Turn over a new leaf this season with a home energy makeover
by Brandpoint (ARA) Sponsored Content
May 21, 2013 | 22394 views | 0 0 comments | 412 412 recommendations | email to a friend | print
(BPT) - As the seasons change, turn over a new leaf and give your home an energy makeover. You can improve your home’s comfort while helping the environment by making your home more energy efficient, according to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. In addition, a variety of compatible technologies are available to help manage your home’s comfort systems more efficiently and economically. Here are some tips to get you started.

Schedule an overall home energy audit: How does your energy use at home measure up? Annual analysis of home energy efficiency can save you money in the long run and ensure your home runs smoothly. A certified energy auditor will complete an energy analysis of your home by measuring windows and checking insulation, ductwork and building materials. You can identify local certified professional energy assessment services through Residential Energy Services Network. Taking five minutes with energy bills at hand, you can also input your information online at Home Energy Yardstick by Energy Star to receive a topline home energy analysis.  

Improve comfort while staying efficient: Up to 72 trillion allergens find their way into your home every day. Not only can dirty air make your family less comfortable, but it can also pose problems for how efficiently your systems continue to work. By installing a reliable indoor air cleaner, you can remove irritating particles such as dust, pollen, pet hair and dander, dust mites, mildew, lint, fungus and bacteria, which can slow the performance of your overall heating and cooling system. For example, an energy-efficient model, such as the AccuClean from American Standard Heating & Air Conditioning, an Ingersoll Rand brand, removes up to 99.98 percent of allergens down to 0.1 micron in size, making it 100 times more effective than a standard one-inch throwaway filter.

Adjust your thermostat: Another way to manage home energy is to simply adjust your thermostat. For every degree you raise your thermostat in the summer, you can cut cooling costs up to 6 percent, and for every degree you lower your thermostat in the winter, you can save about 3 percent. (Potential energy savings may vary, depending on such factors as your lifestyle, system settings, equipment maintenance, local climate, equipment and duct systems.) A programmable thermostat is loaded with a multitude of built-in sensors, reminders and alerts, and it allows you to program as many as four energy-saving schedules for every day of the week, to reduce energy consumption up to 15 percent. 

Manage energy efficiency from anywhere, even while you’re away: For the ultimate in convenience, you can even monitor and adjust your home’s ecosystem from anywhere using most Web-enabled mobile devices. For instance, Nexia Home Intelligence, also a brand of Ingersoll Rand, combines wireless technology with simple Web access. You can use it to reduce energy consumption and costs by putting your heating and cooling system into an energy savings mode while you’re not there, plus control numerous other functions to manage the comfort, safety and efficiency of your home while you’re away.

Choose energy efficient products: If you’re looking for new energy-efficient products such as doors, heating and cooling systems and windows, ensure they are labeled with the Energy Star designation. The EPA’s Energy Star program was created to reduce the nation’s energy consumption. For more information on reducing energy use, visit www.epa.gov/greenhomes/ReduceEnergy.htm.

By taking steps to give your home an energy makeover, you’ll not only keep your family more comfortable, but you’ll also save money by streamlining home operations – so you can spend more time enjoying the seasons.

Copyright 2013 The Times-Independent. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

report abuse...

Express yourself:

We're glad to give readers a forum to express their points of view on issues important to this community. That forum is the “Letters to the Editor.” Letters to the editor may be submitted directly to The Times-Independent through this link and will be published in the print edition of the newspaper. All letters must be the original work of the letter writer – form letters will not be accepted. All letters must include the actual first and last name of the letter writer, the writer’s address, city and state and telephone number. Anonymous letters will not be accepted.

Letters may not exceed 400 words in length, must be regarding issues of general interest to the community, and may not include personal attacks, offensive language, ethnic or racial slurs, or attacks on personal or religious beliefs. Letters should focus on a single issue. Letters that proselytize or focus on theological debates will not be published. During political campaigns, The Times-Independent will not publish letters supporting or opposing any local candidate. Thank you letters are generally not accepted for publication unless the letter has a public purpose. Thank you letters dealing with private matters that compliment or complain about a business or individual will not be published. Nor will letters listing the names of individuals and/or businesses that supported a cause or event. Thank you letters about good Samaritan acts will be considered at the discretion of the newspaper.