Energy Savings

Energy Savings

Measure Your Home's Energy Efficiency

While the Department of Energy recommends having a professional energy audit as the most effective method of accessing your home's energy efficiency, it is possible for DIYers to conduct their own audit to pinpoint some of the troublespots and improve efficiency.

What is Home Energy Efficiency?

Simply put, energy efficiency is the use of less energy to power more things. As a homeowner, the more efficient your home, the less you spend annually in electricity.

Major Problem Areas

Perhaps the greatest problem for most homeowners are the drafts that occur in your home. Air escaping through leaks around door frames, baseboards, and window ledges can reduce home energy efficiency by as much as ten to twenty percent each year. Check for cracks around areas where different materials join together. Simple caulk or weatherstripping will alleviate a majority of these issues.

Insulation

Another common problem is an inadequate amount of insulation. Insulation in the attic and walls helps to prevent energy loss throughout your home. While it is difficult to check and replace insulation in preexisting walls, checking the attic is far less intrusive. Review local building codes to identify the minimum required amount of insulation for your home and measure the amount you currently have. Chances are you can improve your home energy efficiency by simply adding insulation.

Lighting

It may be surprising but lighting your home can account for as much as ten percent of your monthly energy bill. Consider replacing incandescent bulbs with more efficient bulbs like LED or compact fluorescent bulbs. Look for ways to better manage the amount of light you use. Dimmer switches and timers can be a viable option.

Heating and Cooling

Your HVAC system should be inspected annually to ensure proper performance. Change filters on a regular basis to reduce the amount of strain put on your unit. If your unit is older than 15 years, consider replacing it with a more efficient system.

Appliances

Appliances can affect your energy bill whether you use them or not. Unplug all appliances when not in use and always consider energy ratings when purchasing new appliances.

To schedule a professional home evaluation, contact us at Air Assurance. We serve the Broken Arrow area.

Efficiency, Energy Savings

How Cleaning Your Windows Enhances Energy Efficiency

How Cleaning Your Windows Enhances Energy Efficiency

Spring cleaning the windows is a great way to refresh your home's exterior and give its aesthetic a boost. Shiny window panes are great for zesting up curb appeal, but for improving HVAC performance and your home's overall efficiency, you also need to focus on window maintenance.

Why Windows Matter for Energy Efficiency

Statistics from the Department of Energy tell us that 25 to 30 percent of a home's HVAC-related energy consumption can be wasted by heat gains and losses through the windows. You can trim that percentage by cleaning and enhancing your windows' efficiency. Having more efficient windows also reduces your HVAC equipment's workload, which translates into better performance and longer component lifespan.

Tips for Enhancing Window Efficiency

Along with tackling your normal spring cleaning, try taking a few of these measures to improve your windows' efficiency:

  • Before shining and polishing the glass, inspect the windows to locate any areas of cracked/missing caulking or damaged/missing weatherstripping. To stop air leakage in these spots, remove any damaged material, then seal them with add new caulking or weatherstripping.

  • If your windows are leaking badly or in poor condition, spring is an ideal time to replace them with energy-efficient units. A less costly option is purchasing interior inserts. These acrylic or plexiglass units are made to size, so they fit tightly and prevent air leaks.

  • If your home has casement or double-hung windows, pay special attention to the tracks and moving parts when you clean. You need to remove all built-up debris in these areas so the windows close snugly and won't leak air.

  • Give your home's interior a revamp with new insulated window treatments that you can close during the day to keep out solar heat.

  • Shade your windows by adding awnings on your home's exterior and/or by planting a few strategically-placed trees.

  • Put window cleaning on your fall home maintenance list too, because squeaky-clean glass lets in more of the sun's energy, which can help warm the interior during the winter.

To learn more effective ways to enhance energy efficiency in your Broken Arrow home, contact us at Air Assurance.

Energy Savings

10 Ways to Save Energy This Winter

10 Ways to Save Energy This Winter

The arrival of winter can put a real dent in your budget. Heating costs can send your utility bill through the roof. Fortunately, there are numerous tips you can use to enjoy energy savings this winter. They include:

  1. Open the shades and curtains during the day to take advantage of the warming sunlight. Close them at night to protect your home from cold drafts.

  2. If you have a fireplace with an external air intake, install an airtight door on it to prevent indoor air from escaping through the chimney. If you have a traditional fireplace that uses indoor air for combustion, install operable vents on it. Close the vents when the fireplace isn't in use.

  3. Use a portable space heater to warm the room you're in and turn down the thermostat by 5 degrees or more. Every degree you turn down your thermostat by contributes to a lower energy bill.

  4. Install storm windows over single pane windows to reduce heat loss.

  5. Seal gaps and cracks in your doors and windows. These allow warm indoor air to escape and cold air to leak into your home.

