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How to Save on Energy Costs When Hosting Guests this Holiday Season

If you’ve ever hosted guests in your home for an extended period of time then you know that this can start to take a toll on your energy bills. With the holiday season in full swing, many homeowners have plans to host guests over a long holiday weekend or even just have friends and family over for dinner or a party. Below, we’ll offer some energy-saving tips that you can use to cut down on energy costs while you’re having fun with your loved ones.

Energy-Saving Tips for Hosting Holiday Guests

Whether you have guests staying in your home for the holidays or you plan on having a dinner party, the holiday season can be a time of high energy usage. Use the tips below to save on energy costs during the holidays.

Adjust the temperature and lighting once your guests arrive.

If you are hosting a party or having loved ones over for dinner, you can adjust the temperature and lighting to save more energy during the festivities. More bodies in the room means more heat. Not to mention, your home starts to heat up if you have been cooking all day. This is the perfect time to adjust your thermostat and save some energy. Once guests start to arrive, turn the thermostat down a bit to take advantage of the energy savings.

You can also adjust the lighting in your home to save energy when entertaining guests. If you have the holiday lights on, consider turning off other lights in your home that are not being used to better enjoy the holiday decorations. You may also opt for candles or other, more energy-efficient lighting that will help you save more energy while hosting guests.

Cook more efficiently.

If you are planning on making dinner for your guests, you can save energy by trying to cook more efficiently. Here are just a few ways that you can save energy while preparing holiday meals:

  • Don’t open the oven door to look at what’s baking inside as this lowers the temperature inside, which can increase cook times and waste energy. If you have to look, turn on the oven light and check through the window.
  • Try to cook several items at the same time. This cuts down on the amount of time that you need to have your oven on throughout the day, helping you save energy.
  • Clean your burners and reflectors before you start cooking. This provides better heating which can save energy and cut down energy costs.
  • Use other, more energy efficient appliances when possible. Don’t forget your microwave. This appliance not only cooks quickly, but it also uses about 50% less energy than the conventional oven, so utilize it when you can.

Need to make sure that your HVAC system is working efficiently before your guests arrive? Call the HVAC experts at Air Conditioning Systems for an annual maintenance visit to make sure you all will stay comfortable this holiday season: (925) 270-1613.

6 Commercial HVAC Solutions That Will Save Your Company Money

Businesses big and small are always looking for ways to save money. When you consider how much your company spends on cooling and heating your commercial building, you might be wondering, is there a way for me to save on HVAC costs?

 

The answer is yes! There are a variety of ways that you can save money on HVAC costs throughout the year by keeping your HVAC system healthy and reducing energy usage.

Affordable Commercial HVAC Solutions

Here are just 6 simple HVAC solutions that will save your company money:

 

  1. Choose the right HVAC unit.

It is important to choose an HVAC unit that is the right size for your building. If the unit is too small, it will have to work harder to cool and heat the space, increasing your energy usage and putting additional strain on the HVAC system. If you choose an oversized unit, the unit will turn on and off more often because it takes less time to bring the room to the right temperature. This also impacts energy costs and can cause wear and tear on the system. An HVAC professional can help you choose the right system for your building size.

 

  1. Change your HVAC filters regularly.

Did you know that changing your HVAC filters can help you save money? Dirty or clogged filters overwork your HVAC system. This not only leads to poor indoor air quality but can also waste energy and cause unnecessary maintenance issues, which can cost your company money. Changing your filters monthly helps save on energy costs and keep your HVAC unit running smoothly.

 

  1. Use a programmable thermostat.

A programmable thermostat can help you save on energy costs, even in a big space. Programmable thermostats allow you to adjust temperature settings to keep employees comfortable in different seasons. You can also adjust temperature settings on nights, weekends, or other times that people are not using the building to save energy when these spaces are not being used.

 

  1. Properly seal heating and cooling ducts.

Making sure that your heating and cooling ducts are properly sealed can help you improve the efficiency of your HVAC system. Contact an HVAC professional who has experience sealing ducts. They should start by focusing on areas of the building that are unprotected such as areas underneath the building. Adequate sealing helps reduce energy waste, and thus cuts down on energy costs.

