You may have made New Year’s Resolutions that have to do with personal health and wellbeing such as losing weight, quitting smoking, traveling more, eating healthier, and learning something new, but we forget that our personal environment plays a huge factor in all of our life changes.
From natural lighting and climate control to water and indoor air quality, if you want to be less stressed, more organized, and richer in 2020, a great place to start is your home! We’ve all learned from our own experiences that when it comes to making resolutions for the new year, if you really want to meet your goals you have to break them down into smaller, more manageable tasks.
Just because January 1st has already passed doesn’t mean it’s too late to make any resolutions. Every new day is a chance for you to make changes in your life. We’ve curated four manageable and budget-friendly tasks. You’ll feel great from having checked them off your list – and you can feel good about doing your part to reduce your carbon footprint.
4 New Year’s Resolutions for the Home
According to the U.S. Energy Department, you can save up to 10% a year on heating and cooling costs by raising or lowering the thermostat 7°-10°F for 8 hours a day from its normal setting.
Modern thermostats give you the ability to control the temperature of your home from your phone. This gives you precise control over the temperature in your home at all times, saving energy and increasing comfort.
Let’s say it’s freezing outside and you want your home to feel nice and warm when you get there. Instead of waiting however long it would take for your heat to kick on, you can set the desired temperature before you leave work so that you can walk into warm home after a long, cold day.
With programmable thermostats, prices and features vary widely, allowing you to pick the best one for your home. Just make sure you consult with a professional HVAC technician since the thermostat must be compatible with your existing system. Some thermostats can damage your unit and even void your manufacturer’s warranty.
Insulate Hot and Cold Water Pipes
Insulating hot water pipes helps you save a lot of energy by preventing heat from escaping. Insulating cold pipes, while less obvious, is still a good idea, especially if your pipes are prone to freezing or condensation.
Just like a cold glass of water on a hot day, moisture from the air will condense on the surfaces of your cold-water pipes, which can then drip on whatever is below the pipes. If you are storing valuable items near your pipes, you will want to protect them from the possible moisture dripping from the pipes by adding insulation to your pipes.
When you insulate your cold-water pipes, water won’t condense water on the surface of the pipes and contribute to your home’s moisture issues. Additionally, if the temperatures dip below freezing, as they often do on the East Coast, it comes as no surprise that your plumbing pipes could freeze and potentially burst.
There are several ways to prevent frozen pipes in the winter and when away from home, but one of the best ways is to insulate cold water pipes. This keeps the heat energy in place, helping protect it from the colder surrounding temperatures.
And while the energy savings are small, insulating cold water pipes also saves a bit of energy by preventing the low-level draw of heat energy from your building.
Save More Water
Water is a precious natural resource in limited supply. One of the best ways you can make your home green and energy-efficient is by reducing your home water demand.
This can be done with a quick call to your local plumber. They will discuss various water-saving strategies available to you, such as:
- Irrigation and drought-tolerant landscaping (for example, xeriscaping)
- Low-flow plumbing fixtures (showerheads, faucets, toilets, and appliances)
- Tankless water heating
- Whole-house water filtration system
- Smart strategies for conserving water at home, such as taking shorter showers
Consider Upgrading Your Heating and Cooling System
If you find yourself in the market for a new air conditioning system and have not kept up with the industry over the years, determining which air conditioning system is right for you can be a pretty daunting task. That’s why you should always consult a reputable HVAC contractor when choosing a new system for your home. The experts at Hiller Plumbing, Heating & Cooling are happy to answer any questions you may have.
Air conditioners are assigned a SEER (Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio) rating, which denotes how efficiently that system is able to cool your home. The higher the SEER, the more efficiently the system will cool your home. It is a good idea to invest in the air conditioning system with the highest SEER you can afford on your budget. As efficiency increases, the cost of purchasing an air conditioner generally does as well. The energy savings you will enjoy over time will help to offset that initial cost, though.
Now, if the SEER rating tells you how efficiently your air conditioning system will cool your house, why is it that some of these air conditioners also have a separate acronym on them? If you are looking at a home comfort system with an HSPF rating on it, then you are actually looking at a heat pump. HSPF stands for Heating Seasonal Performance Factor, and the higher this number is the more efficiently that heat pump will heat your home. Air source heat pumps transfer ambient heat into or out of your home, depending on the season, and do so very efficiently. If you are interested in reducing cooling and heating costs, an air source heat pump with high SEER and HSPF ratings is a great way to go.
AFUE is a measure of a gas furnace’s energy efficiency. It stands for Annual Fuel Utilization Efficiency and is represented as a percentage. If a furnace has an AFUE rating of 80%, 20% of the gas that is consumed is wasted.
To learn more about ways to save water and energy at home, contact Sobieski Services. Our goal is to help educate our customers in Delaware, Pennsylvania, Maryland, and New Jersey about energy efficiency, comfort, and safety issues.