"Even though Earth Week is an annual event, we can still be energy conscious year round," said Doyle James, president of Aire Serv Heating & Air Conditioning, Inc. "Most air conditioning and heating systems consume more than half a home’s energy. By switching over to a new energy efficient system, families can cut their monthly usage of fossil fuel-generated electricity by up to one-third."
Rising utility and overall energy costs are concerns for most homeowners today. Fortunately, you can save money while being "greener" and stay comfortable. Follow these recommendations from Aire Serv to create a more "green", energy efficient home:
- Smart Thermostat. Install programmable thermostats that adjust the temperature when home or away. Why keep your house cool when nobody is home?
- Filtration. Use high efficiency air filters to help your air conditioning system stay cleaner longer and use less energy to keep you cool.
- Go Green. Plant trees or shrubs to shade the air conditioning unit, but not so close that they block air flow.
- Maintenance. Have your professional air conditioning provider clean your units coils regularly – about every six months – to prevent dirt and dust build-up.
- Insulate. Check the attic, crawl space or basement to make sure it’s properly insulated. This will help conserve electricity and reduce your home’s energy demands.
- Upgrade. Look for a high Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio (SEER) number on air conditioners if installing a new unit. Some units manufactured about 10 years ago were in the 10 SEER range while units today can go as high as 20 SEER or above. Going from a 10 to 20 SEER can cut your cooling costs in half.
- Recycle. If installing a new HVAC unit, consider donation or recycling. A unit in working order can be donated and non-functioning pieces contain recyclable copper and aluminum. Contact your utility company or visit earth911.com for more local options on how you can recycle your old unit.
For more information on how to go green and celebrate Earth Day 2010 around the house, visit the Environmental Protection Agency’s Web site at www.epa.gov.