How to Make Your Major Appliances More Energy Efficient

Your home’s major appliances utilize a lot of energy to keep your food fresh, your house comfortable and your clothes clean. Find out some smart ways that you can start saving energy while operating these appliances. There’s no need to upgrade to the latest and greatest in appliance technology to reap the benefits of energy-efficiency. By implementing these tips, you can make your current major appliances much more energy efficient.

Maximizing Your Energy Efficiency: Major Appliances

Check out our latest post and start saving energy on your most appreciated home appliances today. These tips don’t just relate to HVAC, although we cover that too, here you’ll also find tips on how to lower your energy bills by adjusting your habits in the kitchen and laundry room.

Make Your Home Appliances Energy Efficient

We know a thing or two about reducing energy costs in the home. For more information about how you can increase your energy savings with your HVAC system, give us a call today:

850-243-3356

7 Easy Ways to Save Energy in Your Florida Home

Did you know that in a typical year, the average Florida homeowner spends about $2,000 on home energy costs? What’s more is that 90% of these expenses go toward electricity. Though you may not realize that you are spending that much each year on home energy costs, these numbers should not be too surprising.

Let’s face it, Florida can get downright hot sometimes. Even during the coldest seasons of the year, Florida homeowners often find themselves cranking up the AC to get comfortable. Though we are lucky to live in paradise, excessive air conditioning usage can really start to take a toll on the wallet after awhile. That’s why it’s important for Florida homeowners to save energy in any way they can. Not only does this help the planet, but it can help you save on monthly energy costs.

Top 7 Florida Energy-Saving Tips

Energy bills too high? You’re not alone. In fact, many Florida homeowners find themselves in this situation. That’s why we’ve put together some simple tips for saving energy that you can start to implement today:

  1. Use your ceiling fans.

Though turning off your AC and relying on ceiling fans is not an option for most of us, you can use your ceiling fans together with your air conditioner to increase home comfort without increasing energy usage. In the summer, raise the temperature on your thermostat and make sure your ceiling fans are running counter-clockwise to increase home comfort levels. In winter, lower your thermostat and run your ceiling fans clockwise. Just don’t forget to turn them off when you leave the room!

  1. Check your refrigerator.

Make sure that the seals on your refrigerator and freezer doors are working properly. If the seal is worn, it can let out the cool air, which wastes energy. Homeowners should also avoid using multiple refrigerators if possible. If you have a second refrigerator that you do not use often, empty it, unplug it, and contract your local utility company for information on how to recycle your extra refrigerator.

  1. Only run your dishwasher when it’s full.

It can be tempting to run a small load of dishes when you’re on your way out or plan on having company over. However, you should only run your dishwasher when it is full to avoid energy waste. If high humidity isn’t an issue in your home, you can also open your dishwasher to let your dishes air dry instead of using the heated dry option on your dishwasher.

  1. Cook more efficiently.

Cooking is another activity that takes up a lot of energy. To reduce the time that your oven or stovetop is being used, try these simple ways to cook smarter:

  • Use the microwave when possible as microwave ovens consume about 80% less energy than conventional ovens.
  • Make sure that you are placing pans on the matching size heating element to reduce heat loss.
  • Use lids for pots and pans when possible to reduce total cook times.
  • When using the conventional oven, place items on the top rack to reduce total cook times.
  1. Change the way that you wash your clothing.

One simple way to save energy when washing your clothes is to wait until you have a full load before running the washing machine. Even the medium setting on your machine can waste energy. In fact, the medium setting saves less than half of the water and energy that is used for a full load. Now you have an excuse to put off doing your laundry!

  1. Reduce the time your clothing is in the dryer.

Running your clothes dryer also uses a significant amount of energy. One easy way that you can make sure that your machine is drying your clothing efficiently is to clean the lint trap before each load you place in the dryer. Clogged lint traps can restrict airflow, which prolongs the drying time. Another simple way to reduce drying times is to spin dry or wring out clothes before you place them in the dryer. The less time your clothes spend in the dryer, the more energy you can save.