  6. Add loose-fill insulation to your attic. Heat rises, so ensuring the attic is well-insulated helps keep heat inside your home.

  7. Install a programmable thermostat to avoid wasting heat. You can set it low when you're at work and increase the heat just before you return.

  8. Decorate for the holiday with LED lights. They're more energy efficient than traditional incandescent lighting. What's more, LED holiday lights last much longer.

  9. Lower the water heater if you're going on vacation to reduce water heating costs. If you're planning to be away for more than two days, set it to its lowest setting.

  10. Switch off and unplug the electronics that you're not using. They continue to consume electricity even when they're turned off.

Use these tips to take your winter energy savings to the next level without sacrificing comfort. For more useful energy-saving and HVAC tips, contact Air Assurance. Broken Arrow residents have trusted us to handle all their HVAC and plumbing needs since 1985.Our goal is to help educate our customers in the Tulsa and Broken Arrow, Oklahoma area about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems). For more information about other HVAC topics,download our free Home Comfort Guide or call us at 918-217-8273.

Energy Savings

How Weather Affects Your Energy Bill

How Weather Affects Your Energy Bill

Americans spend about half their annual energy budget on keeping their homes comfortable, according to the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE). The weather has a big impact on each month’s energy bill. When it’s mild, bills stay low. During extremes, daily energy use climbs.

Temperature and Humidity

The two aspects of summer weather that increases cooling costs include the air temperature and the humidity level. Of the two, it’s faster and easier for your A/C to remove the heat from dry air than it is to cool off hot, humid air. Keeping the humidity out of your home in the summer does help lower its cooling costs and keeps you more comfortable. Besides being energy-intensive to remove, humidity also increases discomfort indoors when it exceeds 50 percent.The HVAC industry deals with the extra burden that humidity puts on cooling systems by consulting a software resource that identifies cooling systems better suited for humid climates. When replacing your current system, ask the HVAC contractor to verify that the new one can handle the area’s summertime humidity.

What You Can Do

If you find that your energy consumption is higher than you’d like it to be, making improvements that help your home resist heat transfer and air infiltration will help lower your energy bill and increase your comfort. Consider:

  • Adding insulation to the attic. The DOE recommends at least 10 inches in the attic for the best thermal control.

  • Using the kitchen and bathroom fans. Be careful not to run the fans too long. Although they’re small, they’re capable of pulling a lot of conditioned air out of your home.

  • Sealing the air leaks in your home’s exterior to prevent air infiltration that could raise the indoor humidity. Use caulk, expanding foam and weatherstripping around windows and doors, as well as entry points for pipes and wires.

  • Using specialty products like chimney pillows to stop air leaks from fireplace chimneys, or self-sealing dryer vents.

If your monthly energy bill seems too high, contact Air Assurance for an HVAC inspection. We provide HVAC services for Broken Arrow homeowners for more than 30 years.

Our goal is to help educate our customers in the Tulsa and Broken Arrow, Oklahoma area about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems). For more information about other HVAC topics, call us at 918-217-8273.

Energy Savings

These Household Appliances Affect Your Energy Bills

These Household Appliances Affect Your Energy Bills

Many of the causes behind higher monthly energy bills are obvious suspects. Others, however, may be "under the radar" and not often considered. Here are three household appliances that could be consuming more than their fair share of energy and pushing costs higher:

The Refrigerator

It has a big footprint in your kitchen but often doesn’t loom large as a potential cause of higher energy bills. It was 1997 before refrigerators were included in the Department of Energy’s Energy Star standards. Since then, technology to enhance efficiency has been gradually incorporated in new models. Refrigerators manufactured before that year, or early in the time span since, may be operating well below today’s norm when it comes to electrical consumption. If your refrigerator falls in that category, consider upgrading and start saving now.

The Washing Machine

Most washers last 10 years or so. However, if yours is that old or older it may be much less efficient than units manufactured recently. A new efficient clothes washer today will use about 100,000 gallons less water over the upcoming decade than a new washer sold in 2007. Since most of that water is heated by gas or electricity, the new units will cost their owners an estimated $150 less in energy costs per year. Today’s efficient washers also extract water more efficiently, which reduces time in the dryer and also cuts energy expenses.

The HVAC Blower

If your air conditioner and furnace are up-to-date but the blower motor that circulates air is old-school, you may not be getting the full benefit of more efficient HVAC equipment. When the furnace or A/C is running, an outmoded, single-speed PSC (permanent split capacitor) blower fan can account for fully 10 percent of household electrical usage. New, variable-speed ECM (Electronically Commutated Motor) blowers are programmed to circulate air across a wide range of output and maintain more consistent indoor temperature. In addition, these highly efficient units use up to 75 percent less power than the old, original-equipment motors.

For more about lesser-known causes of high energy bills, in Broken Arrow ask the pros at Air Assurance.

