Do Energy Efficient Light Bulbs Really Save You Money?

Do Energy Efficient Light Bulbs Really Save You Money?

Do Energy Efficient Light Bulbs Really Save You Money?

Do Energy Efficient Light Bulbs Really Save You Money?

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One of easiest and most cost-effective ways to cut your energy bills is by replacing your traditional incandescent light bulbs with energy efficient versions, and there are a couple of different options you can choose from:

But do energy efficient light bulbs really save you money? In general, these alternatives use 25 – 80% less energy and last up to 10 times longer than the traditional incandescent bulb. While the initial cost for energy efficient bulbs is higher, you save money over the course of the life of the bulb, which lasts significantly longer than its conventional equivalent.

To demonstrate how much you can save by switching to energy efficient light bulbs, the table below compares a 60-watt traditional incandescent light bulb against energy efficient ones that provide similar levels of light. The statistics regarding cost are based on the following conditions:

  • 2 hours a day of usage
  • Electricity rate of 11 cents per kilowatt-hour

light-bulb-energy-table

Source: www.energy.gov

To learn more about the advantages of energy efficient lighting fixtures and bulbs, talk to a certified RESNET Home Energy Professional.

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Quick Consumer Guide to Home Energy Efficiency

Quick Consumer Guide to Home Energy Efficiency

Quick Consumer Guide to Home Energy Efficiency

Quick Consumer Guide to Home Energy Efficiency

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Energy efficient homes cost less to run, are more comfortable to live in and enjoy higher resale values. Here’s a quick consumer guide to home energy efficiency and what you should look for when making your home more energy efficient.

1.     APPLIANCES

Household appliance consumption accounts for 21 – 25% of your total utility bill. ENERGY STAR® qualified appliances are certified as being energy efficient and use 20 – 30% less energy than non ENERGY STAR models.

  • ENERGY STAR qualified refrigerators use 20% less energy.
  • ENERGY STAR qualified dishwashers use 10% less energy and 18% less water.
  • ENERGY STAR qualified TVs will use 30% less energy (on average).
  • ENERGY STAR qualified cordless phones can use up to 90% less energy.

2.     WINDOWS

Windows can be responsible for anywhere from 10 – 25% of your heating and cooling costs. Windows that aren’t energy efficient are drafty in winter and let in too much hot air in summer.

  • Use weather stripping to air seal your windows against drafts.
  • Invest in interior shades and make sure that they are properly installed. Interior shades are highly effective at reducing the amount of solar heat gain and double as an attractive window treatment.
  • Install double-paned storm windows with “low-e” coatings; they can reduce heat loss by 25 – 50%. E-coating glass is the most common type of energy efficient glass.
  • Replace old windows with new ENERGY STAR qualified energy efficient windows, which can cut energy loss significantly.

3.     LIGHTS

By replacing your 60-watt incandescent bulbs with 13-watt energy efficient CFLs (Compact Fluorescent Lamps), you only pay for 13 watts of energy usage per bulb instead of 60, while getting the same amount of light.

  • CFLs use 75% less energy than incandescent bulbs.
  • CFLs last 10 times longer than incandescent light bulbs.
  • They produce 50 – 70 lumens per watt, compared to the 10 – 17 produced by incandescent bulbs.
  • A household that invests $90 in CFLs (changing 30 fixtures) will save between $440 and $1500 over the next 5 years.

4.     INSULATION

Effective insulation is key to improving home energy efficiency and keeping your home comfortable. You could reduce your energy costs by up to 50% by properly insulating walls, crawlspaces, floors and garages. Ensure you have the correct R-Value for your region.

  • An R-Value is a rating that determines the insulating material’s ability to reduce heat flow. A greater ‘R’ value means an increased ability to reduce heat flow.
  • Your attic insulation should be between R-30 and R-60, depending on where you live.
  • Insulate vents and ducts to prevent leakage of heated or cooled air.

To really understand how to make your home energy efficient, contact a certified RESNET Home Energy Auditor for an energy audit. An energy audit is a detailed home examination that pinpoints where and how your home is losing energy, and determines which cost-effective measures are needed to address the problems.

