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sealing air leaksWhile many people see the upcoming seasons as a time to enjoy the holidays, falling leaves and cold weather, this is also the perfect time to wrestle control of your home’s energy usage. You can start by following some of these energy-saving tips that will lower your utility bills and put a smile on your face:

  • Invest in a new furnace – If your furnace has been giving you problems in recent years, it may need to be put out to pasture. When you’re shopping for a new system, be sure to look for the Energy Star label to ensure energy efficiency. For the very best, concentrate on furnaces certified to be Most Efficient.
  • Install a new thermostat – A big part of heating your home during the colder months is the ability to control the thermostat. Installing a programmable thermostat will allow you to designate when the furnace or other heating equipment is in operation. For optimum control, choose a WiFi thermostat, which allows you to access the thermostat via the Internet.
  • Consider a zoning system – The installation of a zoning system will allow you to designate certain areas of your home as “zones” and concentrate heating efforts on only the zones you choose. This is especially useful in a multistory home or if only one or two rooms tend to be occupied at any given time.
  • Set the thermostat to 68 degrees – The ideal temperature that you should shoot for when you’re at home is 68 degrees. This will help you maintain your energy usage without sacrificing comfort.
  • Seal air leaks – For the average home, air leaks equal a constant loss of energy because it forces the furnace to run longer than it normally would. One area to check is around doors and windows, but air leakage also occurs in locations such as electrical outlets and ductwork. In fact, tears in the ductwork and disconnected joints can lead to considerable energy loss.
  • No need to turn the temperature too high – There’s a common misconception that the higher you crank up the heat, the faster your home will warm up. Not only is this untrue, but you increase your chances of wasting energy when you overshoot your actual temperature goal.
  • Switch light bulbs – Changing out incandescent bulbs with more energy-efficient models is one of the easiest energy-saving tips to enact right away.
  • Replace the air filter – The air filter used to prevent pollutants and debris from being distributed into your air will fill up after a month or two. Replacement on a regular basis will keep the system running more efficiently.
  • Consider alternative sources of energy – Many households across the country are beginning to realize the advantages of installing an alternative source of energy. In recent years, we’ve been seeing an influx of solar panels to help generate electricity, and not too far behind is the use of geothermal energy for heating and cooling.
  • Lower water usage – You might be surprised at how much water is wasted by the average household on a regular basis. There are a number of ways that you can prevent this. First, instead of taking a bath, only take showers lasting five minutes or less. Next, switch to low-flow toilets, faucets and shower heads. Also don’t forget to turn down the frequency of your sprinkler system. And finally, make sure the dishwasher or washing machine is completely full before running it. In addition to water usage, most of these energy-saving tips will also negate some of the energy used to heat the water.
  • Use a humidifier – The use of a humidifier in your home will lessen the use of your heating equipment while still allowing you to maintain a good comfort level.
  • Turn down the temperature on the water heater – Many households set the water heater to its highest temperature, but most of us don’t like scalding water. A setting of 120 degrees will do just fine, and your clothes and dishes will still be cleaned just as well as before.
  • Wrap the water heater – Heat loss from the water heater can cause it to stay in operation more consistently than necessary, which does nothing but waste energy. Wrapping it up in an insulation blanket will prevent this.

For more expert energy-saving tips or other concerns related to home comfort, please contact the friendly professionals at Aqua Plumbing & Air. We’ve been serving the needs of Sarasota, Bradenton and surrounding areas for over 40 years.

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