  1. Limit the time that you use your pool pump.

If you have a pool then you know that using the pool pump can use quite a bit of energy. One easy way to cut back is to limit the time that you have your pool pump running. The typical homeowner can save by only turning the pump on for six hours a day in the summertime and four hours a day in the winter.

If you are serious about energy savings, you may want to consider purchasing a more energy efficient HVAC system. Buying a new AC or heater is a big investment, so you should have all the facts before you hand over your money. We’d love to help you figure out if purchasing an energy efficient system is the right for your home comfort needs. Call us today for a consultation: (850) 243-3356.

Holiday Energy Saving Tips for Florida Homeowners

The holiday season in Florida looks a bit different than in other parts of the country. Though there is no snow to shovel and Florida homeowners can often walk outside without putting on a coat, there are still plenty of ways to get into the holiday spirit. Between decorating your home for the holidays, cooking large holiday meals, hosting guests in your home, and entertaining friends and family, the holidays are one time during the year when you may start to see your energy costs start to creep up. If you want to keep your energy costs down, use the tips below for a more energy-efficient holiday season.

How to Save More Energy During the Holidays

Though your energy usage may be the last thing on your mind during the holiday season, this will certainly be something that you start thinking about once your energy bill arrives at the end of the month. Use these tips to save more energy (and money) during the holiday season:

  1. Buy LED holiday lights.

Saving on energy costs this holiday season doesn’t mean that you have to go without the festive holiday lights. LED holiday lights use about 90% less electricity than traditional lights, and they look just as good! These affordable holiday decorations can save you some serious money on your electricity bill during the holidays.

Extra Tip: In addition to buying more energy efficient lights, you can cut energy costs by turning off other lights in your home when enjoying the holiday lights or putting your holiday lights on a timer so that they aren’t on when no one will be around to enjoy them.

  1. Skip the inflatable decorations.

Sure, inflatable snowmen and reindeer may be cute, but keeping them inflated uses some serious energy. Skip the inflatable holiday decorations and opt for electricity-free festive lawn ornaments.

Extra Tip: Not ready to give up on your favorite inflatable Santa Claus decoration? To cut down on energy usage, monitor your use of these decorations and make sure to only have them inflated for a short period of time each time you want to enjoy them.

  1. Take advantage of the beautiful Florida winter temperatures.

Since Florida winter weather is typically more moderate, you can save additional energy by turning off your AC and opening up your windows and sliding glass doors to enjoy the cooler air. Don’t forget to turn on your ceiling fans to help keep the air flowing throughout your home.

Extra Tip: If the weather outside is perfect, consider hosting your holiday party outdoors. By enjoying the weather with your guests outdoors, you can cut down on the amount of energy you’ll need to keep your guests comfortable inside.

Are you looking for more ways to save on energy throughout the year? Check out our line of energy efficient heating and cooling systems from Carrier. Not sure which is right for you? Give us a call today to speak with one of our HVAC experts today: (850) 243-3356.

What Are The Ratings For Furnace Efficiency?

When it’s time to buy a new furnace, being aware of energy efficiency ratings can help you make a wise choice. The ratings will impact how much of the system’s energy directly heats your home versus how much is wasted.

The Rating Used for Furnace Efficiency

The energy efficiency of a furnace is measured by the Annual Fuel Utilization Efficiency rating (AFUE). This rating reflects the furnace’s production of heat compared with the energy used to produce the heat. For example, a furnace rated at 90 percent AFUE has a 10 percent energy loss, while the remaining 90 percent becomes heat. Heat can often become lost through ductwork as well, and this loss isn’t calculated into the rating, because the ductwork is highly variable depending on the specific home. However, ducts that run through attic spaces can lose as much as 35 percent of the generated energy.

Energy Efficiency for Older Units

All new furnaces have AFUE ratings, as required by the Federal Trade Commission. Some older systems, however, don’t have ratings readily available. The guidelines below can give you a rough idea of the efficiency rating of your older furnace:

  • Low-Efficiency Furnaces—These furnaces have octopus-style ductwork and use a continuous pilot light that must be relit if it goes out. The furnaces rely on drafts and naturally rising heat for distribution. Low-efficiency furnaces are usually about 56 to 70 percent efficient, though some have aftermarket blowers installed which can raise the efficiency a bit.
  • Mid-Range Furnaces—These models have a fan that controls airflow, and they use an electronic ignition instead of a pilot light. Mid-range models have an energy efficiency of between 80 and 83 percent.
  • High-Efficiency Furnaces—These furnaces have two heat exchangers. The condensing units send gas to the second heat exchanger after removing water, which increases the energy efficiency, and the combustion units on these models are sealed. High-efficiency furnaces have about 90 to 98.5 percent energy efficiency.

