An A/C. Like New. Like Now

It’s hard to argue with a simple principle: If you take care of something, it lasts longer.  That’s true whether you’re exercising to tone your body, driving your car to a service appointment or updating the exterior paint on your house.  And it’s certainly true for taking care of your home’s air conditioning system.

Any piece of equipment can show signs of deterioration as it ages year after year.  Yet routine maintenance can substantially slow the aging process – while neglect can lead to a system a failure long before its time.Lennox rebates

To turn back the hands of time, schedule a routine tune-up every year on your air conditioner.  With this check by a professional tech, you’ll get a clear picture of how your system is holding up as it performs its duties of keeping you cool and comfortable. Filters

By tightening connections, lubricating parts, cleaning coils and blower components, checking drains, clearing debris, adjusting settings, checking refrigerant levels and checking controls, your system can be restored to its top condition, and you’ve got a much better chance of avoiding inconvenient repairs.

It’s always a good idea to take care of your large investments, and your air conditioning system plays heavily into your home’s value.  Plus, reliable, energy-efficient operation is well worth the time it takes for a friendly visit from a technician.

To keep your cooling comfort at peak performance, call us to request a tune-up on your air conditioning system. We’re here to keep things running smoothly all season long.

NOTE: Act fast to save!  Lennox rebates expire June 9th, 2017.

Going Green with Upgrades

Lennox rebatesIf you’re considering home renovations and improvements this spring, pay attention to how newer, more advanced “green” appliances can reduce your energy use.  You’ll not only enjoy greater comfort, convenience and reliability from technologically-enhanced features, but you’ll also shell out less “green” from your wallet in energy costs.

Replacing aging refrigerators, dishwashers, freezers, washers, and dryers with more energy-efficient models is part of a sound strategy for controlling energy costs.  But, of course, your air conditioning and heating takes the biggest bite out of your energy funds – as much as half or more in some cases.

According to the Department of Energy, switching to high-efficiency air conditioners as part of your energy conservation efforts can help you reduce your energy use for cooling by 20-50%.  That’s a huge savings that adds up quickly.

Over the years, air conditioning technology has made great improvements.  If you compared one of today’s best models with an air conditioner made in the mid-1970s, you’d find that it uses 30-50% less energy to produce the same amount of cool air.  But even if your air conditioning system is just 10 years old, you could save 20-40% in cooling energy by replacing it with a newer model.

Remember – it’s not just the unit itself that saves energy.  You also need equipment that is properly sized for your home and professionally installed.  Units that are too large won’t adequately remove humidity.  Units that are too small won’t be able to maintain comfortable cooling on really hot days.  To talk about upgrading your air conditioning system, or other energy-saving options, give us a call at 402-362-5702.

5 Common Energy Myths

Some ideas are so widely believed they don’t even cause a second thought. Although often true, such common wisdom may be based on outdated or false information. Popular misconceptions about energy use can reduce home comfort and raise utility bills. Listed below are five energy myths that may be costing you.

  1. If you set the thermostat higher or lower it will heat or cool a room faster.

    No matter what the thermostat setting, air conditioners and furnaces work at the same speed. As a matter of fact, more energy may be wasted as the system continues to run to reach the further set point.IMG_1696

  2. If you leaving the lights on it uses less energy than turning them on and off.

    In most instances, the small surge of power needed to turn a light on is much less than the power that is wasted by leaving it on when it’s not needed.  In fact, MythBusters busted this myth in one of their episodes years ago.IMG_1697

  3. If you close off vents you will reduce heating and cooling costs.

    Closing vents is a terrible way to save on energy costs. Cooling and heating systems are designed to distribute air evenly; closing vents causes pressure to build up. This pressure build up often results in duct leaks that waste energy.

