Posts Tagged ‘save energy’

Fall is already here and before we know it, the winter months will be making their presence known as well.  If you have been someone who has experienced an increased energy bill during the winter months, we are here to provide you with some energy and money-saving tips for the upcoming season.

  1. Seal your windows and doors.  If you have any gaps in your windows and doors leading to the outside, not only will your air conditioning be working overtime to compensate for the cool air coming in, but that same produced heat will escape through the gap, resulting in a cycle of increased energy cost.
  2. Lower your water heater temperature. We all need to be able to heat our water, right? You can still do so and lower the temperature on your water heater, all at the same time. Adjust the temperature just a tad and notice a change in your energy bill, without compromising your comfort.
  3. Invest in a programmable thermostat. There are those times that you’ll forget to set your thermostat before you leave the house, leaving it running and wasting energy. With a programmable thermostat, the temperature can be set for a specific time and take that worry off of your hands.

For more energy and money-saving tips, reach out to us on Facebook or Twitter, or contact us to discuss!

The temperature is getting lower and lower while your heating bill is getting higher and higher. Follow these six tips to help reduce your heating bill while trying to stay warm!

  • Socks! When your feet are cold, your whole body can feel cold. So throw on a pair of socks! It’ll warm you right up.
  • Using Other Heat Sources. There are plenty of activities you can do to heat your house without changing the thermostat. Cooking a meal in your oven or taking a warm shower and letting the steam warm the room.
  • Lower Your Thermostat. Most likely you won’t notice a difference if you lower it by a few degrees, but you will notice the difference in your bill.
  • Programmable Thermostat. You can program your heater to work when you are in the house, or shut off when your not home or sleeping. A programmable thermostat can be a great investment!
  • Call for a Checkup. Proper maintenance of your heating system will help keep your furnace running more efficiently. Call an HVAC professional to have a furnace tune-up.
  • Don’t Let the Heat Slip Out! Make sure you windows and doors are shut. Also try keeping doors shut to rooms you are not using.
  • Try using these low cost tips to help you save money on your heating bill this winter. Let us know if any of these suggestions helped you!

    Think you have to buy a new heating and cooling system in every room? Well, think again! Temperature zoning makes it possible for everyone to be comfortable in every room.

    What is a temperature zoning system you ask? In essence, it is a system that allows a consistent temperature in any given region of your home, regardless of the outdoor conditions. No matter sun, rain or snow. To make it simple, each area will have its own climate.

    How do I know if I need a temperature zoning system?

  • Does your home have multiple levels and/or levels that are completely or partially underground?
  • Do you have rooms that are rarely used or certain family members that prefer a different temperature in their room?
  • Do you have rooms in your house can be noticeably cooler or hotter during a certain season or time of day?
  • If any of the following apply to you, you may want to consider a temperature zoning system.

    A temperature zoning system is a great addition to almost any home. The temperature distribution in your home is constantly being affected by sun exposure, rain, humidity, walls, ceilings, and windows insulation quality. A temperature zoning system from Casteel will not only help control the temperature in different rooms but it will also save you money on energy bills. Who doesn’t love that?

    At Casteel we understand that energy costs are starting to rise and the global climate is changing. Going green doesn’t have to stop at recycling. If you are looking for an energy alternative- look no further. Residential solar panels for your home are something to be considered. They are a great investment to help keep your electric bill down and help contribute to society’s effort to stop global warming. Still not convinced? Here’s the top 5 benefits of solar energy from Renewable energy development.

    Top 5 Reasons for Solar Energy

  • It is not only sustainable energy, but it is also renewable.
  • The use of solar energy requires very little maintenance.
  • They are silent! No more noisy generators!
  • Solar energy technology is constantly improving and making it more affordable for everyone.
  • Solar electric power plants produce zero emissions. Leaving no mark on the environment.
  • Not only will solar energy help you get a peace a mind about your impact on the environment, it also contributes to many new jobs. According to a CNN article, solar energy’s employment base grew 6.8% the past year which equals more than 100,000 jobs. It is expected to grow by 24% next year!

    Solar energy panels are a great investment for your home. Start the trend in your neighborhood! You will not only be helping the environment but you will be supporting jobs in this tough economy!