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Five Things You Didn’t Know About Energy Audits

Five Things You Didn’t Know About Energy Audits

Five Things You Didn’t Know About Energy Audits

Five Things You Didn’t Know About Energy Audits

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As a homeowner, you may already know that home energy audits help lower your utility bills and improve home comfort, but they provide even more benefits than you might think. Here are five things you probably didn’t know about energy audits:

1. There are two types energy audits:

  •  Home Energy Survey
    • A visual inspection not including the use of diagnostic testing equipment.
    • Assesses the general energy performance of an existing home including:
      • Building envelope features (windows, doors, insulation, ducts) and ages.
      • Heating, cooling and ventilation equipment types, characteristics and ages.
      • Appliance and lighting characteristics.
      • Comfort complaints.
      • Visible moisture issues.
      • Visible health and safety issues.
    • A report of the complete audit is provided, including basic recommendations for improving the home’s energy efficiency, as well as low-cost, do-it-yourself tasks.
    • Takes approximately one hour to complete.
  • General Energy Audit
    • Collects more detailed information about the home’s energy usage, as well as a more thorough financial analysis of its energy costs.
    • Includes diagnostic testing using specialized equipment to determine:
      • The location and number of air leaks in the building envelope.
      • How much leakage is occurring from HVAC distribution ducts.
      • The effectiveness of the insulation inside walls and ceilings.
      • If there are any existing or potential combustion safety issues.
      • Includes a detailed report providing suitable retrofit recommendations and specifications.
    • Takes 3-4 hours to complete, depending on the size of your home.

2. Depending on the type of home energy audit you get, you can expect to pay $300 to $800 for one.

3. A home energy audit can help increase your home’s resale value and marketability.

  • A home’s market value increases by $20 for every $1 decrease in annual energy costs.
  • Decreasing your energy costs by $300 per year increases the value of your home by $6,000.

4. You can defray the costs of many energy improvements recommended by an energy audit through government energy tax credits and incentives.

5. You can expect a good return on investment when you opt for energy-saving improvements to your home, around 16% after taking into account the money spent making those improvements. And your ROI continues to increase as energy prices rise, which means the value of your investment grows accordingly.

To schedule a home energy audit, contact your local certified RESNET Home Energy Auditor and enjoy the peace of mind of knowing you’re working with a recognized industry professional.

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Estimating Your Appliances’ Energy Consumption

Estimating Your Appliances’ Energy Consumption

Estimating Your Appliances’ Energy Consumption

Estimating Your Appliances’ Energy Consumption

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While it’s become almost common knowledge now that many home appliances and electronics are guilty of helping drive up your energy bill if they’re not energy efficient models, it’s interesting to know how much energy they’re consuming. Fortunately, there’s a formula you can use to estimate your appliances’ energy consumption.

(Wattage × Hours Used Per Day) ÷ 1000 = Daily Kilowatt-hour (kWh) consumption

1 kilowatt (kW) = 1,000 Watts

When you multiply this by the number of days that the appliance is used over the course of one year, you’ll get the figure for the annual consumption in kWh per year.

Estimating the Annual Cost of Running an Appliance

It’s also interesting to get an idea of how much it’s costing you to run an appliance. Again, you can calculate this by multiplying the annual consumption in kWh per year (as calculated above) by your local utility’s rate per kWh consumed. This will give you an estimate of how much it’s costing you to run that appliance.

Some Examples:

Window fan:
(200 Watts × 4 hours/day × 120 days/year)  ÷ 1000
= 96 kWh × 11 cents/kWh = $10.56/year

Personal Computer and Monitor:
[(120 Watts + 150 Watts) × 4 hours/day × 365 days/year] ÷ 1000
= 394 kWh × 11 cents/kWh = $43.34/year

Because refrigerators are turned “on” all the time, in order to calculate the hours at which it operates at its maximum wattage, you need to divide the total time the refrigerator is plugged in by three. This is because although refrigerators are always on, they actually cycle on and off as needed to maintain the interior cooling temperatures.