Air Conditioning Engineers can work with you to find the ideal furnace for your home. Our NATE certified technicians install, replace and repair furnaces in order to provide our customers optimal efficiency. Contact us to schedule a service call or consultation.

Energy Efficiency Tips for Your Business

No matter how energy efficient you’ve kept your business, there most likely are more ways you can increase your building’s energy efficiency. These tips can help you lower your monthly utility bills past your current level of savings.

Lighting

  • Reduce how many lights you use.
  • Change your lights to compact fluorescents or LEDs.
  • Use task lighting as opposed to lighting.
  • Make sure lights are turned off when no one is in the building.
  • Install occupancy sensors.
  • Clean bulbs, lenses, lamps, fixtures and reflective surfaces.
  • Replace fluorescent or incandescent exit signs with LED signs.

Refrigeration and Food Service Equipment

  • Fully load cooking equipment without overloading it.
  • Keep pots covered.
  • Choose the right icemaker to reduce energy costs.
  • Regularly maintain evaporator coils to keep them clean and free of any ice build-up.
  • Install strip curtains and automatic door-closers on coolers and walk-in freezers.
  • Place insulated night covers over display cases.
  • Use insulated cooking equipment when you can.
  • Adjust door latches to ensure that oven doors fit tightly.
  • Make sure gaskets are in good condition.

Office Equipment

  • Turn off machines when they’re not being used.
  • Set computer monitor to begin sleep mode when it’s been inactive for five minutes.
  • Set computer to standby mode or hibernate when it’s been inactive for 30 minutes.
  • Unplug laptops and cellphone chargers when they aren’t being used.
  • Use a power strip for any equipment that continues to use energy when turned off.
  • Use a “smart” power strip that can sense when equipment isn’t being used and turns off power.
  • Only buy equipment with an Energy Star logo.
  • Get the right size copier for your business.

Heating and Cooling

  • Turn the thermostat down at least one degree in winter and up at least one degree in summer.
  • Change the filters on your HVAC system a minimum of four times a year.
  • Close window shades to reduce the inside temperatures during the day.
  • Open shades during the day in order to naturally heat the building.
  • Close shades at night for increased insulation.
  • Make sure air vents are kept free of obstructions in order for air to circulate properly.
  • Consult a contractor if your heating and cooling is uneven between various rooms.
  • Keep the building’s electrical equipment and systems up-to-date with scheduled maintenance.
  • Use a programmable thermostat.
  • Let workers wear comfortable clothing when the weather is hot.
  • Keep exterior and freight doors shut when possible.
  • Apply solar control window films to existing glass in doors and windows.
  • Install solar screens, awning or window film in windows that face south or west.
  • Install ceiling fans.
  • Buy Energy Star cooling and ventilation units.
  • Insulate your water heater and supply pipes.
  • Install wall and ceiling insulation.
  • Have an HVAC technician tune your ventilation and cooling systems.
  • Maintain a regular schedule for filter replacement and cleaning.

Contact Air Conditioning Engineers for more energy saving measures. We clean, inspect and repair HVAC equipment to keep it working at top performance, which helps prevent wasted energy usage. We also install Carrier products, including Smart thermostats, geothermal heat pumps and energy efficient central air conditioners.

Energy Saving Technologies For Your Business

Though critical to employee productivity and occupant comfort, commercial HVAC systems consume a significant amount of energy. Such heating and cooling systems account for up to 51% of total energy use in commercial buildings. Fortunately, existing and new technologies can reduce operating costs and save energy, making them prime cost–saving opportunities for business owners. Running a successful business in the current competitive business environment can be a daunting task. Often, people tend to overlook costs such as fuel cost, energy, and water supply, which affect the overall finances of a business.

