Pompano Beach, FL, May 2011 – The rising demand on our energy resources and resulting increase in the cost of electricity and natural gas are hitting Americans in the pocketbook at a time when few can afford the extra costs. Joe Canosa, General Manager of Lindstrom Air Conditioning, says, “By being smart about your energy usage, maintenance and choices in appliances you can help reduce these costs.”
Below are some helpful Energy Smart tips from Lindstrom Air Conditioning and Energy Star to help homeowners conserve energy and save money this summer.
Heating & Cooling Your Home
According to Energy Star, 46% of the energy used in the average home goes towards heating and cooling.
- Check/change air conditioner air filter. Check and change your air filter on a regular basis. This should be checked monthly, especially during high usage months. “A dirty filter lowers the efficiency of your air conditioning system and increases your utility costs,” states Canosa.
- Schedule regular air conditioning system maintenance. “A tune-up ensures that your system is running efficiently and safely, saving you money and giving you peace of mind. And air conditioners at peak efficiency will use up to 20% less electricity and last years longer,” says Canosa.
- Energy Efficient Systems. According to Canosa, if your system is older (A/C – 10+ years or heating system – 15+ years) or it’s not providing the comfort it should, consider replacing it with an energy efficient system. By replacing a 10 SEER unit with a 16 SEER unit you’ll see savings of up to 50% (see chart).
- Programmable Thermostat. Installing a programmable thermostat in your home is the easiest way to save money and energy without sacrificing comfort. Canosa says, “A programmable thermostat helps make it easy for you to save by regulating your home's temperature in both summer and winter – when you are asleep or away. It’s ideal for people who are away from home during set periods of time throughout the week.” Through proper use of pre-programmed settings, a programmable thermostat can save you about $180 every year in energy costs, according to Energy Star.
Water heating is the second, single largest energy user in your home at 14%.
- Lower the temperature. Some water heaters are preset at the factory for 140° F; by lowering the temperature to 120° F you’ll still have comfortable hot water and save money.
- Insulate. Consider insulating your water heater with a water heater jacket or blanket. Canosa says, “You may want to have a professional plumber do this service for you, especially if you have a gas water heater. When insulating a gas water heater you’ll need to be very careful to avoid covering up the thermostat panel, make sure the airflow to the burner isn’t obstructed and avoid insulating the top of the gas water heater. Remember insulation is combustible and it can interfere with the draft diverter.”
Household Appliances/Electronics & Lighting
Together all of these account for 32% of your energy usage.
- Increase energy efficiently and ensure proper ventilation by keeping appliances clean and free of dust and lint.
- Use the air-dry setting when washing dishes, instead of the heated drying to conserve energy.
- Replace older appliances with Energy Star rated products. Newer energy efficient appliances use a lot less energy to do the same job!
- Seldom used home electronics should actually be unplugged from the wall. Items like DVD players use 40 percent of their energy while in the off position to power functions like clocks and remote controls.
- Use only energy efficient electronics. When buying a new TV or Computer look for Energy Star rated products.
- Save electricity and reduce waste by shutting off lights in rooms, which are not occupied.
- Switch your traditional incandescent lights with more efficient fluorescent lighting. By replacing 25 percent of lights in high-use areas with fluorescents, the California Energy Commission says homeowners can save up to 50 percent on lighting-related energy expenses. Energy Star rated fluorescent lamps also last six to 10 times longer.
Be energy smart and save money this summer by following these simple tips. For more information about energy smart tips visit: www.lindstromair.com, www.energystar.gov and www.energysavers.gov.
Lindstrom Air Conditioning was founded by Carl Lindstrom in 1975 in Ft. Lauderdale, Florida. Since 1975, Lindstrom has evolved into one of Florida's oldest and most trusted service companies with more than 150 team members. Lindstrom is proud of their tradition of excellence serving homeowners and businesses in Florida. Lindstrom is committed to investing the time and resources needed to improve the quality of life for the residents and businesses in the Southeast Florida area. For more information go to, www.lindstromair.com.