Greater Cleveland area homeowners desiring a more energy-efficient home should view the various components as a whole-house system in order to achieve the greatest reduction in utility costs.
The following overview of these 10 integrated components may assist you:
- Structure. To reduce air leakage and improve the air barrier, apply weatherstripping or caulk to seal small cracks near leaky doors or other drafty areas in the building envelope, and apply foam sealant in larger gaps.
- Ductwork. Have a professional HVAC contractor evaluate your ductwork for leakages. Insulate and seal inadequate areas.
- Attic insulation. Upgrading attic insulation to the Cleveland area’s recommended R-value improves the thermal barrier.
- Windows. Installing double-paned, low-emissivity (low-E) or storm windows improves both the air and thermal barriers.
- HVAC system. To improve the heating and cooling system’s efficiency, have the equipment professionally serviced, or consider upgrading to more energy-efficient HVAC appliances, properly sized for your particular heating and cooling loads. Programmable thermostats and zoned systems provide even greater efficiency.
- Water heater. Reduce energy consumption by upgrading to a more energy-efficient water heater. Keep the temperature at 125 or below for maximum energy savings.
- Lighting. Substituting low-wattage LED or compact fluorescent bulbs for incandescent and halogen bulbs consumes less energy and reduces the overall heat load.
- Fans. Due to their “wind-chill” effect when operating, ceiling fans uses to complement cooling in the home allow you to increase your thermostat’s setting without loss of comfort, reducing the load on the HVAC system. In the winter, you can reverse the fan blade direction (to clockwise) to blow upwards where the breeze will help redistribute warm air that collects near the ceiling.
- Appliances. Upgrading to energy-efficient dish and clothes washers, dryers and cooking ranges further reduces overall energy consumption.
- Everyday savings. Additional energy savings can be gained as follows:
- Keep dry vents clean.
- Operate washing machine and dishwasher only when full. Air dry whenever possible.
- Ensure warm-air registers, baseboard heaters and radiators are clean and unblocked.
- Turn off electronics and lights when not in use.
- Take shorter showers.
- Use landscaping to maximize winter solar heat and minimize heat gain in summertime.
- When the outside weather allows it, open up you windows to freshen your house. Take advantage of cooler night-time and early morning outside temperatures, to delay the point in the day when you turn on the A/C.
If you have any questions about creating a more energy-efficient home, or about upgrading to a more energy-efficient system, please contact us at Geisel Heating, Air Conditioning and Plumbing. Our award-winning professionals have been serving the greater Cleveland area for over 75 years.
Our goal is to help educate our customers in Cleveland, Ohio about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems). For more information about energy efficiency and other HVAC topics, download our free Home Comfort Resource guide.
For those Do it Yourselfers who would rather take control of your own indoor comfort, you can shop our online store for replacement parts, products and accessories!
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