In spite of the many energy–saving technologies available, studies show that many organizations still struggle when it comes to finding energy–saving technologies that are more effective. In addition to high energy consumption when in use, heating and cooling systems also contribute to high energy use and costs in the manufacturing facility. While business owners can make significant capital and energy savings through investing in modern high–efficiency systems for new buildings, technologies exist to reduce energy use in existing heating and cooling systems. Business owners should do the following to reduce their energy bills:

  • Use demand controlled ventilation that uses economizers and carbon dioxide sensors to maintain indoor air quality within a set range while preventing over ventilation.
  • Install dedicated outdoor air systems to improve humidity control.
  • Use zero–degree heat pumps that operate more effectively in cold climates.
  • Use displacement ventilation that uses a cold stream of low–velocity fresh air to displace stale air at ceiling level.
  • Invest in energy recovery ventilation to minimize HVAC system needs while maintaining indoor comfort.
  • Use electronically commuted motors that save energy by matching blower speed to demand.
  • Make duct sealing a vital part of the maintenance program.
  • Use desiccant dehumidification to remove humidity, reduce air conditioning load, and cool makeup air.
  • Use micro channel heat exchangers.
  • Invest in thermal energy storage technology.

In addition to the above cost–saving techniques, commercial HVAC maintenance practices play a huge role in reducing energy consumption. Business owners should have their systems inspected, cleaned and maintained by certified technicians to reduce energy losses. By combining old–fashioned attention to detail with new technology, businesses can make their facilities more comfortable and cut costs. Follow us for more great articles on heating, air conditioning and home needs.

Should I Leave Interior Doors Open Or Closed During Heating And Cooling

There’s no doubt that air flow is important in your home. After all, stagnant air just feels unpleasant, and a little bit of movement tends to help your home smell a bit fresher and might even keep you a bit healthier. What many wonder, though, is whether keeping their interior doors open will do anything to help with heating and cooling their homes. Understanding how your HVAC system works can help you to determine whether this tried-and-true tactic is actually worth the effort, as well as what you need to do to maximize the efficacy of your home heating and cooling system.

When working on your heating and cooling, what you’re really looking at is air flow. Regardless of what you may feel in your home, air is constantly moving – usually spurred on by the rising and falling of air as it heats up and cools down. When you leave the doors open in your home, the air is given the ability to move more quickly – carrying cool or warm air throughout the house with relative ease. When you keep the doors shut, though, the process is impeded – but it is not stopped. That’s why open doors matter.

When a door is closed, air isn’t stopped. It moves through cracks in the door and crevices, and still has to be replaced with more warm or cool air. This slow leak actually requires more energy to refill than simply leaving your doors open, raising your cooling or heating bill significantly. Of all the temperature control tips in the world, keeping your doors open is perhaps the easiest to follow – and is definitely one that will save you a great deal of money over the course of a single year.

If you want to make sure that you get the most out of your HVAC system, make sure to keep your doors open. If this isn’t helping, you might be in need of a system tune-up – or even a replacement. Next time you think about improving your heating or cooling, make sure that you call us for your HVAC needs.

Home Energy Efficiency Tips And Energy Efficiency Ideas

In this day and age, people are all about saving money. If you have not already done so, you definitely need to take a look at some home energy efficiency tips and start saving money on your electric bill.

To Save on That Heating Bill

The Temperature of Your Furnace
Turn your furnace down as much as you possibly can. Believe it or not, even dropping it one degree can make a big difference. Simply by dropping the furnace by two degrees, you could save as much as four percent on your electric bill.

Dress Warmly
Even when you are indoors, dress warmly. By doing this, you can drop your furnace temperature even more.

During the Night
When you are sleeping, there’s no need to keep the furnace on full blast. Go ahead, grab an extra heavy blanket for your bed and turn that furnace down.

To Save on the Hot Water Bill

Insulation
Make sure the water heater and the pipes are insulated. By adding insulation, your water will stay hotter for a longer period of time. Make sure you keep the insulation at least 18 inches from the top of the heater.

Take a Shower Instead of a Bath
It is a known fact that a bath takes way more hot water than a shower. So, if you really want to save money on the hot water bill, start taking showers, instead of baths.

