Top 7 Tips To Make Your Home Energy Efficient During Summer

Your home is a full-fledged system. And you’re the person who decides how to run its operations. This goes for the appliances you choose, and the equipment you install. So naturally, when you implement cost-effective measures, you’re able to save money, energy, and improve performance. As a homeowner, there are two particular seasons in which you wish your home to be the most energy efficient. Those are summer and winter. So how do you keep cool in the hot weather without overworking your AC? Here are our top 7 tips to make your home energy efficient in summer.

Importance of energy efficient appliances and equipment

Energy efficient appliances and equipment use the least amount of energy to perform their required tasks by default. So if you get energy efficient appliances such as refrigerators, air conditioners, dishwashers, and laundry machines, you’ll be conserving energy. This automatically translates into reduced utility bills. You will be saving money and protecting the environment.

Energy efficiency in home appliances is extremely important. Especially when you consider how the energy and money you saved could be used for something else. So, you get a discounted bill with minimum exploitation of natural resources.

how to make your home energy efficient

How to Make Your Home Energy-Efficient in Summer

1. Check your home insulation

A good insulation system will keep your home well protected against the elements. One of the main places that people tend to ignore is the attic. When your attic is poorly insulated you’ll notice that during the cold months, snow on your roof will melt faster. This means that a substantial amount of warm air is leaking from your home. Similarly, during summer, poor insulation will allow cool air out. This will automatically make your heating and cooling system work harder to compensate for the air leaking.

home-insulation

According to the Environmental Protection Agency’s research, proper insulation will help you save 15% on heating and cooling costs. So, if you want to make your home more energy-efficient, you need to seal any crack and openings. Inspect your floors for any possible crawl spaces and your doors and windows for caulking that could have degraded.

2. Optimize your thermostat settings

If you’re looking to save up on energy bills during summer, you need to tackle the source of the issue. That is your cooling system. It might feel really nice to blast your AC when it’s unbearably hot outside. However, you don’t want the temperature inside your home to be so cold that you need to use a blanket. In fact, you can be comfortable enough with your thermostat set at 78 degrees.

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For every degree below 78, your energy increases by 6 to 8%. Accordingly, your energy bill increases as well. For instance, if you raise your thermostat from 74 to 78, you save 24% in energy usage. Keep the thermostat as high as possible before you leave the house, or turn it off altogether. The bigger the difference between the temperature outside and inside, the higher your energy bill will be.

3. Replace your air filters

When your air filters are dirty and deteriorating, your HVAC is going to overwork itself to keep your house cool. This will result in poor energy efficiency and higher utility costs. Cleaning your air filters might not be enough since you’re supposed to replace them every three months. The same goes for your air vents.

You need to clean those as well on a regular basis. And if you have pets, you will need to clean them more frequently. Not to mention the allergens and dust that circulate through your ventilation system. If you don’t have much experience in home maintenance, you need to call a professional to check them for you.

4. Use fans strategically

You might be reluctant to exclusively rely on fans to cool your home in summer, especially during heatwaves. After all, fans don’t do much except move the existing air in a particular space around over and over again. However, you can place fans throughout your home in a strategic manner so that they work more efficiently.

One great way to increase energy efficiency is to work both your cooling system and fans at the same time. The thing is that you only need to put your AC on at a higher degree than you normally would. Then, plug a fan and direct it towards the AC so that it propagates cool air throughout the whole room.

5. Install double glazed windows

Upgrading your windows is the best thing you can do to enhance your home’s energy efficiency, both during summer and winter. The gap between the two glass panes in double glazed windows acts as an additional layer of insulation. Like so, this layer creates thermal resistance that obstructs the outdoors air from coming in and indoor air from escaping. This means that in winter, warm air won’t leak outside of your home. The double glazing will also prevent the harsh cold from infiltrating your living space.

On the other hand, when the weather is really hot, your double glazed windows have the reverse effect. They hinder warm air from creeping in, and they block the cool air inside your home from seeping outside. Double glazed windows also have the added benefit of minimizing the outside noise, limiting UV damage, and increasing security.

