This may or may not come as a surprise, but Americans have one of the world’s highest per-person carbon emissions rates – most of that heavy carbon load coming from home sweet home. Fortunately, there are several ways you can increase your home’s energy efficiency by making minor tweaks and upgrades or by changing the way you use your fixtures and appliances. Not only will this reduce your carbon footprint (Mother Nature will thank you), but it will increase energy efficiency AND save on energy bills. Here are five ways you can get started:
- Use your ceiling fan year-round. Ceiling fans aren’t just there for looks. They can help your space feel up to 10 degrees cooler and use just 10 percent of the energy consumed by your air conditioner! When possible, use your ceiling fan instead of a window air conditioner as it could save 1.35 tons of carbon dioxide annually. In the winter, reverse the direction of the fan so it rotates clockwise and pushes the warm air from the ceiling down into the room.
- Caulk and weather-strip (or replace) leaky windows. Feeling a draft or too much heat? Leaky windows could be to blame. To fix this issue, use caulk and weather-stripping to plug leaks. Window putty is another great product that will seal gaps around loose windowpanes. If you want to really get serious about windows, replace them with double-paned ENERGY STAR rated windows that yield significant carbon savings. This will also help reduce your heating and cooling bills. If you aren’t ready to make that kind of investment, you can apply a low-emissive (low-E) film over drafty windows to reduce heat loss.
- Replace your air filters regularly. The main purpose of an air filter is to keep dust out of the AC equipment which prevents damage to the system and keeps it running efficiently. How often you should replace your air filter depends on the type you use, but on average it should be replaced every two months. Your Northeast Florida Heating & Air AC technician can advise you on what’s recommended for your equipment and the type of filter you should use.
- Invest in an AC maintenance plan. Air conditioners should be professionally maintained at least once a year (twice is recommended) to prevent buildup on the blower fans and in your ductwork. The air you breathe cycles through your HVAC System about five to seven times each day. If you are not properly maintaining your system, you risk having a major build-up of dust, pollen and even mold spores piling up on your equipment and in your ducts. When this happens, your air conditioner is not operating at maximum efficiency. Learn more about our maintenance plans at Northeast Florida Heating & Air.
- Replace your AC unit with an ENERGY STAR approved system. If you have to replace your AC unit, think of it as an opportunity instead of an expensive burden. Most new air conditioners are ENERGY STAR rated meaning they adhere to the strict energy efficiency guidelines set by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. ENERGY STAR certified heating and cooling systems optimize energy efficiency, enhance the comfort of your home and help you save on monthly energy bills.
If you are interested in learning more about ENERGY STAR rated air conditioners or would like information on an AC system maintenance plan, please call Northeast Florida Heating & Air today at 904-783-7003. Energy efficiency is our priority, so schedule your maintenance or system consultation today.