Avoid Continuously Running the Water While You Wash Dishes
As you are washing dishes, fill the sink up with hot water, then shut the water off.

Save Money on Lighting

Energy-Saving Bulbs
Instead of using those normal bulbs, go for energy-saving lightbulbs. The plus side to using these, besides the fact that they take less energy, is that they will last up to ten times longer. Remember, a single 25 watt energy-saving bulb will provide just as much light as a 100-watt normal bulb.

Those are some energy efficiency ideas you should start using right away in order to help you save money. Go ahead and give us a call for your HVAC needs — we are here to help you.

Efficiency Standards For HVAC Equipment: Are They Going Up Soon?

Since 2009 the U. S. Department of Energy was worked on improving efficiency standards for American HVAC equipment. DOE has worked with a cohort of HVAC and utility industry experts in order to update the efficiency ratings and standards on HVAC systems. Their recommended increased efficiency ratings were scheduled to go into place in 2013. They did not, however, because a court order has delayed their implementation. It has been argued that retrofitting homes for the increased standards would cause financial harm to some homeowners.

HVAC Efficiency Standards

During the 2009 standards work, DOE segmented the country into sections based on local climates. For the northern states, including New York, the minimum annual fuel efficiency (AFUE) was raised from the current 78 to 90. The only type of furnaces with a 90 rating are condensing furnaces. While they do improve HVAC efficiency, they present a challenge to retro fit in homes because they require a different venting system. Attached homes especially have limited access to an exterior wall for the venting system and therefore the retrofit becomes very expensive for these homeowners.

While the case is working its way through the court system, the AFUE is still 78. Homeowners who find they must replace their old HVAC systems are strongly advised to go ahead and purchase the higher 90 AFUE system, including a condensing furnace, to be prepared when the new standards do take effect. A condensing furnace has two heat exchanges instead of the standard one that most furnaces have. The second heat exchange works by extracting water vapor from the steam that burning gas produces and used that to warm the home instead of releasing it up the chimney. Later the vapor condenses into water again and drains out through the house’s plumbing system.

In order to prepare your home for the upgraded efficiency rating, call your local HVAC contractor to schedule an inspection of your system. Have them prepare some suggestions for how to increase your system’s efficiency. If your old system is approaching the age of potential replacement, go ahead and have your HVAC supplier prepare and estimate for what a new and energy efficient 90 AFUE furnace will cost and begin saving for the installation of your new unit.

Ceiling Fans Used With Air Conditioning Can Save On Home Energy Costs

Billions of dollars are spent yearly on the electricity costs of air conditioning. According to the U.S. Department of Energy, that should not come as a surprise as our A/C units are the biggest energy consumers in American homes. Since the average homeowner spends around $130 monthly on electricity for air conditioning any tips to reduce Home Energy Costs and accomplish A/C Money Saving will help lower summer power bills.

Homeowners should begin by comparing the cost of running their air conditioners with the cost of using ceiling fans to cool their home. A single ceiling fan costs only one cent per hour to operate. A penny an hour of use averages out to a cost of $1.20 per month for the use of a ceiling fan for cooling. Three bedroom fans, a family room fan, and a fan in a combination kitchen and breakfast room could all be operated for $6.00 monthly, saving $122 on the household electric bill.

If your home is equipped with a newer High Efficiency Air Conditioning system that is ENERGY STAR® certified, you are receiving the benefits of excellent energy saving efficiency already. If you are not, it is especially important to utilize energy saving partnerships to improve energy performance. Turning ceiling fans on at the same time as you are using your central air conditioning uses the drafts of moving air created to evaporate skin surfaces to cool individuals an addition three to five degrees. This allows you to set your A/C thermostat up to between 78°F and 80°F, providing savings on Home Energy Costs yet continuing to keep your interior environment cool and comfortable.

While you are thinking about ways to use your fans and air conditioner more effectively, this is an excellent time to start putting together a Summer Energy Saving Plan. There are many excellent tips and ideas for home energy saving actions and repairs on the Internet. Study them and select the ones that are appropriate for your home and goals to help control power costs this summer.