Our goal is to help educate our customers in the Tulsa and Broken Arrow, Oklahoma area about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems). For more information about appliances and other HVAC topics, call us at 918-217-8273. Credit/Copyright Attribution: “deeptuts/Pixabay”

Energy Savings

Saving on Energy Bills This Summer

Saving on Energy Bills This Summer

Summer will be heating up all too soon in Broken Arrow, and that means turning on the air conditioner and watching your utility bills go up. Fortunately, modern air conditioners are more efficient than ever before. You can save by replacing your old electricity sapper with a new, high-SEER (seasonal energy efficiency ratio) model.But along with replacing old equipment, here are some additional ideas for summer savings:

Efficient Ideas for Summer Savings

1. Install ceiling fans. If you don't already have ceiling fans, install them. Make sure blades are reversible. In the summer, run the fan blades counterclockwise to help lift warm air to the ceiling and disperse the cold air from the A/C around the room. In the winter, run the blades the opposite direction to push heat downwards. Ceiling fans won't make the temperature cooler, but the home's occupants will feel cooler as the air moves over the skin and perspiration evaporates.

2. Keep your air filter changed. Don't push the use of that air filter beyond what the manufacturer recommends. You won't be saving money, but you are probably causing your air conditioner to run inefficiently with a dirty filter that is slowing down air flow.

3. Install a programmable thermostat. To be sure, the programmable thermostat will not make your home more efficient unless you adhere to the schedule you program, but if you abide by an energy-saving schedule, you will save. Turn the thermostat down at least five degrees when the home's occupants are sleeping or away from home.

4. Keep the sunlight out. Draw shades, drapes and blinds to keep passive solar energy out of the home.

5. Keep a lid on humidity. High humidity can make you feel warmer in the summer. Reduce humidity by doing the following:

  • Take shorter showers

  • Put all indoor plants in one room

  • Install bathroom and range hood exhaust ventilation

  • Fix leaks as soon as you find them

To learn more about summer savings through efficiency, contact Air Assurance. We serve Broken Arrow and the surrounding area.

Our goal is to help educate our customers in the Tulsa and Broken Arrow, Oklahoma area about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems). For more information about saving money and other HVAC topics, call us at 918-217-8273. Credit/Copyright Attribution: “gc1366/Pixabay”

Energy Savings

These Small Changes Could Mean Big Savings

These Small Changes Could Mean Big Savings

We're always looking for ways to save money. One great way to do that this summer is to make some small changes in the way you approach efficiency in your home. It's not just about buying a more efficient system — although that's certainly one major step you can take to save on your utility bills — but also about taking a more organic, whole-house approach to cutting back on energy use.

Tips for Cutting Back on Energy Use

1. Keep conditioned air in and unconditioned air out. Air leaks are one of the main ways your air conditioning dollars are wasted. Every home has them, but some have more than others. Perform your own energy audit by walking around your home, waving either a lit candle or incense stick in front of windows and doors and any openings from the exterior (wires, cables and pipes) to see if the smoke wavers. If so, you have a leak. Seal them with weatherstripping, caulk or insulation.

2. Make sure your system is running at its peak. The best way to do this is to schedule spring maintenance. Your HVAC tech will test the refrigerant level, inspect for parts that may be wearing out and require replacement, or places where conditioned air may be leaking out.

3. Change the air filter regularly. Be sure to change your air filter regularly. A dirty filter will slow down the system's air flow, causing it to run less efficiently, and perhaps even damaging parts. A clean air filter will also help your A/C dehumidify the home better. Higher humidity levels in the summer make you feel warmer, so it's important keep the relative humidity well below 50 percent.

4. If your home is too humid (a hygrometer can tell you), you can lower it by installing a whole-house dehumidifier.

5. Install ceiling fans. Run ceiling fans counterclockwise in the summer to feel cooler as the breeze passes over your skin.

To learn more small changes that will help you save on energy, contact Air Assurance of Broken Arrow. We've served our customers since 1985.

Our goal is to help educate our customers in the Tulsa and Broken Arrow, Oklahoma area about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems). For more information about saving money and other HVAC topics, call us at 918-217-8273. Credit/Copyright Attribution: “ouacws/Pixabay”

Energy Savings

Are You Ready for Unexpected Power Outages?

Are You Ready for Unexpected Power Outages?

Any kind of a power outage in the winter creates a level of hardship that ranges from inconvenient to dangerous. It makes sense to prepare your home to avoid some of the discomfort associated with the lack of heat and electricity.

  • Locate the circuit breaker for your heating system and turn it off. Once the utility workers restore the power, it can surge, sending powerful spikes of electricity through the lines that can harm your equipment. Once the power has been successfully restored, turn the breaker back on.

