4 Reasons to Reinsulate Your Home

Do you have adequate insulation in your home? Many older homes and some newer ones do not have adequate insulation for maximum efficiency. Some homes have little or no insulation, making it harder to keep them cool or warm. Since insulation is hidden away in walls, attics and crawl spaces, you may not know what amount of insulation you have. Here are four reasons to check your insulation levels and consider reinsulating if they are not sufficient.

  1. Energy savings. Insulation helps keep your home cooler in the summer and warmer during the winter. This added layer of insulating materials in your walls can reduce your energy usage and have a significant impact on your utility bills.
  2. Insulation settling. Even if you have insulation, it may have settled over the years. Investing in new insulation, preferably blown-in insulation, can improve the level of insulation in your home.
  3. Sound-proofing. An added benefit of more insulation is how it helps sound-proof your home. Keep outdoor noises dulled and reduce the sounds that leave your home for improved privacy. Adding insulation in the interior walls can help muffle sounds – this is perfect for noisy rooms like the kid’s play room or a theatre room in your home.
  4. Keep it green. New insulation can help you reduce the energy you use, reducing pollution and use of natural resources. Make sure to choose a green option in insulation like blown-in R19 that is made from recycled products.

A well-insulated home can make it more comfortable all year round and save you money on your energy bills. If you think you may be losing heat or cold air through thinly insulated walls, call your local HVAC service to have an efficiency evaluation performed.

Posted on behalf of:
ClimateSmith, LLC
5950 Shiloh Road East
Alpharetta, GA 30005
(770) 475-9555

5 Tips to Reduce A/C Energy Costs

You may be thankful for your air conditioning when the temperatures skyrocket during the summer, but you may also be less than thrilled when your electricity bill comes. Keeping your home climate-controlled can account for at least half of your energy bill, costing a small fortune each month. As the days get hotter, your energy bill can get out of control. Here are 5 tips to help minimize your energy costs while still enjoying the benefits of A/C.

  1. Close your shades during the day. Use your window treatments to reduce sunshine and heat in your home by closing drapes or blinds in the morning.
  2. Use a programmable thermostat. If you have a programmable thermostat, use it. If you don’t have one, this is a good investment. Program your A/C for higher temps when you are away from home or during the night when you are sleeping.
  3. Invest in outdoor shade. Shading your home can have a big impact on your inside temps. Planting trees to shade from the afternoon sun can help reduce cooling costs. Outdoor awnings that shade windows and your A/C unit are also good investments.
  4. Schedule regular maintenance. Keeping your A/C unit in top condition can help reduce energy costs while preventing breakdowns. Schedule regular service at least twice a year.
  5. Use fans. Even with A/C, fans can offer a cooling effect as they circulate the air and the movement cools your skin. You can set the A/C temp higher while still enjoying a cooler home.

If you have an older A/C unit, this can also contribute to higher energy costs. You may want to consider investing in a newer, more energy efficient unit that could pay for itself with lower electricity costs.

Posted on behalf of:
ClimateSmith, LLC
Alpharetta, GA
(770) 475-9555

Advantages of Central Air Conditioning Over Room Units

A room air conditioner, which most commonly fits into a window, is called a “room” unit because it really isn’t capable of cooling much more than that. It typically plugs into a standard electrical outlet and doesn’t require special wiring or professional services. A room air conditioner cools hot air pulled in from the outside and blows it into the room with a fan. If you purchase a unit that is too small for the room you want to cool, it will run continuously while increasing your utility bill without making you feel much cooler. However, if the space is too small for the size of the room air conditioning unit, it will cool but inefficiently, with a build-up of humidity. As you can see, getting the right size of unit for your room is critical to your comfort and cost.

Conversely, a central air conditioner actually cools the air outside, bringing it into each room of your house at once, through a ductwork system that returns the air for cooling again. This usually works with a forced-air furnace and its related ducting. Central air units are practically maintenance-free once they are installed. They are quiet, effective and energy efficient, so, ultimately, they can save you money. Programmable thermostats can also help to save costs on utility cooling bills. 

A few hundred dollars will get you a room air conditioner but installing a central air system will cost you thousands. Of course, the type of air conditioning you should choose would depend on your individual situation. If you already own your own home with an existing forced-air furnace and ductwork, now may just be the best time for you to call your local HVAC professional to have a new central air unit installed.

Tips for Keeping Summer Cooling Costs Down

Yes, summer is on its way! With continually rising energy costs, here are some easy ways to keep those cooling costs down, without giving up the air conditioning on those hot evenings.

Plug up any holes. On those warm summer days, you don’t want to cool the neighborhood with your air conditioner. Foam and caulking can help seal problem areas, as well as extra insulation.  Lighten the load of your air conditioning unit by shutting the doors and vents of unused rooms in your home. Also, it will be easier for your air conditioner to maintain a cooler temperature in your home if you keep the shades and curtains on your windows closed to prevent the sun from shining in. This is especially important for those windows on the west side of your house, which would receive the sun during the hottest part of the day.

Keeping the filters clean on your air conditioning units will help them to work more efficiently.  Consider programming your thermostat to allow the temperature in your home to rise during the day if no one is home. Unplug all electronics that are not being used or use a Smart Strip that cuts power when it’s not needed. Electronics, turned off but plugged in, can still draw power from the outlets. Consider other means of cooking instead of turning on your oven, which heats up the rest of your house and overworks your air conditioner.  Taking cooler showers in the summertime will also save on costs over time.

Finally, bring in an air conditioning professional to service your HVAC system once a year and have them check for potential problems that could hinder efficiency (like mold or rusting). Your home may also benefit from an overall check by a professional energy auditor. 

Choosing a High Efficiency Air Conditioner

If you are in the market for a new central air conditioning system, you are in luck!  Modern central air conditioning systems are much more efficient than systems manufactured fifteen or twenty years ago.  According to EPA estimates, you can save as much as a third on your energy bills by replacing your old inefficient air conditioner with a new energy efficient model.

The energy efficiency of a central air conditioning system is expressed as its Seasonal Energy Efficiency Rating (SEER).  Modern air conditioners have SEER ratings from 10 to 17.  The higher the number, the more efficient the unit.

Before you rush off and buy the most energy efficient model on the market, take the time to evaluate your air conditioning needs and decide which model would provide the best return on your investment.  The highest efficiency units are more expensive than standard efficiency units.  Your HVAC professional can help, but what you need to look at is whether the energy savings from the higher efficiency air conditioner is greater than the difference in the purchase price.

If you live in a very warm climate where your air conditioner will run a lot, you will probably come out ahead by paying more for a more efficient new HVAC system. On the other hand, if you live in a cooler climate where the air conditioner is used infrequently, a less expensive, less efficient system would be the most economical in the long run.

In either case, be sure to have your HVAC technician install a new programmable thermostat that’s matched to your system to maximize your energy savings and minimize your carbon footprint.