Tag Archives: lower energy bill

Save Energy: Tips to Use This Summer

Save Energy: Tips to Use This SummerThe summer climate in Peachtree City can mean big air conditioning expenses. But if you’re looking for ways to save money on cooling this summer, you don’t have to sacrifice your home comfort — try a few of these energy saving tips and stay cool while your energy use drops.

 

  • Change your A/C’s air filter. The filter in your home HVAC system is often overlooked, but it has a big effect on how efficiently your system really runs. And if the filter is clogged, conditioned air has a harder time moving through your home — meaning that you’re not getting the full effect of your system’s cooling.
  • Cut down on direct sunlight by using curtains, drapes, awnings, reflective coatings, and other window treatments.
  • If you’re planning any landscaping around your home, add shade to your sun-facing windows: trees, trellises, and other green features add beauty and sun protection.
  • Keep the area around your external A/C unit clear of plants, clutter, and other debris. The more airflow the external unit gets, the more efficiently it can discharge heat from your home.
  • Avoid using the oven during the hottest parts of the day. Cook during the cooler hours, or use stovetops or microwaves — or step outside to grill!
  • Use a dehumidifier. Humid air holds more heat — which is why hot, muggy days have a higher “feels like” temperature. A whole-home dehumidifier may be useful in some homes, while others may only need a small, standalone unit to take care of specific rooms.
  • Seal any air leaks around your home’s envelope. Air leaks let conditioned air out of your home and let hot air in, which means more work for your A/C.
  • Seal and insulate your ductwork. As air is carried through your home by the ducts, it may lose its temperature or even be lost to air leaks. This costs many homes almost a third of their energy use.

For more energy-saving tips for summer or all year round, contact us at Powers Heating & Air!

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). For more information about summer energy saving tips and other HVAC topics, download our free Home Comfort Guide or call us at 770-487-2040.

Credit/Copyright Attribution: “Ondrej Supitar/StockSnap”

Proper Attic Insulation Can Help Save You Energy

Proper Attic Insulation Can Help Save You EnergyMany homeowners are unaware of the importance of adequate attic insulation. Inadequate insulation can be responsible for drafts, high utility bills and unexplained heat loss. Here is some basic information about attic insulation to help you understand how it can benefit your home.

Insulation Types

  • Rolls and batts are generally made from rock wool or fiberglass. Their flexibility makes them practical for placing between attic or floor joists and between wall studs.
  • Loose-fill insulation is a type of attic insulation made from fiber pellets or strands created out of fiberglass, rock wool or cellulose. Specialized pneumatic equipment makes it relatively easy for technicians to blow the loose insulation into oddly-shaped or hard to reach spaces.
  • Rigid foam insulation is more expensive than loose-fill, roll or batt style insulation, but it works well to insulate exterior walls or along openings, such as attic doors. It is twice as effective as the same amount of other kinds of insulation.
  • Foam-in-place insulation is practical for out of the way locations and small spaces. The chemicals come out of pressurized spray cans to fill openings in walls and window or door frames, preventing heat loss and cold drafts.
Is There Enough Insulation?

Here are a few ways to tell if you need more insulation:

  1. Measure the insulation. You want your attic to have a minimum of 11 inches of rock wool or fiberglass insulation or eight inches of cellulose insulation.
  2. You should not be feeling cold drafts in the winter or feel overheated in the summer.
  3. Your utility bills should not be excessively high compared to other homes in your area.

Powers Heating & Air has been helping homeowners with their HVAC issues since 2001. If you need additional information about your attic insulation, call us to schedule an energy audit today.

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). For more information about attic insulation and other HVAC topics, download our free Home Comfort Guide or call us at 770-487-2040.  

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A Zoning System Can Save You Energy and Money

A Zoning System Can Save You Energy and MoneyIn the average household, heating and cooling accounts for approximately 40 percent of total annual energy consumption. If you currently have a single-zone HVAC system with one thermostat to control your furnace, heat pump or air conditioner, installing a zoning system can help you save energy and lower your annual operating costs.

How Zoned Systems Work

Zoned systems use motorized ductwork dampers to divide a home into multiple independent sections or zones. Each zone has a thermostat that’s wired to a central control panel. When one of the thermostats calls for heating or cooling, the control panel opens the damper for that zone and signals the HVAC equipment to cycle on.

Zoning is the ideal solution to control HVAC energy consumption in large or multi-story homes. It’s also well-suited for homes with features that make efficient heating and cooling more difficult, like numerous large windows, a loft, cathedral ceilings, a sunroom, or finished space over the garage or in the attic.