6. Upgrade your light bulbs

If you’re still using incandescent lighting then it’s time to make the switch to LED light bulbs. Incandescent bulbs actually generate way more heat than their LED counterpart. This gives your HVAC system one more thing it has to contend with. Not just that, incandescent lights only last for 1,000 hours. They convert a mere 5% of the energy they receive to light, while the rest 95% gets lost as heat.

energy efficient home

On the other hand, LED bulbs last 25 times longer, they consume 75% less energy, and they run cooler. If buying LED light bulbs seems a bit out of your budget, you could consider compact fluorescent lamps (CFLs). Their lifespan is 10 times longer than that of incandescent bulbs. And you’ll still be saving about 67% in electricity usage.

7. Unplug energy-sucking appliances

Consider this a rule of thumb to energy efficiency in summer: if you’re not using it, then unplug it! Think of it this way: any appliances that use electricity will also generate heat. If you want to keep your home cool and comfortable enough during the hot weather, unplug electronics you’re not using. That goes for anything from your coffee machine and toaster, to your phone chargers and computers.

8 Ways to Reduce Air Contamination in the Workplace

It’s unsurprising that air quality naturally goes downhill in workplaces. When there are too many people in too small a space, negative effects on the air that employees breathe are to be expected. Those can be exacerbated by building or remodeling projects nearby.

Poor indoor air quality may result in sneezing, itchy eyes, and scratchy throats. Medical experts caution that it may also cause respiratory disorders, asthma, and cancer to worsen and damage the nervous system over time.

Fortunately, no matter where you work, there are ways to improve air quality and provide safe working conditions. You can reduce the likelihood of illness and create a healthy work environment by implementing the following recommendations:

air contamination at workplace

1. Keep Everything Clean And Germ-Free

Mold spores, dust, debris, and toxins shouldn’t be present in the air in a work environment. Instead of using toxic cleaning products that pollute the air, consider going green with cleaning agents that releases no additional pollutants into the environment. Muddy shoes should be cleaned on a scraper mat before entering the building or office to prevent tracking dirt into the establishment.

Do the floors after you’ve finished vacuuming to get rid of any airborne pollutants. Microfiber mops and dusters collect dirt and debris more thoroughly than ordinary cloth, so it’s always a good idea to use them.

By keeping everything clean, you can improve your office and help the environment at the same time. Here’s recommended reading if you want to learn more about saving the environment.

2. Replace The Air Filters

When air filters get dirty, they stop up the flow of air. Over time, dust and dirt will settle in the air ducts, and people within the property may be at risk. In general, you should change air filters every six months.

3. Maintain An Appropriate Humidity Level

Dust mites and mold can be reduced when the humidity is between 30% and 50%. You can use two types of equipment to maintain a comfortable humidity level in your office: dehumidifiers and air conditioners.

4. Spillage Should Be Cleaned Up At Once

Mold grows in damp environments, and exposure to it can result in allergies and infections. Because it’s more costly to get rid of mold than to prevent it, it’s imperative to wipe away spills as quickly as possible and to watch for signs of leakage in the office.

5. Make Use Of Air Purifiers

Turning to commercial-grade appliances such as dehumidifiers and air purifiers ensures indoor safety without having to employ a technician.

6. Change Air Filters Regularly

To prevent the return of airborne contaminants to the indoor environment, change the filter as often as needed. Blockage or restriction of airflow can increase moisture retention and the buildup of pollutants in enclosed spaces. That’s why it’s advisable to clean air filters in your heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC) system at least twice a year.

7. Make Sure There Is Adequate Ventilation

Open the windows whenever possible to let fresh air into the office and reduce stale air, but never turn off the HVAC system. Check the ventilation system in your workplace to ensure that it’s adequate. Ensure that there are no air leaks in the hoses or pipes within the property. Furniture, boxes, and cupboards placed in front of an air vent can create a stuffy office, so remove those at once.

air quality at the workplace

Having indoor plants is a great way to bring life into your workplace. They can help improve air quality as well because they take in carbon dioxide and release oxygen.

