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3 Common Misconceptions About Energy Efficiency

We all have some pre-conceived notions in our heads about what it means to be energy-efficient. Whether you are picturing someone who lives off the grid or envisioning a smart house full of the latest technological gadgets to measure energy usage, the truth is that energy efficiency can be pretty simple.

We know that saving money is important to homeowners in Lake Elsinore, and that’s why we’ve decided to shine a light on the truth about energy efficiency. Below, we’ve take on three of the biggest energy efficiency myths and gone into a bit more detail about why these common misconceptions just aren’t accurate.

3 Energy Efficiency Myths (And Why They’re Wrong)

Though there are a lot of myths out there about home HVAC and energy usage, perhaps one of the biggest areas of confusion is energy efficiency. Here are three of the top common misconceptions about energy efficiency and why they’re not quite right:

  1. Being energy-efficient is the same thing as using less energy.

Though taking steps to use less energy is a great way to reduce your monthly home energy costs, this is not exactly the same thing as being energy efficient. Think about it in terms of work. If you are “efficient” at your job, it does not mean that you do less work than you normally would, it just means that you are getting the same amount of output with less input, working smarter, not less.

The same is true of energy efficiency. While taking steps like turning down your thermostat or turning off lights when you leave a room will help you conserve energy, it does not necessarily make you more energy efficient. It’s important to note that energy efficiency and energy conservation both play an equal role in cutting down the amount of energy that you use and reducing energy costs. However, your quality of life and comfort does not have to take a hit just because you want to save more energy. Which brings us to our next myth…

  1. Energy efficiency requires drastic behavioral changes.

When you hear the phrase “energy efficient” do you envision someone who lives off-grid using fire to keep warm and solar energy to shower? If you do, you are probably under the impression that energy efficiency requires home owners to make drastic behavioral changes in order to save enough energy to make a difference.

However, the truth is that you don’t have to live in an uncomfortable home environment just to enjoy the perks of energy efficiency. Remember, efficiency means getting the same output with less input. Investing in more energy efficient appliances and home systems can help you enjoy the same comfort levels while using less energy overtime. Even if you’re not ready to upgrade your entire HVAC system, there are other, more simple and less costly measures that you can take to heat and cool your home more efficiently.

  1. It’s expensive to make your home more energy efficient.

If all you can think about is $$$ when you consider your options for home energy efficiency, then you may subscribe to the myth that making your home more energy efficient is expensive. However, when you look at the long-term vs. short-term costs and savings of energy efficiency measures for your home, you’ll notice that this is just not the case.

When looking at the long-term costs of energy efficiency, you’ll find that energy-efficiency is an investment that helps you save more over time. Though that may not change the fact that an energy-efficient HVAC system is out of your price range, there are other steps that you can take to improve efficiency in your home like improving your home’s insulation and sealing cracks and leaks around doors and windows.

Interested in learning more about energy efficiency? This is just one of the many home improvement topics we cover on our blog each month. To stay up-to-date with the latest in energy efficiency, HVAC, and home comfort, follow our blog.

Save Money this Holiday Season with These Tips for Home Comfort

The holiday season is upon us, and along with celebrating, many homeowners are also considering how their heating bill may rise during the colder months. As a holiday gift to our readers, we’re giving away some great tips that will help you save money on energy bills this season. These simple ideas are easy to implement and can go a long way in keeping your home energy costs down.

Tip Number 1:

Be sure that your home is free of any drafts or outdoor elements by caulking and weather stripping your doors and windows. If possible, also hang heavy drapes over extra drafty areas to keep the cold air out and the warm air from escaping.

Tip Number 2:

Even though fireplaces are a popular go-to for warming up a home, many experts agree that fireplaces can cause a house to actually lose more heat than it adds. So, enjoy your fireplace on special occasions, but save your energy (and your heat) if you are considering your fireplace to be a possible way to reduce your heating bills.