  • Keep flashlights handy. Put a flashlight in each bedroom and by the front or back door. Check their batteries periodically and have replacements on hand.

  • Learn how to operate your garage door manually. During a prolonged outage, you may need to leave your home if the roads are safe to do so.

  • Always have extra food on hand that doesn’t require much heating unless you have a safe way to do so. Bringing in a charcoal or propane grill creates dangerous levels of carbon monoxide. A backpacking stove is a relatively safe heating option.

  • When the outage is due to a winter storm, select a warm room in your home where you can gather. Body heat will help keep the temperature up and you can close the window coverings to keep heat from escaping.

  • Consider installing a home generator. Whether it’s a portable unit or a whole-house system, a generator takes the edge off a power outage, even if it’s a small unit used mainly for lights.

  • Have your fireplace cleaned by a professional chimney sweep annually if you use it frequently. A clean chimney and firebox increase its safety, and be sure to use a spark screen.

  • Stay warmer by dressing in layers. Keeping the body’s core warm preserves heat, as will crawling into a sleeping bag.

The preparations to cope with a power outage do take time and some expense, but they increase your family’s safety and comfort. If you’d like to learn more, contact Air Assurance, providing trusted HVAC services for Broken Arrow homeowners.

Our goal is to help educate our customers in Monmouth County, New Jersey and surrounding areas about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems). Credit/Copyright Attribution: “openclipart-vectors/Pixabay”

Energy Savings

Lower Energy Bills: A Gift to Yourself This Season

Lower Energy Bills: A Gift to Yourself This Season

During the holiday season, and wintertime in general, residential heating bills and other energy expenses can go through the roof (sometimes literally). That's why it's crucial to be aware of the energy-saving strategies available to homeowners.Follow these suggestions to enjoy lower energy bills in your Broken Arrow-area home:

  • Seal air leaks in your home's outer walls. A substantial amount of warm air can be lost through holes and cracks in the walls, forcing your heating system to work overtime to compensate. Similarly, missing or inadequate insulation can make a warmed-up home lose its heat quickly.

  • Consider arranging an energy audit to ascertain where air and heat energy are escaping your home. Once you have that information, you can seal air leaks with caulking or weatherstripping, and upgrade insulation where necessary.

  • Adjust ceiling fans so their blades are rotating clockwise (the opposite of summertime rotation). This pushes air upward instead of downward, and redistributes warm air that floats around near the ceiling. Forced down into the part of the room where people hang out, it raises the temperature, relieving some of the workload on the furnace.

  • Make sure to program energy-saving setbacks into your programmable thermostat. Get one if you don't yet have one of these essential devices. You can program your heating system to a much lower temperature during the day when nobody's home, and a night when everybody's sleeping. This can be a real energy-saver.

  • Remember to open drapes, curtains and other window coverings during sunny winter days. Even when it's cold outside, sun shining through windows will heat up a room by several degrees. Make sure you close the curtains before the sun goes down, though, since they'll add a layer of protection against the cold.

  • Schedule seasonal maintenance on your heating system if you haven't already. This improves efficiency, ensures safety, and enables the technician to find small problems before they become big problems.

For more advice on how to enjoy lower energy bills this holiday season and winter, please contact us at Air Assurance. We provide superior HVAC services in the Broken Arrow area.

Our goal is to help educate our customers in the Tulsa and Broken Arrow, Oklahoma area about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems). For more information about lowering bills and other HVAC topics, call us at 918-217-8273. Credit/Copyright Attribution: “Pexels/Pixabay”

Energy Savings

Getting Rid of Energy Vampires in Your Home

Getting Rid of Energy Vampires in Your Home

Reducing energy usage in your Broken Arrow home helps keep your utility bills down. Many homeowners know about shutting lights off when they’re not in use in order to save energy, but what about other energy sources that aren’t as obvious? Watch out for these energy vampires in your home, and work on getting rid of them.

Phone Chargers

Your cell phone charger doesn’t use up much electricity while you’re charging your phone, but it can end up using a significant amount if you leave it plugged in all the time or if you have multiple chargers plugged in all the time. These chargers keep using up energy while they’re plugged in, even if there’s no device attached to them. Make it a habit to unplug your charger when it’s done charging.

Cable Boxes

Cable boxes become energy vampires when they’re left on all the time. While it might seem inconvenient, turning off your cable box when you’re done watching TV can help you save energy. You should also consider plugging this device into a power strip along with your TV, video game consoles and other electronic devices. Doing so makes it easy for you ensure that all of these are shut off when they’re not being used. All you have to do is flip the switch on the power strip on and off.

Computers and Computer Equipment

Computers, laptops and related devices, such as printers and routers, use energy when they are on. Turning these off when you’re not using them can reduce energy usage by a considerable amount. As with TV equipment, consider plugging computers and computer equipment into a power strip.