8. Inspections Should Be Made At Least Every Month

Workplace air quality testing will give you the data and insights you need to determine if the methods you’re using to keep indoor air clean are effective. The tests evaluate airflow, humidity, propensity to damage, amount of odor, water in the air, leaks, and the degree of mold growth and contamination. An increase in the number of employees developing an illness or becoming allergic to a change in the environment may warrant scheduling a test.

If you notice any signs that your ducts are causing poor air quality or providing inadequate ventilation, call the professionals right away. With their help, you’ll find out precisely what has to be fixed to get your office back on track when it comes to health standards.

Takeaway

The health and happiness of your employees are directly tied to indoor air quality. That’s why you have to identify ways to make your office’s environment more conducive to productivity and wellness. These can be as simple as changing filters regularly, using air purifiers, and testing the HVAC system.

How to Reduce HVAC Energy Consumption at Home?

Heating and cooling account for more than 50% of home energy consumption. If you are paying a lot in the name of energy bills, your HVAC system is most likely the primary cause. It is vital to cut down on the energy consumption of utilities to save money (and energy). Energy companies such as American Power and Gas, suggest consumers and homeowners pay special attention to their HVAC system. as heating and cooling cost make up about 40% of your energy bills.

It may also be wise to consider switching to a system that operates on solar or other forms of renewable energy––Providing if it can be afforded.

Here are some ways you can reduce HVAC energy consumption:

Programmable Thermostat to The Rescue

HVAC system design can be made to consume less energy with the help of programmable thermostats.

The DOE recommends reducing room temperature to 15 degrees in winters when you are not home for 8-10 hours. Similarly, they suggest increasing the temperature by around 15 degrees in summers when you are not going to be home for half the day. This will help you save about 15% more energy annually.

The benefit that programmable thermostat gives you is that you won’t have to manually adjust the temperature every day. You can simply program it to change the temperature and save energy. It also has the added plus of operating on a timer so you don’t have to worry about leaving it on throughout the day.

Maintain The Coils Of Your AC Unit

The outdoor unit of the AC can allow dirt and debris to pass through it and gather around the coils and reduce the efficiency of the AC, as a result the unit consumes more energy to keep the room cool.

Keep your outdoor unit clean from dirt, fallen leaves, and other debris to make it work perfectly. If you believe that your outdoor unit needs cleaning, shut it off and use a vacuum to pull out all the dirt.

Inspect Air Filters 

Air filters need special attention as they can get blocked due to dirt and debris. They need to be replaced every season as damaged filters put extra pressure on the unit causing energy to be wasted.

Other than this, you should also replace the filters every now and then. This is not a very tough job and you can do it on your own.

Here’s how to do it:

  • Remove the filter and check for debris stuck in the filters.
  • Keep the filters under light to see if it’s able to pass through. If it doesn’t then you will have to wash the filters.
  • Clean the filters with a toothbrush, or another such tool first.
  • Put the filters in soapy water for a few hours, dry and see if the light passes again. If it does then you can re-apply those, otherwise, you may have to change the air filters.

The average life expectancy of air filters is about 2 to 3 months if they aren’t maintained. Otherwise, they can easily run for a year.

Out With The Old, In With The New

HVAC systems can be costly but if you have been using one for more than 10 years now then it’s time to replace it with a modern and an energy efficient HVAC system.

AC Coils of HVAC systems require regular cleanup

A Clean Way to Cool Down

You can also consult with your energy provider regarding making the switch to renewable energy services. You can also look into energy storage systems such as Tesla’s solar panels that can drastically cut your power bill and provide clean sustainable energy for your home.

The Verdict

Around 48% of US home energy consumption is directly attributable to HVAC use and heating or cooling. These are some of the most efficient ways which you can reduce the amount of energy consumed by your HVAC system.

3 Home Designing Tips To Promote Cleaner Air Quality Indoors

While much of the focus has been on the damage air pollution can do, it turns out the air within our homes maybe even more detrimental. Last year’s Clean Air Day campaign showed that particle pollution levels are a staggering 3.5 times higher indoors than they are outdoors. With the average person spending 93 percent of their lives indoors, every effort must be made to promote clean, safe indoor air quality – including when it comes to designing homes.

Designing a home that promotes good indoor air quality not only encourages better health for you and your family but can save you money on heating costs in the long run.