Tip Number 3:

Install a thermostat that’s programmable. By decreasing the temperature in your home while you are away at work or even sleeping, you can save big over the course of a year. Many people sleep with heavy blankets, so a couple degrees’ drop won’t be very noticeable to most people, but lowering your home’s temperature for 8 hours each night can save you up to 5% on your home’s heating costs. If you also set your thermostat to drop to a lower temperature while you’re working, you’ll be able to save even more. The investment in a programmable thermostat is well worth the small cost upfront. These types of thermostats can be purchased at home improvement stores in various models and usually fall within the range of $60 to $200 USD.

Tip Number 4:

Utilize those sunny days! If you have south facing windows in your home, be sure to open the windows wide to let the sun shine in. The natural heat from the sun can add a significant amount of warmth to rooms, which means your furnace won’t have to work as hard to keep your home toasty.

Tip Number 5:

If you’re big on holiday lights, simply switching to LED lights can save you money on your electric bill. These types of lights use about 75% more energy than traditional incandescent holiday bulbs, and they last approximately 25 years. Save even more energy (and money) by unplugging your lights when you go to sleep.

Tip Number 6:

Layer up! Sweaters, blankets, and slippers or thick socks are perfect for reducing your heating bills. It seems obvious, but simply wrapping up in a blanket or by layering on a heavy sweater can go a long way in making you more comfortable in your home during the wintertime. By making yourself warmer and keeping cold air off of your body, you’ll be less likely to crank up the thermostat during colder weather.

Looking for more ways to save money this holiday season? A new, energy efficient HVAC unit may be just what you need. Contact us today for more information about our quality line of HVAC systems and products.

Thinking of Living Off-Grid? 3 Heating & Cooling Tips for Homesteaders

 

More and more American families are choosing to live off-grid or at least adopt some of the practices of homesteaders in order to make a more positive impact on their environment. Even if you are not planning to live completely off the grid, these alternative heating and cooling options can help you reduce energy consumption and may even be able to help you save some money in the long run.

Tips for Off-Grid Heating and Cooling

Here are some tips for heating and cooling for those who want to live off-grid:

  1. Make sure that your home is well-insulated.

One of the most important first steps in transitioning to off-grid heating and cooling is making sure that your home is well-insulated. A significant amount of energy is wasted when poor insulation allows warm or cool air inside the home to escape. By checking that your home is well-insulated and fixes any problem areas, you can help increase energy efficiency.

It is important to note that this is vital for any homeowner, not just those who are living off-grid. Making sure that your home is well-insulated will help you reduce the amount of energy needed to heat your home in cooler months and cool it down during warmer seasons. If you have an older home with an attic, make sure that you check this insulation. Any cracks or leaks in doors and windows should also be sealed as these areas often let air escape.

  1. Harness the power of the sun.

Solar energy is not only great for producing electricity, but it can also be used to heat your home. With passive solar heating, you can heat your home by designing your property to allow sufficient amounts of sunlight in. This type of solar heating requires special modifications such as dark colored floors, many windows, and insulation. Active solar heating involves using solar collectors to heat water that is used to maintain a comfortable temperature throughout the home.

There are also solar air conditioning options which allow you to harness the power of the sun in order to cool your home down. A DC air conditioner runs on solar power during the day and solar-powered battery by night. These air conditioners sometimes require a larger up-front investment. However, there is often a quick return on investment given that they do not use electricity to run.

  1. Heat your home the old-fashioned way.

One of the most common off-grid heating options is the use of fire. Throughout history, this has been one of the most popular heating methods because it is fairly simple and quick to implement. This is also one of the more cost-effective options for those who are not able to implement solar technology right away.

Though heating with fire can be effective, it can only cover so much of an area. Back when fire was the main source of heat, families would heat the main living areas, allowing the bedrooms to become heated through convection and using blankets and layers of clothing to keep warm during the night. If you want to heat the entire house, you would need to have a fireplace or wood-burning stove in each room of your home. Due to the fact that most homes do not have these accommodations, this off-grid heating option requires some lifestyle changes.

Do you want to find ways to save energy without going completely off-grid? We would love to talk to you about your energy efficient heating and cooling options. Give us a call today.