Calculating Wattage

For most appliances, you can normally find the wattage either on the bottom or back, or in the nameplate. Keep in mind, though, it’s usually the maximum power that’s listed. Many appliances, however, have a range of settings that use different amounts of power (think volume on your radio: lower the volume, the less power used), so that actual amount of power being used will vary according to the setting.

If for whatever reason the wattage isn’t listed on the appliance, you can estimate it by using the following formula:

Current draw (in amperes) multiplied by the voltage used by the appliance.

Most U.S. appliances use 120 volts. Larger appliances though, such as clothes dryers and stoves, will use 240 volts unless otherwise specified. You can generally find the amperes stamped on the unit in place of the wattage. If the amperes aren’t listed, use a clamp-on ammeter (a tool used by electricians that clamps on one of the two wires on the appliance) to measure the current. You should take the reading immediately, while the appliance is running in order to get the actual amount of current that’s being used at that point. If you’re measuring the current being drawn by a motor, keep in mind that you’ll get a reading showing three times more current being drawn in the first second of the motor starting than when it’s running smoothly.

Some Typical Wattages of Appliances

  • Aquarium = 50–1210 Watts
  • Clock radio = 10
  • Coffee maker = 900–1200
  • Clothes washer = 350–500
  • Clothes dryer = 1800–5000
  • Dishwasher = 1200–2400
  • Dehumidifier = 785
  • Electric blanket (Single/Double) = 60 / 100
  • Fans
    • Ceiling = 65–175
    • Window = 55–250
    • Furnace = 750
    • Whole house = 240–750
  • Hair dryer = 1200–1875
  • Heater (portable) = 750–1500
  • Clothes iron = 1000–1800
  • Microwave oven = 750–1100
  • Personal computer
    • CPU – awake / asleep = 120 / 30 or less
    • Monitor – awake / asleep = 150 / 30 or less
    • Laptop = 50
  • Radio (stereo) = 70–400
  • Refrigerator (frost-free, 16 cubic feet) = 725
  • Televisions (color)
    • 19″ = 65–110
    • 27″ = 113
    • 36″ = 133
    • 53″ – 61″ Projection = 170
    • Flat screen = 120
  • Toaster = 800–1400
  • Toaster oven = 1225
  • VCR/DVD = 17–21 / 20–25
  • Vacuum cleaner = 1000–1440
  • Water heater (40 gallon) = 4500–5500
  • Water pump (deep well) = 250–1100
  • Water bed (with heater, no cover) = 120–380

While having a general idea about your appliances’ energy consumption is a good beginning, you should contact a certified RESNET Home Energy Auditor for an energy audit if you’re serious about lowering your utility bills and saving energy.

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Choosing the Right Power Strip

Choosing the Right Power Strip

Choosing the Right Power Strip

Choosing the Right Power Strip

Air Conditioning Repair

The modern home is packed with electronics. From TVs to DVD players and gaming consoles, these gadgets, which are so much a part of our lives, also cost us money in terms of energy consumption. In fact, they can add up to nearly 10% of a home’s monthly electricity bill. One of the reasons for this is that many of these products aren’t actually turned off when not in use; instead, they’re on standby, which means they’re still drawing power. They become what are known as “energy vampires”. An advanced power strip can solve this problem, but choosing the right power strip is key to maximizing energy savings.

Similar to conventional power strips, APS are designed primarily to deal with home entertainment areas and home offices. They prevent electronics from drawing power when not being used. APS come in a variety of types to suit different requirements.

1. Timer Power Strip

  • Automatically turns off outlets based on a pre-set schedule.
  • Look for a digital or dial timer.

2. Activity Monitor Power Strip

  • Scans for movement in the room and turns off outlets if there is none.
  • Look for a motion sensor or infrared eye.

3. Remote Switch Power Strip

  • Can be turned off with a remote switch.
  • Look for a tethered or remote switch.