Benefits of a Zoning System

A well-designed and properly installed zoning system offers some significant benefits:

  • Energy savings. With the precise control you’ll gain from zoning, you won’t pay to heat and cool the whole house all the time. According to the U.S. Department of Energy, a zoning system paired with programmable thermostats can lower yearly heating and cooling costs up to 30 percent. You can boost energy efficiency even more by upgrading to a variable-speed air handler.
  • Consistent comfort. With a single-zone system, is usually only the area closest to the thermostat that’s heated or cooled accurately, which can leave other areas too hot or too cold. A zoned system’s individual thermostats provide better temperature control and virtually eliminate uneven heating or cooling.
  • Extended equipment life. When you have a zoned system, your HVAC equipment doesn’t have to run at full capacity or cycle on and off as often to keep your home comfortable, so it won’t wear out as quickly.

To learn how a zoning system can help you save energy and money in your Peachtree City area home, contact us at Powers Heating & Air.

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). For more information about zoning systems and other HVAC topics, download our free Home Comfort Guide or call us at 770-487-2040.

Credit/Copyright Attribution: “Alex Mit/Shutterstock”

Tight Ducts are Important for Keeping Heat Inside Your Home

Tight Ducts are Important for Keeping Heat Inside Your HomeHow tight are your HVAC ducts? If you’re among the majority of homeowners, you probably don’t know the answer. Ductwork is usually out of sight, in an attic, a wall or a crawl space and can be difficult to reach and evaluate. Tight ducts are essential for efficiently heating a home, so your ductwork should be inspected and repaired, if necessary, every few years.

How Ductwork Deteriorates

The ductwork installed in a new home is usually not the best quality, so can’t be expected to perform well for more than a few years. Over time, ducts will start to deteriorate, with sections coming apart, tears and cracks appearing, and in the case of flexible ducting, becoming twisted. Construction projects involving the attic or crawl space may result in damage to the ducts without you being aware of it.

The efficiency of your HVAC system depends on many factors, including the ability of the system to deliver air by means of an airtight system of ductwork. If your ducts are not tight, air will leak out in unconditioned spaces. According to government figures, as much as 30 percent of conditioned air in a typical residence is lost through leaks in ductwork. Also, humidity can enter into the ductwork, and in summer, that means your cooling efficiency will be diminished.

Signs of Ductwork Problems

Some of the signs that your ductwork may not be as tight as it should be are:

  • Uneven heating and cooling
  • Rattling and clanging sounds coming from the ductwork

Repairing Ducts

If you’re able to, visually inspect your ductwork for tears, cracks or loose seams. If you require professional help, ask your HVAC technician to inspect the ductwork during your preventative maintenance appointment. If ducts are inside walls, you may need a professional blower door test to determine if the ductwork is leaking air.

Repairs to ducts can be made with mastic sealant, duct screws and metal foil tape. Never use duct tape, as it won’t hold together for long.

For more on tight ducts, contact Powers Heating and Air. We proudly serve customers in 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). For more information about ductwork and other HVAC topics, download our free Home Comfort Guide or call us at 770-487-2040.

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Understanding the Basics of a Variable-Speed Furnace

Understanding the Basics of a Variable-Speed FurnaceA variable-speed furnace offers more comfort, increased energy savings and greater longevity than a single-stage heating system. The term “variable speed” refers to the motor inside the air handler that powers the fan. These types of motors embed the most advanced motor technology available in residential HVAC systems.

Variable-speed motors are actually electronically-commutated motors (ECMs), and use electricity differently than the more common permanent split capacitor (PSC) motor used in HVAC systems. ECMs use inverters to change the power from alternating current (AC) to direct current (DC), a fundamental improvement in power usage. They also contain circuitry that adjusts their running speed based on the amount of heating or cooling a home needs.

Their use of DC and adjustable running speeds increase their energy efficiency measurably, though it won’t change the furnace’s energy efficiency rating because of how the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) evaluates furnace efficiency. The DOE rates furnaces based on how much of the fuel they use goes toward heating the home directly instead of being wasted as combustion gases. However, forced-air furnaces rely on blower motors to distribute the air, and will lower electric bills.

Besides reduced electrical consumption, a variable-speed furnace provides these benefits.

  • Greater indoor comfort. The fan adjusts its running speed to the amount of heat your home needs. It will run more slowly than a PSC, which distributes the heat more evenly throughout your home, especially in rooms further from the air handler.
  • Quiet operation. ECM motors ramp up quietly as they start and stop their cycles, reducing blower noise.
  • Better indoor air quality. Because the motor runs more slowly, it pulls more air through the air handler’s filter, resulting in better filtration of your air. The motor also senses when the filter is excessively dirty, and compensates for the reduced airflow, preventing harm to your system.
  • Increased durability. ECMs last longer than PSC motors because they avoid frequent starts and stops in their running cycles.

To learn more about a variable-speed furnace, contact Powers Heating & Cooling, serving homeowners in the Peachtree City area since 2001.

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). For more information about variable-speed furnaces and other HVAC topics, download our free Home Comfort Guide or call us at 770-487-2040.

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