Jan 162010
 

It costs you more money and uses more energy to heat and cool your home than any other system in your home. Typically, 44% to 50% of your utility bills pays for heating and cooling your home.

Regardless of the type of home comfort systems you have in your house, you can save money and increase comfort by properly maintaining and upgrading your equipment.

Keep in mind that an energy efficient air conditioner alone will not have as great an impact on your energy bills as using an approach that involves the entire house. If you combine proper equipment maintenance and upgrades with appropriate insulation, weatherisation and thermostat settings, you can reduce your energy bills by up to 50%.

General Cooling Tips:

* Use house fans. House fans help cool your home by circulating cool air throughout the house. They are most effective when the outside air temperature is cooler than the inside and when operated at night. An attic fan can blow away hot air that accumulates in the attic. This can go a long way to help the efficiency of your air conditioning system.

* Set your thermostat as high as comfortably possible. By maintaining a minimum difference between indoor and outdoor temperatures, you’ll lower your overall cooling bill.

* Don’t reduce your thermostat setting to a colder temperature than normal when you turn on your air conditioner. This will not cool your home any faster and could result in excessive cooling and unnecessary expense.

* Set the fan speed on high, except in humid weather. When it’s humid, set the fan speed on low.

* Consider ceiling fans to help spread the cooled air more effectively through your home without greatly increasing your power use.

* Keep lamps and TV sets away from your air conditioning thermostat.

* Shade air-conditioning units by planting trees or shrubs, but make sure you do not block the airflow. A unit operating in the shade uses up to 10% less electricity than one operating in the sun.

* Close shades or curtains on east, south, and west-facing windows during the hours when the sun’s intensity is at its peak. Open curtains and windows during early morning and overnight hours when the air outside the home is cooler.

* Turn off the air conditioner if the house (or air-conditioned rooms) will be unoccupied for an extended period. Use a programmable thermostat (link to product page) to turn Air off and on automatically when you know the house will be unoccupied.

Here are a few more steps you can take to substantially improve your home’s energy efficiency.

Take a Holistic Approach to Total Home Energy Conservation

To achieve the maximum in total home comfort and energy savings, we recommend that you step back and look at the big picture of energy consumption in your villa. The fact is, your total home comfort and efficiency is the product of many systems: heating, cooling, lighting & electrical, plumbing and possibly others working together.

It is the interplay between these systems, combined with the size, age, physical features and location of your home, and even your lifestyle, that combine to produce the total energy efficiency of your home. Changing or upgrading one system, without considering the other factors will usually result in some improvement, but may not deliver the maximum possible benefit.

If you’re building a new villa, or considering a major remodel or system upgrade, consider an Integrated Systems approach. It may cost a little more now, but will undoubtedly save you a bundle over time. Our skilled engineers and technicians will look at the big picture when designing a solution for your home.

Conduct a Home Energy Audit

The place to begin when evaluating your home’s overall energy efficiency and deciding how to reduce consumption and costs is with a Home Energy Audit. This takes into consideration much more than just your heating and cooling systems, and will give you a benchmark from which to make decisions and measure your energy saving progress.

Here are some of the heating & cooling factors your audit should take into consideration:

* Insulation in walls, floors, and attic.

* Vapor Barriers in walls

* Quality of Windows – Single or double pane

* Heat loss around doors and windows

* Quality of insulation in doors

* Integrity of ductwork “- Any leaks

* Cleanliness of ductwork

* Use of “passive” solar energy

* Use of curtains and other window coverings to prevent heat loss

* Efficiency of heating and cooling systems – Condition of filters, etc.

Consider Purchasing an Annual Maintenance Agreement

You’ve heard the old adage, “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it?” Well that doesn’t apply to your air conditioner any more than it does to your automobile. However, when your system is operating properly, it is easy to forget. Regular maintenance will save you the time money and headaches of premature system failures and major repairs. It will ensure that your system is always working at peak efficiency and help you avoid excessive energy costs.

Make sure your Air Conditioner is properly sized

Bigger Is Not Necessarily Better – A bigger room air-conditioning unit won’t necessarily make you feel more comfortable during the hot summer months and will most likely perform less efficiently and less effectively than a smaller, properly sized unit. Room units work better if they run for relatively long periods of time as opposed to being constantly switched on and off. The longer running time an air conditioner is allowed to maintain, the easier it is for the unit to hold a more constant room temperature. Running longer also allows air conditioning units to remove more moisture from the air, which reduces humidity and increases the comfort level in the room.

Check specifications carefully when choosing the right air conditioner for your space. Central air-conditioning systems also require proper sizing. Professionals, however, should perform the sizing of your central air system.

Also, do not use the system’s central fan to provide circulation. Instead, use circulating fans in individual rooms. Make sure you set the fan of your central air system to shut off at the same time of your cooling unit (compressor).

Use an Air Conditioner with a high Efficiency Rating

Select a room air conditioner that has an A rating or 10 or higher.

Author: Helen Rudd
Article Source: EzineArticles.com
Provided by: Digital Camera Times

Helen Rudd

 Leave a Reply

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>

(required)

(required)