4. Master Controlled Power Strip

  • When the user turns off the primary device (i.e., TV), the power strip automatically shuts down connected devices (i.e., game console, DVD player, etc.).
  • Look for one outlet labeled as “master”.

5. Masterless Power Strip

  • Will cut power to all outlets where plugged in devices have been turned off, thereby eliminating vampire loads.
  • Shouldn’t have a “master” outlet; may have “automatic switching” or “power detection” label.

In addition to using an APS to control your electronics, look for ENERGY STAR qualified devices when buying. ENERGY STAR qualified devices are designed to save energy without sacrificing features or functionality. For a range of energy-saving tips and advice, visit the RESNET SmartHome.

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Which Appliances Cost the Most Money to Run?

Which Appliances Cost the Most Money to Run?

Which Appliances Cost the Most Money to Run?

Which Appliances Cost the Most Money to Run?

Air Conditioning Repair

Appliances that are not operating in an energy efficient way can be one of the reasons for your high energy bills. If you’re wondering which appliances cost the most money to run, here’s a list of the top five:

1.    Heating, Ventilation and Air Conditioning

The heating, ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC) system comes in at number one on the list. Up to 44 percent of the typical American homeowner’s utility bill will go towards their HVAC costs. According to ENERGY STAR, once your HVAC system has hit the 15-year mark, you’ll probably have to look into upgrading to an energy efficient version. If replacing your HVAC system is not feasible, here are some steps you can take to help your system work more efficiently:

2.   Water Heater

The water heater is number two on the list. According to the Department of Energy  (DOE), water heating can account for about 18 percent of a household’s utility bill. Some tips to reduce your water heating costs include:

  • Consider installing low-flow faucets and showerheads.
  • Repair leaky faucets ASAP – a leaky faucet results in gallons of wasted water.
  • Set the thermostat on your water heater to 120°F (a comfortable hot water temperature for most uses).
  • Insulate your electric hot-water storage tank.

3.   Refrigerator and Freezer

According to the DOE, refrigerators consume the most energy of all kitchen appliances. If your fridge or freezer is more than 15 years old, your best bet is to replace it with a new energy efficient ENERGY STAR model. If that’s not currently an option, you could also:

  • Disable the power-saver switch if your fridge has one. This switch activates indoor heaters to reduce external condensation; if you don’t have external condensation, you don’t need the heaters.
  • Set the ideal temperatures:
    • Refrigerators: 36?F – 38?F
    • Freezers: 0?F – 5?F
  • Defrost regularly – more than 0.25 inch of frost buildup impacts energy efficiency.
  • Check the door seals by closing the door on a piece of paper to see if it’s held firmly in place; if not, you need to replace the seal.

4.   Clothes Dryer

Clothes dryers rank number four on the list. If your dryer is equipped with a moisture sensor, this can be used to increase its efficiency and reduce energy consumption. The moisture sensor turns your dryer off once the clothes are dry. Some other dryer tips include:

  • Dry full loads to maximize electricity usage.
  • Dry towels and heavier cottons separately from lighter-weight clothes.
  • Clean the lint screen after every drying cycle; it improves air circulation and prevents fire hazards.

5.   Dishwasher

The last on the list is the dishwasher, which accounts for around two percent of a typical household’s annual electricity bill. If your model dates from 1994 or earlier, it’s time to replace it with an energy efficient ENERGY STAR qualified dishwasher. Otherwise, here are some tips you can follow to reduce your dishwasher’s energy usage:

  • Don’t rinse off your dishes – scrape off large food pieces and bones. Only soak or pre-wash dishes with burned or dried-on food.
  • Run your dishwasher only when it’s full (but not overloaded).
  • Avoid using the “rinse hold” function for only a few dishes; it uses 3-7 gallons of hot water per use.

To find out which systems in your home are operating inefficiently and costing you money, you should contact a certified RESNET Home Energy Auditor for a home energy audit. This is the best way to learn how to make your home more energy efficient.

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Home Energy Improvements Lead To Real Savings!

Home Energy Improvements Lead To Real Savings!