Older Appliances and Devices

Older appliances and devices in your home use more energy than newer ones that are designed to be energy-efficient. Replacing these with Energy Star appliances and devices helps you reduce the amount of energy you use in your home.

If you need more information on reducing energy usage in your home, please contact Air Assurance. We offer HVAC services in the Broken Arrow area.

Our goal is to help educate our customers in the Tulsa and Broken Arrow, Oklahoma area about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems). For more information about energy savings and other HVAC topics, call us at 918-217-8273. Credit/Copyright Attribution: “mattysimpson/Pixabay”

Energy Savings, Featured

Use Ceiling Fans to Improve Cooling Efficiency

Use Ceiling Fans to Improve Cooling Efficiency

Use Ceiling Fans to Improve Cooling Efficiency

Your residential cooling system shoulders most of the burden of keeping your indoor living spaces comfortable. This can lead to some significant utility bills, however, as your air conditioner or heat pump works to keep up with cooling demand. By using ceiling fans in rooms where you and your family gather most often, you can reduce those bills and increase cooling efficiency.

Why Use a Ceiling Fan?

Ceiling fans provide a way to increase air circulation in the rooms where they are used. This helps move cool air that has settled near the floor, recirculating already conditioned air and giving it a second chance to reduce the temperature in the room.The drafts of air from ceiling fans also provide direct cooling when they make contact with your body. The air from your ceiling fan helps perspiration evaporate on your skin, which carries away heat and keeps you cool. This effect makes the room feel cooler than it actually is, allowing you to run your air conditioner at a lower level while still maintaining consistent comfort.

Considerations When Using a Ceiling Fan

  • When using a ceiling fan, remember that the drafts created by the fan must make contact with your body for the cooling effect to take place. A ceiling fan doesn't cool a room. It cools a person.

  • Fan blade rotation should be adjusted to allow the fan to send down into the room below. This is most effective at directed drafts where they are needed. In the winter, you can switch fan blade direction to boost heating system performance.

  • Make sure there is enough clearance between the fan and the space below it to allow safe operation. Fan blades should be mounted at about seven feet or higher, and there should be 18 inches of space between the walls and blade tips.

Air Assurance provides top-quality heating and cooling services to customers in and around Tulsa. Contact us today for more information on how you can use a ceiling fan to boost cooling system efficiency and keep your indoor living environment more comfortable.Our goal is to help educate our customers in the Tulsa and Broken Arrow, Oklahoma area about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems). Credit/Copyright Attribution: “eak_kk/Pixabay”

Energy Savings, Featured

Energy Saving Tips for Summer

Energy Saving Tips for Summer

Energy Saving Tips for Summer

After a fleeting spring, another energy-guzzling season is here: Summer, when air-conditioning costs threaten to break the bank. However, don't despair. There are many energy saving tips available for homes, and most of them are relatively simple to put into effect.Summer Energy Saving Tips

  • Program for savings. There's no reason why your A/C has to be cooling your home at a comfortable temperature 24/7. If you don't already have one, install a programmable thermostat, then set it to higher temperatures (low to mid-80s) for times when you're at work or away from home. Program the temperature to return to a cool and comfortable level shortly before you expect to arrive home.

  • Use ceiling fans. A ceiling fan can make the temperature in a room seem like it's several degrees lower than it actually is, as long as the fan is blowing air at people in the room. You can turn up the thermostat several degrees and save energy, while not sacrificing comfort. Just remember to turn off the fan when the room is empty. The fan's cooling effect is useless if nobody's around to feel it.

  • Open the windows. When the outside air isn't too hot or moist, open windows and doors and let natural ventilation cool off your home. Open them at nighttime, then seal the house in the mid-morning before it gets hot. That cool morning air should allow you to delay turning on the A/C a few hours.

  • Weatherize the house. Seal air leaks in the home's envelope, using weatherstripping, caulk or spray foam depending on the size and type of leak. Make sure the attic is well insulated to keep heated air from gravitating downward into your living spaces.

  • Schedule preventive maintenance. Before summer really heats up, schedule an A/C maintenance visit. This will ensure that your cooling system is ready to perform efficiently and effectively all summer long. Perform air-filter maintenance yourself at least monthly during the summer.