 

  1. Schedule routine maintenance.

Routine maintenance is essential to keeping your commercial HVAC unit running at peak performance year-round. Get a tune-up from a professional HVAC company in the spring before your AC is used heavily in the summer. This will help you save on energy costs throughout the year and prolong the life of your unit.

 

  1. Look for seasonal promotions or other discounts from your HVAC provider.

Many HVAC companies will provide discounts on maintenance or tune-ups during certain times of the year, while others provide discounts for commercial customers with a service contract or those who are repeat customers. Call your HVAC provider to find out what discounts they offer commercial customers throughout the year.

 

Have a question about your HVAC unit? Need professional help with a repair or maintenance issue? Don’t hesitate to call us.

Should I Leave Interior Doors Open Or Closed During Heating And Cooling?

In multi-roomed buildings, closing interior doors during heating and or cooling is lowers energy efficiency. All HVAC equipment, whether heaters or air conditioners, have fans that blow air around in massive quantities; 1000-2000 cubic meters per minute. Open interior doors enable the fan-moved air to circulate without restrictions but closed interior doors inhibit air flow, pressurizing the rooms.

Increased energy efficiency from open interior doors

Increasing pressure cannot be contained, and the already conditioned air is forced out of a room through holes, slits, and other openings in order to relieve the pressure. However, since the doors are still closed (limiting air circulation space), and the heating/ cooling equipments are still running, the rooms remain pressurized. In pressurized rooms, the vacuum created by expelled air is replaced with outdoor air that is sucked into the building through fire flues and other unobstructed openings.

Reduced energy efficiency

In closed doors rooms, conditioned air is wasted through the forceful eviction of air that results from the pressurization of the rooms, and this means that HVAC systems have to restart the air conditioning process all over. Since optimum indoor air quality (IAQ) is not achieved, the excessive heat, cold and moisture form conducive conditions for the growth, circulation, and increment of pathogens such as mold, bacteria, and mites. The elimination of these pollutants requires additional costs invested in elimination equipment, as well as the energy required to run those equipments. A re-run of an HVAC equipment translates to additional energy consumption.

It is to be noted that the expulsion of conditioned air is not the only problem that forces HVAC systems to run longer than necessary to condition air. External air that gets sucked into a room is not conditioned; it is full of pollutants and extreme temperatures. HVAC systems are forced to run longer and consume additional energy in order to condition (purify, cool or heat) the new air in order to ensure that the quality of indoor air is as pure, warm or cool as the building occupants require.

Since it is not possible for every building/ occupant to leave his/ her interior doors open all the time, people should apply any of the following energy efficiency tips. First, construction of buildings should put into consideration the need for pressure relievers. Gaps can be left above or below doors, and transfer grills can be installed on room-dividing walls. Alternatively, and whenever possible, building occupants/ owners should purchase HVAC systems that have return air ducts.

Need Help Choosing A New Heater?

Choosing a new heater is not as difficult as you may think. Naturally, you’ll want to research your options and shop around to get the best deal. It also helps to know what to look for when choosing a new heater or AC system so you’ll get the most from your investment. Here are some important aspects to consider when buying a new heating/AC system for your home.

SEER Number

Energy efficiency is a must in a HVAC system if you want to save on energy bills. When choosing new air conditioner or heating systems for your home, make sure the unit has a high SEER (seasonal energy efficiency ratio) rating of 16 or above. A system with a high energy efficiency rating will provide you with greater comfort while keeping your energy costs down.

Compare Potential and Prices

Comparison shopping online gives you a chance to see your options at a glance and compare heater potential and prices. You should also check into installation costs, service contracts and warranties as well as ask your contractor if you qualify for a rebate to help reduce costs.

Be leery of going with a low priced system to save on initial costs as it could cause you to compromise on long term quality. A good heating/AC system should last ten years or more. It’s much better to invest in a higher quality unit, even if you pay a bit more, to ensure you get your money’s worth over the long haul.

Maintenance Contract

Even the best of units need regular maintenance to ensure they continue to work at optimum capacity over the long haul. Before choosing a new heater or AC system, discuss maintenance contract options with your contractor to make sure your unit will be well taken care of for the duration. Annual maintenance and cleaning can help prevent expensive repairs and keep your system running smoothly for years to come.

When it comes to purchasing a new HVAC system, you can benefit by getting input from professionals you trust. Call us to help you choose just the heater you need to enhance the comfort of your home.