Heating and Cooling Doesn’t Have to Cost You!
Today marks the 112th anniversary of air conditioning. It was invented in 1902 by Willis Carrier who was likened to “Johnny Icicle planting the seeds of climate control all across America.” (Read more about how A.C. got its start in this New York Times story)
Air conditioning revolutionized industry, broadening the scope of what we could do and where we could do it. It redefied states like Florida and Texas. It made life in places like our beloved Virginia – where a common daily forecast In the summer is 90 degrees with 95% humidity – so much more tolerable. Now when we complain about the heat, we often do it from the comfort of an air conditioned room.
But air conditioning didn’t come without a price. Anyone who pays an energy bill in the summer can attest to that. Indeed, heating and cooling is the largest energy expense in the home, accounting for 56% of household energy use in the US.
Making sure your heating and cooling system is operating efficiently is one of the best ways to conserve energy and save money in your home. It is important to plan ahead for improvements, repairs, and replacement with an energy efficient system when necessary. The following tips will keep your heating and cooling equipment operating longer and more efficiently and will help keep you cool when the next heat wave hits (or toasty during the next polar vertex) without breaking the bank from energy bills or unexpected and premature system replacements.
• Change air filter regularly – Dirty filters slow air flow, waste energy, and can lead to early system failure. LEAP clients can take advantage of our deal with FilterEasy (a simple subscription service that delivers air filters to your door when you need them at a lower price than most hardware stores) and get 50% off the first shipment of filters.
• Install a programmable thermostat – Adjusting the temperature when away from home prevents waste and can save about $180 in energy costs a year.
• Seal and insulate ducts – Preventing leakage by sealing and insulating ducts can improve efficient by 20% or more.
• Tune-up yearly – Having your heating and cooling system tuned up is a proactive way to fix or prevent problems before major system failure.
• Service Contract – When you have a service contract with a HVAC provider, you have peace of mind if something goes wrong. They also make regular repairs, provide warranty protection, and offer discounts on new equipment
• Install ENERGY STAR equipment – Replacing an old or dying HVAC system can cut annual energy bills by $200
As we celebrate the glories of walking into a chilly room on a sweltering day, let’s also rejoice that there are plenty of ways we can enjoy that creature comfort without breaking the bank!
July 17, 2014
Alex Howle, LEAP