For more energy saving tips for this summer, please contact us at Air Assurance, providing quality HVAC services in the Broken Arrow area.Our goal is to help educate our customers in the Tulsa and Broken Arrow, Oklahoma area about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems). Credit/Copyright Attribution: “Ondrej Supitar/StockSnap”

Energy Savings, Featured

Don't Fall for These Energy-Saving Myths

Don't Fall for These Energy-Saving Myths

Don't Fall for These Energy-Saving Myths

The HVAC world is full of old wives’ tales, especially when it comes to saving energy. By understanding the truth behind these energy-saving myths, you can make informed decisions on how to reduce your home’s energy consumption without sacrificing comfort.Myth #1: Ceiling Fans Can Cool Down a Hot RoomThe gentle breeze a ceiling fan produces makes you feel cooler due to the wind chill effect. However, it won’t do anything to lower actual room temperatures. Unlike air conditioners, ceiling fans are incapable of removing heat from the air – an essential step for lowering room temperatures.Myth #2: Closed Vents Reduce Energy UseKeeping your vents closed won’t help you save energy. A closed vent can upset your HVAC system’s air flow balance, making it work harder than usual to provide the same heating performance at the cost of higher energy consumption.Myth #3: Raising Your Thermostat Heats Your Home FasterContrary to popular belief, raising your thermostat to its maximum setting won’t heat your home any faster. However, it will burn unnecessary energy and make your home uncomfortably hot.Myth #4: Turning Off Your Electronics is Enough to Save PowerMany of today’s appliances use small amounts of power for “standby” purposes as long as they’re plugged in. As a result, you’re better off unplugging your electronics if you want to save.Myth #5: Using Your Fireplace Saves EnergyWhenever you’re using your fireplace, you’ll have to leave the damper open to vent toxic gases outdoors. Although the room you’re in remains toasty, overall temperatures throughout your home can drop as a result.Myth #6: Replacing Your Windows Cuts Your Energy CostsHere’s an energy-saving myth that’s partially right. While replacing your drafty windows with energy-efficient windows can cut energy costs, the expense involved in replacing them means you won’t break even until years later.Contact us at Air Assurance to learn about these and other energy-saving myths. We proudly provide heating and cooling services to Broken Arrow homeowners.Our goal is to help educate our customers in the Tulsa and Broken Arrow, Oklahoma area about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems). Credit/Copyright Attribution: “Ribah/Shutterstock”

Energy Savings, Featured

Tips to Save Money and Increase Energy Efficiency During Cooler Weather

Tips to Save Money and Increase Energy Efficiency During Cooler Weather

Tips to Save Money and Increase Energy Efficiency During Cooler Weather

Winter is coming to Broken Arrow, and that means running the furnace nearly constantly to beat the cold. It's why winter also means skyrocketing energy bills. What can you do about it? Is there a way to save money and increase energy efficiency while still maintaining your overall comfort? Here are a few tips.

  • Get a programmable thermostat. Rather than having your furnace running full blast while you're not home, a programmable thermostat lets you switch between your general home comfort setting and an energy-saving setting that's a few degrees warmer. Switch to the energy-saving setting automatically during the day while you're at work and at night when you're asleep. Throw a few extra blankets on the bed to make up the difference in heat.

  • Seal your ducts. Holes in your ductwork cause air (and heat) to leak out before it reaches your rooms, which requires more energy to make your home comfortable. Inspect your ductwork carefully for tears, holes, gaps and other damage that can allow air to leak out, and seal them up with metal tape or mastic sealant.

  • Insulate. Even if your home has insulation, chances are it could use more. Insulation slows the flow of heat so that it stays in your home longer. Since heat rises, the best place to insulate your home is the attic. If the insulation in your attic is at or below your floor joists, then you could use more. Call an HVAC professional to help you add insulation.

  • Upgrade. All the energy-efficiency advice in the world won't help if your furnace is wasting energy. That's when it's time to upgrade to one that will run more efficiently and save money. It may cost a bit, but it'll save you in the long run. Look for the blue Energy Star label, which indicates your furnace has been inspected by the federal Energy Star program and is proven to save money and energy over comparable models without sacrificing performance or features.

To learn more about improving your home's energy efficiency, contact us at Air Assurance.Our goal is to help educate our customers in the Tulsa and Broken Arrow, Oklahoma area about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems). Credit/Copyright Attribution: “twobee/Shutterstock”