If you exert effort to promote safer air quality indoors, your home will become healthier and cleaner. Contrary to popular belief, promoting cleaner and safer air quality indoors through the right home design isn’t taxing. Making small changes in different areas of your home and investing in the right tools, such as the Needlepoint bipolar ionization, can go a long way for you and your family to enjoy healthier air indoors. To make this process easier, consider the following tips to promote safer air quality indoors:

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Control Outdoor Sources Of Air Pollution With Minimal Cracks, Leaks Or Uncontrolled Openings

A large determinant of indoor air quality is the transmission of outdoor pollution into the home. In an Indoor Quality Survey by UCL, nitrogen dioxide accounted for 84 percent of the variations in air quality. Nitrogen Dioxide is linked to asthma attacks and is majorly attributed to traffic emissions. The presence of nitrogen dioxide inside your home can worsen the symptoms of asthma or can increase your susceptibility when developing such disease.

The report went on to highlight just how important a role the airtight design of a building plays in maintaining optimal air quality. When designing an airtight home, ensuring there is adequate insulation and choosing the right insulation material is important.

New home builders can also benefit from new construction methods like insulation within the home’s frame or the use of structural insulated panels. Final checks for unsealed leaks or cracks should also be done. However, homeowners and contractors should also keep in mind that ventilation is also just as paramount in maintaining good indoor air quality. Therefore, the inclusion of ventilation points, such as appropriately placed windows, should be kept in mind.

Moreover, common entryways such as doors and windows should be free from any kind of cracks and leaks. Homebuilders can now install silicon in the frames of doors and windows, so make sure that you use this material when designing your home.

Ensure You Have An Effective Ventilation System Design And Components In Place

A carefully designed ventilation system ensures that there is a free flow of air throughout the home and that any internal pollutants are flushed out. Ventilation is also important in the prevention and control of mold spores, which can have a large and potentially toxic impact on indoor air quality. Since molds thrive in humid or moist environments, proper ventilation can prevent their growth and the resulting health complications of mold exposure, such as the triggering of asthma symptoms or lung infections. Molds can also become an eyesore indoors, which is why you should ensure that your home has proper ventilation. A well-ventilated home can also increase the comfort of the people living in it, making the space more relaxing.

When designing your home’s ventilation system, you will want a contractor that is experienced and an NICEIC approved ventilation installer for the installation. In addition to adhering to building regulations, be sure to include mechanical switches or CO2 powered sensors for your MVHR unit so the speed can adapt according to changing conditions, such as seasons of the year. You should also consider the air filter size: larger filters allow for greater airflow, but those made with a thinner material can come with an extended life and dust loading abilities.

There are many ways on how you can improve the ventilation of your home. For instance, you can install extractor fans and attic vents or invest in a home ventilation system. There are several products available in the market today that can provide ventilation indoors so make sure to ask your contractors about your options. For you to end up paying and using a ventilation system that fits your needs and budget, do some research online on how these products work.

Choose Non-Toxic Building Materials And Furnishings For Your Home

Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs) are one of the leading types of indoor air pollution and commonly stem from certain liquids or substances such as paint varnishes, building materials, and the finishes on indoor furniture. Research has also shown that concentrations of VOCs can be up to 10 times higher indoors than they are outdoors. Exposure to VOCs can result in both long and short term health complications, including headaches, skin conditions and liver damage.

To avoid this, homeowners can opt for chemical-free building materials such as formaldehyde-free boarding, Rockwool for insulation, and low VOC paints for painting and interior designs. Since you’ll be designing your home, make sure that the contractors understand your needs and will only use these materials.

When it comes to furnishing, choose second-hand furniture over new. Preowned furniture is more likely to emit lower levels of VOC when you buy them, since they stop emitting VOC after the first few initial years. As a bonus, it is much easier on your home design budget as preowned furniture is cheaper than buying brand new ones. For you to score great deals, you just have to exert effort when searching for secondhand pieces.

Key Takeaway Points

With so much time being spent in our homes, it makes sense that homeowners would want to design a home that is as safe as possible, including the indoor air quality. Incorporating simple hacks like these into your home design process can help you design the home of your dreams – and a healthy one at that.