Tag Archives: energy consumption

How to Understand the Energy Star Guidelines

How to Understand the Energy Star GuidelinesThere are many techniques for reducing household energy consumption, but the most reliable ways to cut energy usage and costs is with the products you use. The Energy Star program provides detailed information and guidelines for homeowners who want to invest in energy-efficient appliances, electronics, and other devices. Here’s a brief overview of the program’s guidelines and what you can expect from them.

The Basis of the Energy Star Program

The Energy Star program is a collaboration between the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) and the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). Its mission is to inform and educate consumers about energy issues, including energy conservation and energy savings.

As part of its mission, the Energy Star tests and certifies a number of energy-using devices. The certification indicates that the devices meet the program’s standards for energy efficiency and that anyone who purchases and uses the product can expect it to be as efficient as possible.

Certified products will have the Energy Star logo affixed in a conspicuous spot, usually on the information EnergyGuide label. Only tested and certified products can use the Energy Star logo. You can find the logo on items such as appliances, consumer electronics, heating and cooling equipment, lighting equipment, and office equipment.

Energy Star Guidelines

The guidelines for Energy Star certification include these standards:

  • The efficiency and performance of equipment must be verifiable and measurable.
  • Products must reduce energy consumption wherever they are used.
  • Devices must be energy efficient and provide the features customers demand.
  • Equipment must generate savings on utility bills of a level that can allow purchasers to recover the cost of the equipment through these savings over a reasonable period of time.
  • Certification and labeling must adequately identify energy efficient equipment and distinguish it from competing products.

Powers Heating and Air was founded in 2001, and since then the company has been providing reliable professional HVAC services to its valued customers in and around Peachtree City. Contact us today for more information on the Energy Star program and the guidelines that can help you choose the most energy-efficient and economic products for your home.

 

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Tips for Decreasing Home Energy Consumption This Spring

Tips for Decreasing Home Energy Consumption This SpringWhen warmer weather arrives, you can reduce the effects on your energy bill by making some changes around the home. Here are important tips for decreasing home energy consumption this spring.

Schedule an Air Conditioner Maintenance Check

Before the spring season is fully underway, schedule a professional maintenance check for your air conditioning unit. Dirty coils or malfunctioning parts make your air conditioner work extra hard to keep you cool and may lessen the life of the system.

Install a Programmable Thermostat

Programmable thermostats save on energy by adjusting temperature at certain scheduled times. For example, while you are away from home there is no need to keep the home as cool as when you are present. A programmable thermostat can be set to decrease the indoor temperature shortly before you arrive so that when you get there, you come home to comfort. If you are really tech savvy you may wish to invest in a WI-FI programmable thermostat controllable from your smart phone or tablet.

Use Ceiling Fans

The indoor breeze created by ceiling fans keeps you cooler, and this means you can adjust your thermostat accordingly to save energy. Remember to adjust the rotation of the ceiling fan blades to the warm weather setting. If you are unsure of how to adjust your ceiling fans, ask a professional.

Seal Air Leaks

Warm air outdoors will find a way inside your home through gaps around doors, windows or in the foundation. Sealing these gaps will keep your home cooler this spring and reduce the workload on your air conditioner.

Prevent Heat Gain through Windows

Use thermal-backed window treatments on windows and keep these shades or curtains closed during the day. Consider investing in energy-efficient windows as well.

For more information about decreasing home energy consumption, please contact us at Powers Heating & Air. We have served the local Fayetteville, Tyrone and Peachtree City areas since 1979 and Sharpsburg, Senoia and Newnan since 1980.

Our goal is to help educate our customers in Peachtree City, Georgia and surrounding areas about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems).

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What Should Your New Water Heater Look Like and Do?

What Should Your New Water Heater Look Like and Do?Gone are the days when water heaters were simple appliances that heated water and stored it in a tank until you needed it. Some of the new systems on the market, on-demand or tankless water heaters, do not even require a tank. With all the bells and whistles, selecting a new water heater may seem like a daunting task. Three of the main considerations when purchasing you new system should include:

How do you prefer to power your new water heater? A gas unit will cost you slightly more upfront but usually costs less to operate. Electric systems do not require additional venting and are relatively easy to maintain. These factors apply to both tank and tankless water heaters, which both have electric and gas options.

Do you prefer a traditional tank heater or do you want to go tankless? Conventional tank units are economical and store between 20 and 80 gallons. Though tankless systems require more investment upfront, they fit easily on a wall and free up space. A tankless water heater can also reduce your energy consumption by as much as 30 percent.

