Federal EPA studies have shown that a typical home contains air is more polluted than the air outside. Poor indoor air quality is a bigger problem today than it might have been years ago, as efforts to improve energy efficiency have led to tighter home construction. Air is trapped indoors and is sucked in and blown from room to room by your HVAC system. A house with poor indoor air quality also can be uncomfortable if the air contains mold spores, chemicals, or just smells bad. Fortunately, you can take simple and straightforward steps to improve your health and your indoor air quality. What’s in Your Air? It’s difficult to map out a strategy for cleaning your home’s air without knowing exactly what’s wrong with it. Something you can do yourself is test for radon. Radon-testing kits are readily available at most home-improvement stores. Follow the instructions and then send the test sample to the designated lab. The existence of radon in house home – seeping up from underground into your home through the foundation, pipes, and other pathways – increases the likelihood of lung cancer and other health maladies. You can also hire a qualified pro to conduct a comprehensive air quality test in your home, as...View Article
Lowering energy usage and saving money isn’t rocket science, but there’s a good chance you’re not doing everything you can. This is why our energy experts have put together a list of five key areas you can look into now before the hot, energy-guzzling summer months arrive in Huntsville. Aging Heating or Cooling System In a typical home, the use of a heating or cooling system accounts for more than half of the monthly energy usage. Much of this is caused by aging systems that are no longer energy efficient. Newer HVAC systems backed by Energy Star are more efficient than ever and will save you money for years to come. Old Appliances Whether you own an old fridge, microwave or washing machine, older appliances simply aren’t as energy efficient as the newer models. And if you have a few of these old appliances, the amount of energy you’re wasting quickly adds up. No Regular Maintenance Regardless of the age of your home’s heating or cooling system, you should hire a professional technician to give them a preventive tune-up once a year. This will keep energy efficiency in top form and extend their life span. Insufficient Insulation The lack of sufficient insulation allows...View Article
If you’re looking for an efficient way to heat and cool your home, a geothermal heat pump is an option worth considering. The basis for this technology has been around for thousands of years, and today’s geothermal technology makes it possible to keep your home comfortable year round without high energy costs. How a Geothermal Heat Pump Works If you walk into a cave and go underground, you may notice that the temperature tends to remain the same, no matter what time of year it is. Though the temperature may range from 45 to 75 degrees, it remains relatively constant. It’s this consistency that makes the geothermal systems work. To install a geothermal system, the HVAC contractor lays a network of piping in the ground at a depth of six feet or more. The pipe, which contains either water or a water/refrigerant mixture, connects to the heat pump. As the heat pump circulates the liquid through the pipes, the ground temperature adjusts the temperature of the liquid within the pipe. As the water returns to the heat pump, the change in temperature helps heat or cool your home. Benefits of a Geothermal Heat Pump System The efficiency of a geothermal system is the main...View Article
Although it seems like a mystery to some homeowners, saving money isn’t as difficult as you might think. For Trinity homeowners, you simply need to incorporate two processes into your daily routines: conserving energy and being energy efficient.
You’d be surprised if you knew how much energy your Huntsville area home is wasting on a daily basis throughout the year . You’d also be happy to learn that you’re not powerless in dealing with an energy-wasting home. A home energy audit conducted by a certified professional will tell you exactly how much energy your home is wasting, as well as where it’s occurring and how to reduce the energy waste. The result will be lower energy bills and a more comfortable home. How Much Can You Save? The federal Energy Star program estimates you can save between 5 and 30 percent on energy bills after a professional home energy audit or assessment, providing you follow the technician’s recommendations. Usually, the suggested steps include relatively inexpensive improvements such as adding insulation and sealing air leaks. However, if you have old, leaky windows or doors, or outdated, energy-wasting HVAC equipment, there’s no sugar-coating it. Creating an airtight, energy-efficient home will require a significant investment. What Happens During a Home Energy Audit? The energy auditor will discuss your household energy use with you and ask to look at utility bills over an extended period of time. He or she will visually inspect health...View Article
Texas winters can get expensive when the temperatures dip for long periods, and keeping the energy bills in check in your Trinity home may feel like a constant struggle. Many homeowners wonder how to lower heating bills, and there are quite a few answers. These simple, inexpensive solutions will go a long way toward reducing energy costs this winter. Schedule Your Annual HVAC Tuneup Preventive maintenance is the number one answer to the question of how to lower heating bills. A poorly maintained heating system will cost considerably more to operate than a well-maintained unit. An annual HVAC tuneup will include removing dust from the components of your system, tightening electrical and gas connections, and lubricating the moving parts to prevent friction. Replace the Air Filter A dirty air filter restricts airflow to your system and makes it work harder to keep you comfortable. It also allows dirt to build up on essential components inside the unit, resulting in decreased efficiency and even serious damage. Inspect the air filter monthly and replace it with a good quality filter when it’s dirty. Seal Air Leaks When cold air infiltrates your home through tiny cracks and gaps, your heating system works overtime to...View Article
Homeowners in the Trinity area know how much they rely on their HVAC systems to keep them comfortable through the year. But with heating and cooling costs adding up to around half of the total energy use in your home, this can be costly. The good news is that home zoning systems provide a way for you to have more control over heating and cooling in your home, and at a lower cost. What Are Home Zoning Systems? Most of us grew up at homes with just one thermostat. Whatever its setting in a central room, usually on the main floor, affected temperatures throughout the house, despite the fact that different levels and rooms heat or cool easier than others. A zoning system solves this problem by separating the house into different zones, with independent temperature control for each zone. This means less wasted energy since unused rooms or zones don’t need to be fully heated or cooled. It also means home occupants with different temperature preferences can set the temperature in a certain area to suit themselves. By installing a zoning system, you can control when certain areas in your home are heated and cooled and at what temperature. Controllable dampers in your ductwork effectively...View Article
You probably worked hard all summer to keep your warm weather bills in check, and with cooler weather on its way to Trinity, it’s time to look into some ways to conserve energy for the heating season. Fall energy savings is a matter of preparing your home for colder weather, shorter days and more time spent indoors. These tips will help lower utility bills for real savings this winter.
After all the hard work your HVAC system puts in during the summer, it’s time to perform some fall home maintenance and gear up for the Trinity winter heating season. Performing simple preventative maintenance chores this fall will prevent many common problems down the line and keep the system running at a high efficiency. Start your maintenance with the following jobs.
Your ceiling fan may seem like yet another appliance that runs up your energy bills, but in reality it has much more potential. Used right, it will help you beat the Trinity and Huntsville area’s heat for less than you pay now. How Ceiling Fans Save You Money The “wind-chill” effect created by a ceiling fan can make you feel up to four degrees cooler. This lets you increase your air conditioner thermostat by four degrees with no loss of comfort. Every degree you raise your thermostat above 78 degrees for eight hours a day could reduce your cooling bills by 7 to 10 percent. Most ceiling fans use less energy than a 100-watt light bulb. That means your fan uses less energy per hour than your air conditioner. The end result is a reduction in energy use and a drop in your bills. By reversing your fan’s direction (to clockwise) in winter, you can create an updraft instead of a breeze. This updraft circulates warm air, meaning your thermostat won’t kick on the furnace or heat pump as quickly, which will save energy. Choosing the Right Fan Because they move air throughout the whole room, ceiling fans cool more efficiently than standing...View Article