Energy Savings, Featured, Water Heaters

Lower Your Energy Bill by Lowering Your Water Heater Temperature

Lower Your Energy Bill by Lowering Your Water Heater Temperature

Lower Your Energy Bill by Lowering Your Water Heater Temperature

In today's world, saving even a few dollars a month is important, and so is being "green" in your home. You may not have realized this, but lowering your water heater temperature, even by just 10 degrees, can make a positive impact on your energy bill as well as the environment.On most traditional water heaters, the water is warmed using gas or electricity, then stored in a tank and maintained at the temperature that you have set. The amount of electricity or gas needed to keep this temperature constant is higher when the temperature is increased.What is it Set for Currently?Your water heater temperature is typically set at about 140 degrees when it comes from the manufacturer. This high temperature is not only unnecessary for most households, but it can be downright dangerous. When the temperature is set this high, turning on only the hot water with a faucet can scald skin, especially for children and the elderly.A temperature of 120 degrees is recommended for most households, though 130 degrees can be used for those that have dishwashers that aren't capable of heating their own water.How Do I Change it?Thankfully, turning the water heater temperature down isn't difficult, and is something that most people are able to do on their own. Just follow these simple steps.For gas heaters, locate the control dial somewhere on the outside of the unit. On electric heaters, there may be two dials - one at the top and another at the bottom, which need to be turned separately, but evenly. If there are no temperature indications on the dials, then turn the knobs a little at a time, wait about two hours, and test the water from the tap nearest the water heater by pouring it into a cup and checking the temperature with a thermometer.For more information about how to save money on your electric bill by lowering your water heater temperature, as well as other expert advice about heating and cooling your home, contact us today. Air Assurance proudly serves the greater Tulsa metropolitan area.Our goal is to help educate our customers in the Tulsa and Broken Arrow, Oklahoma area about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems). Credit/Copyright Attribution: “Serenethos/Shutterstock”

Energy Savings, Featured

Ways to Save Energy in the 3 Most Important Rooms in Your Home

Ways to Save Energy in the 3 Most Important Rooms in Your Home

Ways to Save Energy in the 3 Most Important Rooms in Your Home

The ways you can save energy at home vary from room to room, but look carefully and you'll discover many opportunities for reducing your carbon footprint and realizing energy savings. Let the tips below guide you, and use them in your home whenever you can.Living RoomThe living room offers ways to save energy from ceiling to floor. Start with the air conditioning/heating registers. Make sure ductwork is securely attached to the vents so that no air is leaking around them. Check for air leaks around windows, exterior doors, light switches and wiring on exterior walls. Seal the openings with caulk or insulation.Close blinds and curtains in summer to prevent heat gain. In winter, open the blinds during the day, and close them at night to prevent heat loss.When you choose an entertainment center or appliance, make sure it's rated by Energy Star, the Environmental Protection Agency's energy efficiency program. Plug all electronic appliances and lamps into a power strip, which you should turn off when you leave the room. Also, use fluorescent light bulbs for light fixtures, and turn lights off when the occupants leave the room.BathroomSave water by fixing toilet, sink and shower leaks. Take shorter showers and install low-flow shower heads, faucets and toilets. To help get rid of moisture that contributes to higher humidity and a clammy feeling that inspires turning down the thermostat, install exhaust ventilation. Replace vanity lights with Energy Star-certified fixtures and bulbs, and always turn off lights when you leave the room.AtticKeep heat from the attic out of the home by insulating and weatherstripping the attic hatch. Likewise, seal air leaks around an attic or furnace flue, and cover gaps with metal flashing or high-temperature caulk. Repair holes in ducts with mastic and metal tape. Make sure there's proper ventilation in the attic to let out heat and moisture.For more on how to save energy at home, contact Air Assurance. We've been serving the Tulsa metropolitan area since 1985.Our goal is to help educate our customers in the Tulsa and Broken Arrow, Oklahoma area about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems).  Credit/Copyright Attribution: “dgbomb/Shutterstock”

Energy Savings, Featured

Everything You Need to Know About the EnergyGuide Label

Everything You Need to Know About the EnergyGuide Label

Everything You Need to Know About the EnergyGuide Label

That distinctive yellow sticker on new appliances like A/Cs, water heaters and heat pumps is called the EnergyGuide label, but it might as well be called the energy-saving label. If you use this federally mandated label as intended to compare the energy-saving potential for a given appliance to that of similar appliances, it can save you money on energy bills throughout the life of the appliance you choose. If you're shopping for a furnace, the EnergyGuide label will show you how one furnace compares energy-wise to other furnaces with the same size and features.You'll find the EnergyGuide sticker on a broad range of appliances, but not all of them. The label is affixed to air conditioners, heat pumps, dishwashers, clothes washers, furnaces, freezers, TVs, refrigerators and pool heaters. The label isn't placed on clothes dryers, humidifiers, dehumidifiers, ovens and ranges.Reading the LabelYou'll find the following pieces of information on the EnergyGuide label:

  • Estimated yearly operating cost: A single-line continuum graph shows where a particular appliance stands in regard to energy costs compared to similar models. These numbers are based on average national electrical costs.

  • Estimated electrical usage: The label uses kilowatt hours to show how much electricity the appliance will consume annually, based on typical users.

  • Details on key features of the appliance: Other appliances used for comparison purposes will have the same basic features and size. The tag also will provide details on the model and manufacturer.

  • The Energy Star logo: If the appliance you're considering has achieved minimum energy efficiency standards set by the federal Energy Star program, it will feature the familiar blue logo on the EnergyGuide label. Appliances with this designation use less energy than an equivalent product that doesn't sport the Energy Star while offering the same or better functionality and quality. If at all possible, make sure any new appliance you buy comes with the Energy Star logo.