Home Energy Improvements Lead To Real Savings!

Home Energy Improvements Lead To Real Savings!

Air Conditioning Repair

5302_05_May_2014_Infographic_v8

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Las Vegas Air Conditioning

Las Vegas Air Conditioning

Las Vegas Air Conditioning

 

Las Vegas Air Conditioning

 

What An Air Conditioning Repair Company Can Do For You

Has your air ventilation system broken down, and you need to get it repaired as quickly as possible? Then what you need is an Las Vegas air conditioning repair service that has a solid reputation for providing quick turnaround times. Highly professional AC repair companies will be available 24 hours a day, so no matter when you discover the fault and need it fixed they will be available to come and help you out.

Use the same service

It might be beneficial to use the same service for the repair work that installed your air conditioning system. This is because they should have an in-depth understanding of how your system is set up, which in turn allows them to complete the repair job faster. One of the signs of a good quality service is the ability to provide you with a very quick turnaround time.

Explanation of what the problem was

When you are spending money on a AC repair job it is important to know what the fault was so that you know what you are paying money for. Even if the fault is a technical one, a service that has good professionals working for them will be able to explain to you even the most technical of faults in a way that you will be able to understand.

Read reviews, testimonials and forums

Have you found a service that looks good on the outside, but you aren’t sure that it will match up to be as good as it looks? Then you will benefit from looking at the many different reviews and testimonials that are out there for you to read. And you can also look through forum posts where people describe their experiences with regards to using the service.

A reputable service that is worth choosing will have some kind of presence online and as a result you will be able to find feedback left by previous users of the service. Some services may have even won awards given by regulatory bodies that signifies their level of competence and quality. When looking for a great service that you can trust to do a great job you need to keep an eye out for such awards.

Upgrades

A talented service may offer you upgrades before performing any repairs if they see that your AC system is dated. You should consider such upgrades, because the money that you will need to be spent on repair can be put to better use by going towards a new air conditioning system. By getting a brand new ventilation system you should be able to see a difference in the quality of the air that is flowing around your house.

 More Information:

Thermal Services is a company that provides Las Vegas Air Conditioning repair services. If you are interested in a highly professional AC repair service that you can count on then check out ThermalServiceslv.com.

Air Conditioning. Heating . Ac Repair. Ac Service. Las Vegas. Henderson. NV.

Las Vegas Air Conditioning

Contact US Today for a Free Estimate! 702-271-2301

www.las-vegasairconditioning.com/las-vegas-air-conditioning/

Contact Us for your AC & Heating Needs

Call Now! 702-271-2301

Las Vegas Air Conditioning
Contact US Today for a Free Estimate! 702-271-2301

www.las-vegasairconditioning.com/las-vegas-air-conditioning-2/

www.hvaclas-vegas.com/air-conditioning-las-vegas/las-vegas-air-conditioning-2/

Las Vegas Air Conditioning

Las Vegas Air Conditioning

Las Vegas Air Conditioning

Las Vegas Air Conditioning

 

What An Air Conditioning Repair Company Can Do For You

Has your air ventilation system broken down, and you need to get it repaired as quickly as possible? Then what you need is an Las Vegas air conditioning repair service that has a solid reputation for providing quick turnaround times. Highly professional AC repair companies will be available 24 hours a day, so no matter when you discover the fault and need it fixed they will be available to come and help you out.

Use the same service

It might be beneficial to use the same service for the repair work that installed your air conditioning system. This is because they should have an in-depth understanding of how your system is set up, which in turn allows them to complete the repair job faster. One of the signs of a good quality service is the ability to provide you with a very quick turnaround time.

Explanation of what the problem was

When you are spending money on a AC repair job it is important to know what the fault was so that you know what you are paying money for. Even if the fault is a technical one, a service that has good professionals working for them will be able to explain to you even the most technical of faults in a way that you will be able to understand.

Read reviews, testimonials and forums

Have you found a service that looks good on the outside, but you aren’t sure that it will match up to be as good as it looks? Then you will benefit from looking at the many different reviews and testimonials that are out there for you to read. And you can also look through forum posts where people describe their experiences with regards to using the service.