How will you use your new system? If you only need to a heat water for a small area of your home, you may consider opting for a “point of use” tankless system. These units can be easily fitted under a sink or cabinet and deliver heated water exactly where you need it.

Other important considerations for your new water heater include dimensions and efficiency. Once you have decided on the capacity, you’ll need to make sure your new system will fit into the space where it will be installed. This is a bit easier if you are selecting a tankless system. Water heaters can use quite a bit of energy, so you’ll also need to make sure you select the most efficient system possible by checking out the Energy Factor (EF) rating of the unit.

Other features you might consider when purchasing your new water heater include whether the unit is self-cleaning, its recovery speed, and whether it includes an auto shut-off valve.

If you need help selecting or installing a new water heater for your home, make sure you give our experts at Powers Heating and Air a call with all your questions and concerns. We provide top-quality services to Peachtree City and the surrounding area.

Our goal is to help educate our customers in Peachtree, Georgia and surrounding areas about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems). 

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Solar Basics: A Guide for Peachtree Residents

Solar Basics: A Guide for Peachtree ResidentsPlugging your home into solar energy will lower your energy consumption, and it’s useful to learn the solar basics as you go forward. Our region receives enough solar energy to make using sunshine a viable option to create electricity. This guide defines the terms you’ll run across as you explore your solar options.

 

  • Photovoltaic – This term describes the process that solar light goes through in its conversion to usable electricity.
  • Photovoltaic module – A module is a single solar panel. It could be small enough to power a rechargeable battery or large enough to generate power to run appliances.
  • Solar array – If you use two or more panels, you’ll have a solar array. Panels in your array should have the same voltage, and together they feed your home directly. You can also store the energy in batteries to use at night or on exceptionally cloudy days.
  • Solar cell – These generate the power from the solar panel or array. The most common size is 12 volts, and cells can be connected to generate more voltage.
  • Solar cell efficiency – Essential to solar basics, learning the cell’s efficiency helps you determine how much potential power the solar array will provide. Some of the light hitting the solar panels won’t be converted into electricity. Choosing more efficient cells helps you generate more power.
  • Irradiance – On bright, sunny days, the irradiance is higher than on cloudy days or those with high, thin clouds. According to the National Renewable Energy Laboratory, on average our region receives between three and four kilowatts per square meter daily, equivalent to 1.76 square feet. The highest irradiance in the continental U.S. occurs in the southwestern deserts.
  • Peak sun hours – This measures the solar intensity, similar to the irradiance. A peak sun hour occurs when the sun creates 1,000 watts per hour for each meter squared. If you have three hours of bright sun in a day, you’ll have three peak sun hours.

If you’d like to learn more about solar basics, contact Powers Heating & Air. We provide HVAC services for the Peachtree City area.

Our goal is to help educate our customers in Peachtree City, Georgia and surrounding areas about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems).

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Is This The Year You Upgrade Your Home Insulation?

Is This The Year You Upgrade Your Home Insulation?Did you know that just because your home currently has insulation, it might not be enough, or the right type? Insulation typically is unseen, and you know what they say about out of sight, out of mind. However, with proper insulation, you can reduce your energy consumption significantly and even save money.

Is it time to upgrade your home insulation? It just might be. Here’s a quick look at the various types of insulation available, and where they work best in your home:

  • Fiberglass insulation is the most commonly used insulation material in homes. Many do-it-yourself homeowners use it because it’s relatively easy to work with and fairly affordable. It also nonflammable and offers reliable insulating properties, and is capable of protecting a space from water damage. Fiberglass usually is sold as rolls or pre-cut batts, and is best used for flooring joists, ceiling rafters and walls.
  • Cellulose is a natural type of insulation made from organic fabrics and recycled paper. It is a good option for homeowners who want a green option for home insulation. Cellulose is highly compact, so it helps in reducing damage in case of fire. It often is pretreated so that it resists moisture, rodents and pests, and typically is sold in a loose consistency, and must be blown into the space. It’s best for wall cavities, attic floors and ceilings.
  • Liquid foam insulation may be injected, poured or sprayed. It comes in several different types, and has a very high insulating value because it fills up small cavities that other types of insulating materials cannot cover adequately. Liquid foam is best for attics, crawlspaces, basements, walls and home exteriors.

To determine how much insulation your home requires, check out the ZIP Code Insulation Calculator, a handy online tool. For more information about the right materials and techniques to insulate and protect your home, contact the experts at Powers Heating & Air. We are the leading heating and cooling experts in Peachtree City, and look forward to providing you with unparalleled service.

Our goal is to help educate our customers in Peachtree, GA and surrounding areas about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems).  For more information about insulation and other HVAC topics, download our free Home Comfort Resource guide.

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