    A tankless water heater is basically a heater that provides hot water in demand. In other words, it doesn’t hold water until you’reCasteel Heating and Cooling ready to use it. At Casteel Heating and Cooling, we recommend Rinnai Tankless Water Heaters. Rinnai covers al the bases from smaller homes in warmer climates to medium or large homes in any climate. They are very efficient, space savers and can save you up to 40% in energy costs! You never run out of hot water if you go with a tankless and they are between 50-70% more effiient than most standard gas or electric heaters. In many cases you can get one or all of the following costs savings: an Energy Star rebate, a Federal Tax credit or even a local utility rebate. If you have additional questions, call us at 770-565-5884 or reach us online.

    …and why do I need one?

    First of all, let me explain zoning. Zoning is something that allows you to cool or heat only those rooms that you choose. If there’s a room in your home that you only use occasionally or a room that gets used at certain times of the day, you can control the temperature and the times the room is at that temperature or another altogether.

    Casteel Heating and Cooling

    How does it work? It works not unlike setting timers on your lights. The system allows you to set different temperatures for different zones and uses dampers that open and closed based on your settings for each zone.

    What products do we use? We use a Honeywell Zoning System. Honeywell has been using this same idea since 1945 and has developed the technology for today’s homes. Their systems can handle anywhere from two to 32 zones and controls every zone from one device.

    What are the key features? It meets the American Lung Association® Health House® guidelines. Its energy efficient because you are not heating or cooling any areas unnecessarily and there’s a five year warranty.

    For more information, call 770-565-5884 or reach us online.

    Do you to spend less money on your electric bills and use less energy? If you answered yes, then you should get a Home Energy Audit.  Several people think that because someone came into their home and changed out the bulbs to CFL’s, installed new shower heads and sealed their windows and doors that they’re good to go. Not so! You need a FULL energy audit to realize big savings. At Casteel Heating and Cooling we perform the following tests in your Home Energy Audit:

     

    • Insulation R-rating for walls, attic, and foundation
    • Heating and cooling equipment
    • Whole house air leakage (blower door test)
    • Ductwork leakage
    • Electrical and lighting analysis
    • Water heater and water usage
    • Carbon monoxide
    • Flue draft

    Knowing the results to these tests allows us to make recommendations for resolving the issues you have and we’ll provide a free quote to you and stay with you every step of the way. We would rather save you money than sell you products and our focus will always be to do right by our clients.

    Start saving money today and make that call to our friendly staff at 770-565-5884. We’ll get you on your way to savings ASAP!

    Casteel Heating and CoolingAir conditioners come in many different sizes, whether they are window air conditioners or central air conditioners. These units should be sized to cool the area of your home you’re trying to cool with the most efficiency. So how do you do that? Well, by measuring the area of the area to be cooled, you’ll have a pretty good idea what size air conditioner is for you.

    To calculate this, simply multiply the length times the width of the room or area to be cooled. Then, as a practical number, multiply that total times 25BTU. This allows ample cooling, whether it is a rainy, moist day or a hot, sunny, humid day. Let’s say the room is 12 feet wide by 15 feet long. That means 12×15=180 square feet. Take the 180 sq. ft. times 25 BTU per square foot and you get the minimum BTU air conditioner you should buy. That means 180×25=4500 BTU cooling capacity is needed.

    You may ask if a smaller air conditioner will work or a larger one may be better? Here’s a thought about those questions. Smaller BTU units will continually run, just trying to keep up. This will increase your electric bill and it is unlikely the unit will be able to cool the area effectively.

    An air conditioner too large can be overkill. To dispute the rumor that bigger is better, an air conditioner too large will cool more quickly, but that may impede the reason for running the air conditioner in the first place. You see, along with cooling the air, the air conditioner is also extracting moisture from the air (humidity) that makes all of us feel hot and sticky. Although the air may be cooler, if the unit doesn’t run long enough, the moisture cannot be extracted from the air properly. It would be like being outside camping on a cool, clammy, foggy night. You know the feeling when your skin is moist and you get goose bumps when cool air flows over it. Besides, an air conditioner too large will cycle on and off frequently.

    Do your self a favor and measure the area of the home to be cooled, calculate your BTU needs and size the air conditioner properly. Your local appliance store or heating and cooling center can aid you in selecting the proper air conditioner size for your home. Remember, too little is never enough and too much of a good thing can be bad.

