hvac efficiency

Energy Savings

10 Steps to a Green Home

The effort to build and live green is not going away. In fact, energy efficiency will just continue to be more important as we move away from fossil fuels and find alternative, more efficient energy sources. But right now, there's a lot you can do to have a green home. Have a look at some of these tips and adapt them in your dwelling space.

1. Change the air filter frequently. A dirty air filter makes your HVAC system work harder. Change the filter as often as is needed.

2. Switch to a permanent, washable air filter. This eliminates having to dispose of filters, which end up in the landfill. Make sure you clean it so it works properly.

3. Seal air leaks. You'll get greater energy efficiency and reduce your carbon footprint by sealing air leaks around plumbing, light switches, baseboards, doors and windows.

4. Use a programmable or Wi-fi thermostat. Set your schedule to reduce power use during the day when everyone's gone and at night when they are asleep. Stick to the schedule.

5. Reduce humidity in the home in summer. A humid home can make you feel warm so you use more energy to cool. Fix plumbing leaks, reduce shower times, and install exhaust ventilation to reduce relative humidity.

6. Look into solar solutions. Look into installing energy-efficient solar lights and other solar solutions around the home to reduce energy use. You may even want to install solar batteries for all your energy use.

7. Fix air duct leaks. If your air ducts are leaking, you're losing conditioned air. Have them checked out during HVAC maintenance.

8. Install efficient windows. Install double pane, efficient windows recommended by Energy Star to reduce solar radiation in the home, and to keep cold winds out.

9. Install window tinting. This can help reduce solar radiation in the home.

10. Install Energy Star appliances. As your older appliances wear out, look for efficient Energy Star-rated replacements.

For more on creating a green home, and to schedule repairs, maintenance and installations, contact Air Assurance of Broken Arrow.

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.

HVAC system

How Fog Machines and Halloween Decorations Affect Your Home's HVAC Efficiency

How Fog Machines and Halloween Decorations Affect Your Home's HVAC Efficiency

Halloween celebrations might make a dent in your home’s HVAC efficiency if you use some kinds of candles and lamp oil or use a fog machine indoors. The sheer number of times you open the door may cool your home, but if you’re having a party, count on plenty of body heat.

Steps to Take:

  • Keep your front door closed between trick-or-treaters if it’s a cold night. Make it more fun by decorating the outside so that the kids see it as they walk to the door.

  • Nobody would argue that fog machines create an authentically scary ambience, but they’ll also cool the air off if you use the misting types. The other kinds that use “fog juice” create heat indoors. You may want to change your HVAC filter to get rid of any particulates that collect on the filter after Halloween is over.

  • Burning candles creates a good deal of ambience but they also emit a lot of heat and soot if they’re made from paraffin wax. If the party is large enough or there are enough candles, it’s conceivable that you’d need to turn on the air conditioner to cool the air.

  • Soot from candles and even lamp oil will also collect in your home’s air and could harm your air filters, The particles can quickly clog the filters and coat the inside of the air handler, reducing HVAC efficiency. If you must use candles, opt for clean burning beeswax or soy products. Look for smoke-free lamp oil. Adjust the wicks so that they don’t smoke.

  • Parties create heat. If you’re hosting a party, it won’t take long to notice that your home is warming up from all the body and cooking heat. If your party will be crowded, prepare ahead by turning down the furnace ahead of time. You may need to switch from heating to cooling if it gets too warm or open the windows.

Having your HVAC efficiency checked before the celebrations start will help you maintain comfort regardless of the weather or party size. For more information, contact Air Assurance, providing HVAC services for 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). For more information about other HVAC topics, call us at 918-217-8273.