  4. If you leaving a ceiling fan on it will cool a room.

    Ceiling fans circulate air which makes you feel cooler.  This allows you to save energy by raising the temperature on the thermostat. However, they don’t cool the air. Leaving fans on in empty rooms wastes energy.IMG_1698

  5. Hand washing dishes is cheaper than using a dishwasher.

    It’s a widely believed misconception that dishwashers are convenient, but use more water and energy than hand washing. When in fact, washing a typical load of dishes in a dishwasher uses 37% less water.  Likewise, using a dishwasher, rather than hand washing, may cut your annual energy costs by more than $40, according to ENERGY STAR.IMG_1699

    Valentine

    Happy Valentines Day!

50 Ways your Home can Save the Earth – A Good to be Home Infographic

Reduce your negative impact on the environment and improve your well being with 50 ways your home can save the earth.

Just a note: I apologize for the metric system measurements.  The source is from the United Kingdom.50-ways-your-home-could-save-the-earth

Source: 50 Ways your Home can Save the Earth – A Good to be Home Infographic

DIY Energy Saving Checklist

Listed below are some simple things you can check to better control your electrical usage throughout the year.

  • Install flow reducing shower heads
  • Insulate your water heater, unless it’s a newer insulated model
  • Insulate pipes in unheated spaces
  • Vacuum the vents and coils for the refrigerator/freezer twice a year because dust makes them work longer to cool.
  • Don’t block air circulation around the refrigerator
  • Replace gaskets that don’t seal tightly on the refrigerator/freezer
  • The higher the air temperatures are in a garage in the summer, the higher the operating costs of refrigerator/freezer will be.
  • Use lower wattage lamps in fixtures where you don’t need as much light, such as hallways and bedrooms.
  • Use florescent fixtures and lamps whenever possible.  They use a quarter of an incandescent lamp, and provide the same amount of light, and last at least 7 times as long.
halloween snoopy

Happy Halloween!!!

Fill the Gaps to Save Energy

Air leaks

Caulking is an awesome thing to do, assuming you like to stay warm in winter.  That toasty air flowing from your heater or furnace has a better chance of keeping you comfortable if you keep it indoors.

Your heating and cooling take up about half of the total energy costs in your home – and with proper sealing and insulation, you can save up to about 20 percent of those heating and cooling costs.

Air leaks aren’t hard to find.  As a matter of fact, they fell like “leaking air.”  You can find leaks by moving your hand around the frames of windows and doors.  If you feel air coming through, there’s an opening ready for sealing.

Air leaksGaps can occur where different materials meet – such as between brick and wood siding or between the foundation and walls.  Potential trouble spots include: mail chutes, electrical and gas service entrances, cable and phone lines, outdoor water faucets and vents/fans.  Caulking is used to fill many gaps; weather stripping is for the movable joints of your doors and windows.

Sealing your heating and cooling ducts can also improve the efficiency of your heating and cooling system by as much as 20 percent.  The performance of your system, however, is perhaps the most significant factor affecting energy use.

If your system is more than 10 years old or isn’t keeping you comfortable, have it evaluated.  If it’s time for a replacement, consider replacing your system with a unit that has a higher efficiency rating.  These systems reduce energy spending and increase comfort.  We can help you find the system that’s right for you.  Call us for details at 402-362-5702.

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Home Efficiency Checklist

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Weather stripping around doors.

Here are a number of simple and inexpensive DIY projects that will reduce your heating cost this winter and cooling costs next summer.  These projects will also make your home a healthier and more comfortable place to live.

  • Weather-strip the attic access door.
  • Seal the holes between the heated space and the attic.
  • Check weather-stripping on windows and doors inside and outside of the house.
  • Caulk along baseboards with a clear sealant.
  • Replace your old leaky windows.  When unable to replace an inefficient window, install plastic over the inside of the window.  If you desire something more permanent than plastic, install an interior storm window.
  • Replace broken glass and any loose caulking.
  • Replace an old warped entry door with a new insulated door.
  • Keep dryer vent screens lint free.
  • Seal any holes in the foundation wall with caulk for foam sealant.
  • If you have a crawl space, place a layer of plastic on the dirt floor.
Window

Make sure your windows are sealed.