Archive for the ‘Energy Loss’ Category

Stop Heating your Home this Summer

July 31, 2014

According to the U.S. Department of Energy, out of the total household’s energy usage, 6% is devoted to air conditioning.  Each homeowner is spending around $11 billion to power their air conditioner.  That is quite an investment.  Too easily we cost ourselves more money trying to cool our homes by what appliances we use.  Here are a few tips on how to avoid heating your home in the summer:
shutterstock_146540375

  • Cook outside. Ovens and stoves create extra heat in your house.
  • Get rid of those incandescents. They are producing heat with 75% of the electricity they consume.
  • Wash only full loads of dishes and clothes.
  • Take short showers, no baths.
  • Turn off computers, curling irons, hair dryers, stereos and televisions. They are all generating heat.

Our homes are where we should be most comfortable.  We can increase our comfort and decrease our utility bills by eliminating some of the heat we produce.  Your AC is already working overtime for you.  Give it a break and leave the heat generation to the sun.

Share this post with a neighbor and help them cool off this summer.

Thanks for stopping by!
-April

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Bills on the Rise? Freezing, Overheating? Take a Clue from Survival on the High Seas

February 28, 2014

Nobody wants to hear about rising energy costs. For utility customers in New York, prices have going up this winter. Some of it was an accounting error, but increased demand for Natural Gas due to the swerving polar vortex helped.
Propane costs have gone up too, article from Kansas Cityreferences pricing as high as $5 a gallon. ship at seaAll of this reminds me of the days when crude oil prices were all over the proverbial road, never mind a little swerving polar vortex.
It’s not just about heating and cold winters. California is experiencing a lack of winter which sounds kind of nice coming from the Northeast. They are also seeing a drought and I’d expect a long hot summer which means an expensive cooling season ahead.
We can’t control fuel prices, but we can take control of our homes. There’s a great thing in being able to “weather the storm”. In our homes, that means comfort, but also peace of mind that we are protected from the elements. Integrating resilience, in our homes is as simple as insulating a home well and air sealing it properly. It is like preparing for a long voyage across the sea, and helps when weather or high fuel costs hit us broadside. Batten down the hatches!

Thanks,
Jason

http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Ivan_Aivazovsky_-_Ship_in_the_Stormy_Sea.jpg

What can you do about Ice Dams and Roof Damage?

January 17, 2014

iceEven though we’ve had a warm spell, and the Polar Vortex seems long ago winter’s not over!  It’s still that time of year that freezing and thawing in many parts of the country means ice dams.   We have a great resource found here that will answer your questions about common household problems including ice dams.

There are some solutions to take care of them immediately but know the long term solutions are not from the outside but from the inside of your home.  It has to do with proper air sealing and insulation.

Ice on your roof may be normal, in fact sometimes it’s unavoidable. Don’t accept roof damage, dangerous icicles and roof rakes as just another fact of winter.  Have your home looked at by an energy auditor that can recommend solutions for the long term.

Thanks,

Jason

Ways to Save on Heating Costs

December 19, 2013

One of our newest locations, Buckeye Heating and Cooling, was featured on the news in Columbus Ohio.   Technician Jeff Walsh spent some time performing a home energy audit and using the infrared camera.  Nice work Buckeye Heating and Cooling!  I think central Ohio just got a little warmer!  Not in Ohio, find a location near you!

You can view the Buckeye energy audit video here.

Thanks,

Jason

What really happened? And is that cabin insulated? The energy audit of 1623.

November 22, 2013

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This image is a classic one, and even though it’s titled the First Thanksgiving, it wasn’t called that then or immediately afterwards. The Pilgrims likely didn’t dress like that nor did the Wampanoag wear feather headdresses as shown.  Those Europeans were likely in rough shape happy with a first harvest, but they were by all accounts outnumbered almost two to one by their guests.  The holiday as we know it came to be under the Lincoln Presidency in the 1800’s not 1623 as portrayed in this painting from 1914.

This holiday is one of my favorites because of the food and family, and I encourage all to enjoy it to its fullest  The painting is lovely but doesn’t really tell the story, its much like other ways we sell ourselves short.

A clip board energy audit done in 15 minutes or a form can be filled out online.  This is sort of like this painting,  it might look nice, but it might be wrong or misleading.  To really know what is going on you need to be there, which is exactly why we like to spend time in your home inspecting the attic, the heating and cooling system and other areas up close and personal.