For more information on the EnergyGuide label, please contact the pros at Air Assurance. We proudly supply excellent service to the Tulsa metro area, including Broken Arrow.Our goal is to help educate our customers in the Tulsa and Broken Arrow, Oklahoma area about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems). Credit/Copyright Attribution: “iQoncept/Shutterstock”

Energy Savings, Featured

Reduce Cooling Costs at Home With These Simple Tips

Reduce Cooling Costs at Home With These Simple Tips

Reduce Cooling Costs at Home With These Simple Tips

With another cooling season looming, it's time to get serious about energy savings by making efficiency-minded changes around your home. These simple tips can help you reduce cooling costs and enjoy a comfortable living environment all summer long.Tips to Reduce Cooling Costs

  • Seal leaky ducts. You can prevent the waste of up to 30 percent of the A/C's cool air output due to leakage by having ducts sealed with mastic and wrapped in at least R-6 insulation.

  • Run exhaust fans. Activities like cooking, bathing and washing dishes add heat and humidity to the indoor air, so run the bathroom or kitchen exhaust fan to vent it outdoors where it can't increase your energy bills.

  • Switch on the ceiling fans. Operating ceiling fans while the air conditioner is running can increase comfort and allow you to raise the thermostat setting a few degrees, curbing your energy usage.

  • Shade the windows. Heat gain through the window glass makes the A/C work harder and increases energy consumption. Keep it under control by installing energy-efficient shades, blinds or reflective window film.

  • Purchase a programmable thermostat. Choose a model that matches your normal weekly schedule and your HVAC equipment brand. Use it to program 10-degree temperature setbacks for a daily eight-hour period, and you can slash energy costs by 15 percent a year.

  • Stop conditioned air losses. Seal leaks by caulking window frames and replacing any missing or damaged weatherstripping around exterior doors. Plug holes and gaps around the foundation and any shell penetrations with expandable foam spray.

  • Prevent heat build-up. Replace incandescent lights with energy-efficient bulbs that produce much less heat. Use the microwave or outdoor grill for cooking instead of the oven, and air dry dishes and laundry so you don't create heat that adds to the A/C's workload.

  • Upgrade an older cooling system. Replacing an inefficient air conditioner can reduce your cooling expenses by as much as 50 percent. To boost those energy savings by up to 15 percent more, choose Energy Star-rated equipment.

To learn more ways to reduce cooling costs in your Broken Arrow home, contact the comfort experts at Air Assurance. We've been helping homeowners since 1985.Our goal is to help educate our customers in the Tulsa and Broken Arrow, Oklahoma area about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems). Credit/Copyright Attribution: “iQoncept/Shutterstock”

Energy Savings

Energy-Saving Tips for Your Tulsa Home This Spring

Now that spring weather is here, you have a golden opportunity to make some energy-wise changes before another hot summer arrives. The following home energy-saving tips can help you keep consumption and costs under control and boost your comfort too.

Energy-Saving Tips for Your Tulsa Home This Spring

Energy-Saving Tips for Your Tulsa Home This Spring

  • Get your air conditioner tuned up. Scheduling A/C maintenance with your HVAC contractor before you start it up for the season guarantees it's ready and able to keep your home comfortable when the temperatures soar. To keep your cooling system operating at maximum efficiency, remember to check the air filter every month and change it as needed.

  • Upgrade to a programmable thermostat. If you're still using a manual thermostat, talk to your HVAC pro about the benefits of switching to a programmable model. You'll learn that it's the most convenient way to schedule daily eight-hour, 10-to 15-degree temperature setbacks and save energy.

  • Have your ducts sealed and insulated. A knowledgeable HVAC specialist will also advise that sealing your ducts can stop the loss of up to 30 percent of your A/C's cooling output. By having the seams and joints sealed with foil-backed tape, and wrapping the ducts with R-6 insulation, you'll see a drop in energy consumption and an increase in comfort.

  • Increase your water heating efficiency. The sediment that builds up in your tank during the normal heating process can erode energy efficiency and even ruin the appliance. Having the tank flushed twice a year to get rid of the accumulation can keep it operating efficiently. While it's being serviced, have the water heater thermostat dialed to 120 degrees and add an insulated jacket if it's an older model.

  • Check your attic insulation. Have a pro measure the insulation level on your attic floor and, if necessary, get extra installed to bring it up to the recommended minimum of R-49. If it hasn't been done already, make sure your access hatch is insulated on the attic side and properly sealed to stop conditioned air losses.

For more home energy-saving tips, contact Air Assurance. We've helped make life more comfortable for Broken Arrow area homeowners since 1985.Our goal is to help educate our customers in the Tulsa and Broken Arrow, Oklahoma area about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems). Credit/Copyright Attribution: “patrimonio-designs-ltd/Shutterstock”