alone can improve your heating and cooling system efficiency by as much as 20 percent – and sometimes much more.

Focus first on sealing ducts that run through the attic, crawlspace, unheated basement, or garage. Use duct sealant (mastic) or metal-backed (foil) tape to seal the seams and connections of ducts. After sealing the ducts in those spaces, wrap them in insulation to keep them from getting hot in the summer or cold in the winter. Next, look to seal any other ducts that you can access in the heated or cooled part of the house.

DIY Cooling Solutions:

room acRoom Air Conditioner

Are you thinking about buying a room air conditioner?  Then make sure it has the Energy Star label.  Then look at each units SEER rating (higher is better) and yearly estimated cost tag. The Energy Star label alone is worth at least 10% improved efficiency over models without.

Additional Tips for Air Conditioner Usage

  • In the winter, be sure to insulate room air conditioners from the outside with a tight-fitting A/C unit cover, available at your local home improvement center or hardware store. This keeps heated air from escaping outside. Otherwise, you can remove the window unit in the winter months to prevent energy losses.
  • Be sure the window unit fits tightly in the window so outdoor air is not leaking in.
  • Large window A/C units should have their own separate electrical circuit so the system is not overloaded.

Window –  Looking to replace some old or broken windows?  Select  ENERGY STAR qualified units designed for your area, and save $20-$95 each year in energy costs. With proper installation to ensure all gaps are sealed around them, ENERGY STAR qualified windows can help improve your comfort, cut drafts, and reduce fading of interior furnishings.

Ducts – Keep air registers and vents clear to allow air to flow freely throughout the room.

Have any questions, comments, or suggestions?  Let us know.  Stay tuned for part 2 in Save Energy at Home: Water Heating.

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