I’m sure there wasn’t an energy audit done while they were celebrating for three days.  It’s likely they ate well, largely thanks to their guests.  But I bet they wished there was someone that could really help with comfort issues.

Stay warm,

Jason

footnote

Photo in the public domain from the Library of Congress

The White Glove Guys… aka The Save You Money Guys!

July 15, 2013

Ken Justo from ASI Hastings Heating Air and Solar was interviewed on the Front Page show in San Diego a few weeks ago.   He talked about the great work they do as a GreenHomes America partner, their common sense approach to energy improvements, rebates in their area, and reducing usage before adding solar.

Great work Ken, here’s to the White Glove Guys, the doing it right Guys!

Thanks,

Jason

Homeowners save money making home more efficient

October 23, 2012

Nothing new here! But here is a news report featuring our very own A. Johnson Heating Cooling and Plumbing on an energy assessment in a home in eastern New York.

Video Link:

http://cbs6albany.com/news/top-stories/stories/homeowners-save-money-making-home-more-efficient-3498.shtml

 

If they cover your area give them a call if not, find a location near you.

 

Thanks,

Jason

 

 

Better Resale value from “Green” Homes

September 28, 2012

A recent study this summer from UC Berkeley and UCLA looked at homes that were certified as green from a few different organizations.  Although the certification standards varied, the homes needed to have details such as well-insulated ceilings and walls and energy-efficient lighting.  These are just some of the basics of making a home “green”, as well as efficient appliances, proper HVAC equipment and good indoor air quality.  These things unfortunately don’t always happen in new homes, even those with the green label.  However, they can and should happen in every home, and that’s why we do what we do.

This study comes from a state with a very nice incentive system in place for energy efficiency retrofits.  Energy upgrade California is a good place to start if you are a resident of CA.  For residents of other states, you can find some incentive programs from DSIREThe full study can be found here.

You can also contact one of our locations to learn more about how you can make your home safer, energy efficient, more valuable, and of course, green!

 

Thanks,

Jason

Is Your Air Conditioner Feeling the Heat?

August 17, 2012

Visiting family last month in the south brought home the importance of comfort.  After all, it was vacation and we were visiting a wonderful home able to accommodate a few families coming together.  It was a relatively new home too, clearly built to entertain, with large open spaces and expansive porches.   While it was great to relax on those porches, the afternoon sun often caused us to retreat inside for some cool air.  The air conditioners seemed to run the whole time we were there and I’d bet that was the case for much of the summer.

Always thinking about how efficiently a house works, I have to say there were a few rooms that always seemed to be on the warm side.  They were second story rooms above the garage with small closed off side attics.   The air conditioner had to work particularly hard to keep these spaces cool and the rooms really didn’t cool off until the sun went down.

Built to code, spacious and beautiful with all the bells and whistles, this home only fell short in one area:   performance.  For me this translates into more than just a loss in energy efficiency but also a lack of comfort.

I can’t stress enough the benefits and values from a comprehensive home assessment, even for new homes.  In fact, next time I visit I might bring along a blower door and infrared camera to conduct my own assessment.  Then I would be able to provide the family with some real solutions for their home performance.  After all, it’s the least I can do considering how well they fed me!

Thanks,

Jason

Moisture in the Home: Sometimes you need a dehumidifier

July 16, 2012

Despite what some might think, bigger isn’t always better. We talk about the right size furnace or air conditioner for our homes, it makes sense that a dehumidifier should be sized right too.

First of all, I suggest you take care of everything you can to reduce moisture in the first place. (Home as microbiology experiment? Moisture, keep it reasonable and stay safe) This is a lot like what I suggest in terms of heating and cooling in a home. Air seal and insulate first to make the home more efficient, then change the HVAC system.  The same principle applies to choosing a dehumidifier:  reduce the need first, and this will allow for a smaller unit.  It might be smaller, but it will use less energy.

Since basements and other spaces sometimes need some dehumidification, consider the following chart:

Picking a dehumidifier

ENERGY STAR® qualified models are better since they use less energy, and you can check the EnergyGuide sticker to see what yearly energy consumption a model has.

Thanks,

Jason


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