    Sealing and insulating the “envelope” or “shell” of your home — its outer walls, ceiling, windows, doors, and floors — is often the most cost effective way to improve energy efficiency and comfort. ENERGY STAR estimates that a knowledgeable homeowner or skilled contractor can save up to 20% on heating and cooling costs (or up to 10% on their total annual energy bill) by sealing and insulating.

    To Seal and Insulate with ENERGY STAR:

    • Seal air leaks throughout the home to stop drafts,
    • Add insulation to block heat loss in winter and heat gain in summer,
    • Choose ENERGY STAR qualified windows when replacing windows.

    If your attic is accessible and you like home improvement projects, you can Do-It-Yourself with help from our DIY Guide to Sealing and Insulating with ENERGY STAR. The Guide offers step-by-step instructions for sealing common air leaks and adding insulation to the attic.

    You can also hire a contractor who will use special diagnostic tools to pinpoint and seal the hidden air leaks in your home. A Home Energy Rater can help you find contractors that offer air sealing services in your area.

    Sealing Leaks

    Many air leaks and drafts are easy to find because they are easy to feel — like those around windows and doors. But holes hidden in attics, basements, and crawlspaces are usually bigger problems. Sealing these leaks with caulk, spray foam, or weather stripping will have a great impact on improving your comfort and reducing utility bills. Click on the house diagram to see common air leak locations that you should aim to seal.

    Homeowners are often concerned about sealing their house too tightly; however, this is very unlikely in most older homes. A certain amount of fresh air is needed for good indoor air quality and there are specifications that set the minimum amount of fresh air needed for a house. If you are concerned about how tight your home is, hire a contractor, such as a Home Energy Rater, who can use diagnostic tools to measure your home’s actual leakage. If your home is too tight, a fresh air ventilation system may be recommended.

    After any home sealing project, have a heating and cooling technician check to make sure that your combustion appliances (gas- or oil-fired furnace, water heater, and dryer) are venting properly. For additional information on Indoor Air Quality (IAQ) issues related to homes, such as combustion safety, visit EPA’s Indoor Air Quality Web site.

    Adding Insulation

    Insulation keeps your home warm in the winter and cool in the summer. There are several common types of insulation — fiberglass (in both batt and blown forms), cellulose, rigid foam board, and spray foam. Reflective insulation (or radiant barrier) is another insulating product which can help save energy in hot, sunny climates.

    When correctly installed with air sealing, each type of insulation can deliver comfort and lower energy bills during the hottest and coldest times of the year.

    Insulation performance is measured by R-value — its ability to resist heat flow. Higher R-values mean more insulating power. Different R-values are recommended for walls, attics, basements and crawlspaces, depending on your area of the country. Insulation works best when air is not moving through or around it. So it is very important to seal air leaks before installing insulation to ensure that you get the best performance from the insulation.

    To get the biggest savings, the easiest place to add insulation is usually in the attic. A quick way to see if you need more insulation is to look across your uncovered attic floor. If your insulation is level with or below the attic floor joists, you probably need to add more insulation. The recommended insulation level for most attics is R-38 (or about 12–15 inches, depending on the insulation type). In the coldest climates, insulating up to R-49 is recommended.

    Sealing Ducts

    In houses with forced-air heating and cooling systems, ducts are used to distribute conditioned air throughout the house. In a typical house, however, about 20 percent of the air that moves through the duct system is lost due to leaks and poorly sealed connections. The result is higher utility bills and difficulty keeping the house comfortable, no matter how the thermostat is set.

    Because some ducts are concealed in walls and between floors, repairing them can be difficult. However, exposed ducts in attics, basements, crawlspaces, and garages can be repaired by sealing the leaks with duct sealant (also called duct mastic). In addition, insulating ducts that run through spaces that get hot in summer or cold in winter (like attics, garages, or crawlspaces) can save significant energy.

    Additionally, if you are replacing your forced-air heating and cooling equipment, make sure your contractor installs the new system according to ENERGY STAR quality installation guidelines. A quality installation will include a thorough inspection of your duct system, including proper sealing and balancing of ductwork, to help ensure that your new system delivers the most comfort and efficiency.

    Learn more about improving your ducts.