Comfortable and Cost Effective, Energy Efficiency in Homes

High Energy Efficiency of Your Heating and Air Conditioning Systems Makes Your Home Comfortable and Cost Effective

With the rising costs of energy making your home more energy efficient is tantamount to a comfortable and cost effective living environment. Comfortable interior environments make for a more friendly and welcoming home.  Improving the efficiency of your mechanical systems helps with comfort, but more importantly will save you money over the long haul.

Periodic Inspections Are Important

Every mechanical system (which moves warm or cool air throughout your home) requires maintenance and periodic tune-ups.  Equipment the is functioning properly will make your home more comfortable and it won’t “short-cycle,” which is when a system comes on and turns off frequently.  A competent and qualified heating, ventilation, air conditioning contractor (HVAC) can help evaluate your mechanical systems and make necessary adjustments. Easy maintenance such as replacing the filters and cleaning vents can be done by the homeowner, but balancing, and fine-tuning should be done by a pro.

Digital Thermostats are the Rage

There are some pretty sophisticated digital thermostats on the marketplace these days.  Set these thermostats such that you can control the temperature swings and keep the equipment from cycling on and off. Ideally, the home will maintain a constant temperature which would be the most cost effective environment because the systems will use less energy than if there were big temperature swings where the equipment is turning on and off.  Some of the more advanced thermostats can be remotely controlled via a computer or hand-held mobile device (ideal for vacation homes).
When you are away from home for long periods of time a thermostat with remote access is a real nice feature to have.  You can turn the heat up or down a few hours before you show up such that the interior environment is perfect when you arrive.  This will allow you to maximize the comfort level but at the same time not spend money for energy you are not really using.

Modern Windows are Energy Efficient

Installation of energy efficient windows is critical to having a comfortable interior and a better looking home.  New dual-glazed windows will help your home stay comfortable (warm or cool) and it will improve the overall aesthetics of your house.  In the winter months curtains can be spread out to let the sun’s warmth in.  During the spring and summer months curtains can be used to deflect heat.   There are numerous energy programs which could provide an avenue to replace windows based on the amount of savings you will get from the new windows.  The best of both worlds would be to find a program that allows you to replace windows while reducing your energy bills.
Attic and Subarea Insulation Works Wonders
There are dozens of new insulation products on the market.  Several types are spray-on, spray-in, and batt-type.   The bottom line is that if your home has no insulation your money if going straight up through your ceilings and into the atmosphere.  Proper caulking and insulation around the perimeter of doors, windows is paramount.  Insulation blown into the walls is also important, but is the last place to insulate after the attic and crawlspace underfloor.  Insulation helps improve comfort and it will reduce energy consumption.

Central Air Conditioning Units are Critical in Warm Climates

If you live in an area that is hot for several months during the year you can appreciate a system air conditioning system.  If you have a swamp cooler or an older insufficient air conditioner you are not getting the quality or quanity of cool air that you need.  Install an upgraded energy efficient central air system as soon as possible.

Dress to Accommodate the Temperature

A sweater or sweatshirt in the house may make the difference in whether or not you have to turn the heat up or air conditioner down. Try snuggling in a blanket or donning a sweater before you crank up the heat when it gets colder.

There are Many Ways to Improve Energy Efficiency and Your Energy Bill

There are a dozens of ways to make your home a more efficient cooling and heating environment while reducing monthly payments.  Making  a adjustments and small sacrifices, making lifestyle choices which don’t include freezing or being uncomfortable, your home could be energy efficient and save you money at the same time.  If you own investment property make sure your property manager is monitoring these items to improve your return on investment.

Shelly Roberson


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