A reputable service that is worth choosing will have some kind of presence online and as a result you will be able to find feedback left by previous users of the service. Some services may have even won awards given by regulatory bodies that signifies their level of competence and quality. When looking for a great service that you can trust to do a great job you need to keep an eye out for such awards.

Upgrades

A talented service may offer you upgrades before performing any repairs if they see that your AC system is dated. You should consider such upgrades, because the money that you will need to be spent on repair can be put to better use by going towards a new air conditioning system. By getting a brand new ventilation system you should be able to see a difference in the quality of the air that is flowing around your house.

 More Information:

Thermal Services is a company that provides Las Vegas Air Conditioning repair services. If you are interested in a highly professional AC repair service that you can count on then check out ThermalServiceslv.com.

Air Conditioning. Heating . Ac Repair. Ac Service. Las Vegas. Henderson. NV.

Las Vegas Air Conditioning

Contact US Today for a Free Estimate! 702-271-2301

www.las-vegasairconditioning.com/las-vegas-air-conditioning/

www.hvaclas-vegas.com/air-conditioning-las-vegas/las-vegas-air-conditioning/

2014 Outlook of the R-22 Mandate on Refrigerators and Air Conditioners

2014 Outlook of the R-22 Mandate on Refrigerators and Air Conditioners

2014 Outlook of the R-22 Mandate on Refrigerators and Air Conditioners

% title%After the discovery that R-22 has many negative effects for the environment, many newer, greener refrigerants have been developed to take its place. Since the year 2010, the United States has ceased the production and import of R-22 refrigerant for use in new refrigerators and air conditioners. Thus if you have replaced your air conditioner or refrigerator after January 1, 2010, it probably does not use R-22 refrigerant. However, R-22 may still be manufactured or imported for use in existing air conditioners and refrigerators. This practice will cease on January 1, 2020. After this time, all R-22 used to service existing air conditioners or refrigerators will come from stores of recycled or reclaimed R-22, as no new R-22 can be introduced into the United States.

Current Use of R-22

R-22 was a popular refrigerant for over four decades. The widespread use of R-22 means that if you own an air conditioner, refrigerator, or heat pump that predates the year 2010, it is likely that your comfort system uses R-22 as its refrigerant. If your air conditioner, refrigerator, or heat pump requires additional refrigerant between today and the year 2020, new R-22 may still be added. However, because the import and manufacture of R-22 is now limited, you can expect the cost of replacing R-22 refrigerant in your existing system to rise sharply, increasing the overall cost to service a home’s central air conditioner.

Future Use of R-22 Refrigerant

After the year 2020, no new R-22 refrigerant may be introduced into the United States. If your older air conditioner, refrigerator, or heat pump requires additional refrigerant after this time, it may only be added from a store of reclaimed and recycled R-22. Because this supply will be extremely limited and become very rare over time, it will become even more costly to replace the refrigerant in your existing system.

Alternatively, you may be able to retrofit your air conditioning system to allow it to use alternative types of refrigerant. While the retrofit itself may be costly, the price of alternative refrigerants will be less than the cost of using R-22. However, HVAC manufacturers and certified AC service contractors warn that using a refrigerant other than R-22 in an older system, even if it has been retrofitted, may not provide efficient performance, and will likely cause any warranty to be void. The air conditioner, refrigerator, or heat pump may become more costly to run on a daily basis and may fail to deliver adequate cooling, or even cause damage to part of the air conditioning equipment. In this case, the most cost-effective solution may be to completely replace your older air conditioner with a new one that was originally designed to utilize refrigerants other than R-22.

If you’re concerned about the long-term cost of your air conditioner, refrigerator, or heat pump and how R-22 refrigerant restrictions will affect you, an expert air conditioning service and repair technician can help. Take a look through our website to find out more about your heating and cooling options, or find a local AC expert at ServiceExperts.comLas Vegas Air Conditioning
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