Fall Energy Tips

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Chris Balzer

The official first day of fall was September 22nd.  We don’t experience fall like most parts of the county, it seems like most years we just jump right into winter.   We choose to live in paradise for a reason, beautiful beaches and warm temperatures.  Here are just a few things we can do to lower energy consumption and make our homes more energy efficient.

Switch to LED lighting

Consider replacing your incandescent bulbs with LED bulbs, which operate at a lower wattage and produce much less heat.  LED bulbs use 75% less energy and last 50 times longer than incandescent bulbs, saving you money on electricity and replacement costs.  A 6 to 10 watts LED bulb is comparable to a 40 to 60 watt incandescent bulb.  In fact, 90% of the energy used to light an incandescent bulb is heat and only 10% produces light wasting energy and producing unwanted heat in your home.  When I was growing up, we used incandescent bulbs to bake cupcakes with a popular toy.  This just demonstrates that incandescent bulbs are similar to having tiny ovens around your house.

Lower water heater temperatures

Many of our water heaters are set to 140° from the manufacturer.  Lowering the setting to 120° will save energy and money.  When showering, many of us will start with the hot water turned all the way up and then add cold water for a comfortable temperature.  By doing this, you are cooling the hot water which you spent energy and money to heat.  Lowering water heater temperatures saves energy and money.  Many of our dish washer and clothes washers, have heating elements in them to increase temperatures while washing so you don’t need to have 140° heated water.

Leaky Faucets

My faucets don’t leak.  Are you sure?  One way to find out is to put a dry cup under the faucet in the sink over night, when not in use.  In the morning check the cup and if there is water in it, your faucet leaks.  Well, my faucet only drips a little and not really worried about it.  Even the slightest of drips waste energy costing you money.  Let’s say you have a faucet which drips once every 2 seconds.  It’s hard to be precise on volume so we are going to estimate the drip volume at ¼ ml.  One gallon contains roughly 3,785 ml.  One leaky faucet will waste approximately 2.5 gallons of water per day and approximately 912 gallons of water per year.  Now think if you have two or more dripping faucets.  Faucets can easily be fixed and some manufacturers will send you replacement parts for free, you just have to ask.

Quick Tips

  • Change your HVAC filters.  Clean filters allow more air flow putting less strain on the unit, extending the life with less maintenance.
  • Use dryer balls when drying cloths or bulky items like sheets.  Dryer balls help separate cloths allowing more heat between items and some help absorb moisture shortening drying time.
  • Check for cracks, leaks and drafts around windows and doors.  Many times a simple replacement of your weather stripping or an inexpensive tube of silicone or caulk can seal these gaps saving you energy and increasing comfort.
  • In the spring and summer times, the fan should spin in a counter clockwise direction to push cool air downward.  In fall and winter, fans should move in a clockwise direction.

By just following a few simple steps you can increase your comfort and save energy.  It is always a good idea to consult with a professional when looking to be more energy efficient when it comes to larger projects.  The DOE (Department of Energy) states that properly insulating and weatherizing your home can save up to 30% on heating and cooling.

Chris Balzer is Founder and President of Emerald Coast Energy Solutions which is a Smile Provider Company.  We provide smiles to our customers after installing our high energy efficient products, increasing comfort and lowering energy bills.  For more information on how to save and become energy efficient schedule an inspection by calling (850) 588-2870, visit www.trusteces.com or email wecare@trusteces.com and Beat the Heat.