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5 Ways To Improve Your Energy Efficiency

 

Increasing your home’s energy efficiency can not only lower your electric bills, but they also help save the planet! While there are big changes you can make to drastically reduce your energy consumption, like new windows, there are also small changes you can make to start saving electricity right now! 

Increase the Temperature

When you’re away from home, make it a habit to increase the temperature on your thermostat by a couple of degrees. This will help your AC turn on less during the day when you’re not home to enjoy the temperature anyways. In the winter, do the opposite: lower the temperature on your thermostat 2 degrees lower than you’d normally set it! According to Energy.gov, this trick will save 5% to 15% every year.

Unplug Unused Devices

Devices that are plugged in but not in use still suck up energy! According to energy.gov, “Unplugging unused electronics — otherwise known as “energy vampires” — can save you as much as 10 percent on your electricity bill.” Plug devices into a power strip so you can easily toggle the power on and off as needed. Energy vampires continually draw electricity as a “standby” setting, and unplugging these appliances when not in use can save you anywhere from $100-$200 every year!

Inspect Your Windows

Light a candle and place it next to all the windows in your home. If the flame flickers, you might have a draft! Consider adding weatherstripping around the frames and add a bead of silicone caulk over any cracks in your drywall. Sealing gaps and cracks is an easy and inexpensive way to lower energy costs.

If you can feel warmth or cold air coming through your windows, your glass package is NOT energy efficient and is warming or cooling your HVACs hard work. Consider switching to new and improved windows to extend the life of your HVAC unit and save on your electric bill!

Replace Outdated Bulbs

Did you know the average home uses 40 bulbs? Switching to halogen bulbs, compact fluorescent lamps (CFLs), and light-emitting diode (LED) bulbs, is a great way to save on your electrical bill. They offer longer-lasting light and are more energy-efficient than your old incandescent bulbs by up to 70 to 90%.  Did you know that switching just 5 lights to LED bulbs, you can save up to $75 dollars every year. Plus, LED bulbs last up to 25 times longer than traditional bulbs, so you can save a few trips to the store!

Don’t Wash with Hot Water

Wash with cold or warm water when possible. “A whopping 90 percent of energy used for washing clothes goes to heating the water, costing you $100 or more every year,” according to Treehugger.com. Think about how much you can save!

These five small changes will have you on your way to big savings! If you’re looking to make a more significant change, consider looking into our energy efficient vinyl windows! We’d be happy to discuss what this change could look like for your home. Contact us today for a free quote.

4 Ways to Make Your Bathroom More Energy Efficient

 

When we talk about energy efficiency, we’re usually talking about windows. However, your bathroom is another area that can significantly impact your carbon footprint and your energy bills. You probably know that your water heater plays a significant role in your electricity bill, but did you know moving water to and from your home also takes electricity? Let’s dive into how you can #GoGreen with your bathroom!

1. Don’t Forget About the Bathroom Extractor Fan

Extractor fans control odors within the bathroom and take away moisture from the space, preventing your bathroom and mirror from fogging up. While it’s helpful, it’s a big source of energy consumption. Unfortunately, after turning it on, it can be easily forgotten! Make sure that you’re using the fan only when necessary and for as short a time as possible.

 

Over time, the effectiveness of older fans can diminish, so be sure to check that your extractor fan is doing everything you need it to. Switching to an updated fan can decrease energy consumption and help keep moisture away from your walls more effectively. This is a popular upgrade in our bathroom remodels.

2. Turn Down the Temperature on Your Water Heater

Water heaters are famous for being one of the most significant energy-draining appliances within your home! It regulates the heat of your water but works in the background, so most people don’t pay them much attention. The standard default temperature is set at 140 degrees, twenty degrees higher than what is recommended! Drop the temperature to 120 degrees to cut the cost of energy while also being kinder to your pipes and extending their life.

 

If your home still has a tank water heater (they store hot water and run continuously to maintain the warm temperature), switching to a new, tankless water heater is another great way to conserve energy.

3. Switch to LED Lights

This may be the most effortless switch! If your bathroom is too bright, slightly unscrewing the extra bulbs will immediately cut down on energy use. If you want to go the extra mile, switching out your traditional CFL light bulbs for LED bulbs will lower your energy usage – plus, they can last more than 20x as long!

4. Save Water

Since moving water to and from your house also raises energy usage, saving water is another way to conserve electricity. Here are some changes you can make:

  1. Turn off the tap while brushing your teeth

  2. Install a water-saving showerhead

  3. Jump in the shower as soon as it’s hot!

  4. Install efficient faucets

  5. Switch your traditional toilet for a low-flow toilet

  6. Add a faucet aerator to save water without sacrificing water pressure

  7. Fix leaks ASAP!

5. Unplug

Anything you leave plugged in, even if it’s not on, uses electricity. Make sure you unplug hair accessories, electric toothbrushes, electric razors, etc. to avoid any extra power use. Also, be sure to check on them frequently if they need time to heat up. Make sure they are not just sitting around using energy!

6. Windows

We can’t talk about energy efficiency and not mention windows! If you have windows or skylights in your bathroom, they allow air to enter and exit the room, making it harder for your home to heat or cool the area. Our replacement windows are Energy-Star-rated to help you lower those ever-climbing energy costs. Many of our customers start saving the very same day that their windows are installed! Learn more here.

Even if you’re not thinking about remodeling, these small changes can help you reduce your electric bill and lower your carbon footprint. Do your part for the planet and #GoGreen!

If you’re contemplating including these changes into your next bathroom remodel, we want to help! Click here to schedule your free quote and make sure to check out our special offers and see where you can save!

Understanding Air Leakage for Windows

 

Window replacement projects are a great way to spruce up your home and improve energy efficiency, but comparing windows can be difficult if you aren’t sure what to look for. Quality windows will advertise their Air Leakage Rating, but what is it, and how should you know if a window has a good AL rating? Understanding Air Leakage for windows can help you make the best decision for your window upgrades!

What is Air Leakage and how to understand the rating

Air leakage (also known as Air infiltration) is measured by how much air (in cubic feet) passes through a window in 60 seconds, so you can define exactly how airtight your windows actually are. When finding the air leakage rating, you’ll strive for a lower number as this means less air is passing through. You’ll find air leakage ratings on the manufacturer label ranging from 0.1-0.3; again, a lower number is ideal. However, size will affect the rating! You should consider the windows’ or replacements’ size and compare like-size windows to get an accurate representation of the product.

 

Measuring the performance of your windows

Heat loss and gain is the primary concern around air leakage, as this is where your energy savings will come into play. If you aren’t sure if your windows are performing up to par, try to do a visual inspection. Do you see signs of wear around the framing? Is the caulking of your windows rotting, or does there appear to be any weatherstripping, common in Florida’s humid climate? This will indicate if you should worry about Air Infiltration, and seek professional advice on your windows.

 

How do you stop Air Leakage in your home?

High-quality windows manufactured with a low AL rating will help with existing air leakage. Vinyl windows are known to have the lowest AL ratings, lower than 0.1. We utilize Energy StormSaver Window—the industry’s best vinyl windows for high-impact, extreme weather situations. Professional installation that strives for high-quality craftsmanship, such as FHIA, can help deter air infiltration issues that a low-quality install would present. Properly maintaining your windows is also crucial, occasionally checking your windows and performing visual inspections can help you identify any air leakage issues before they become costly. 

While Air Infiltration is an essential measure of your windows’ energy efficiency, it is not the only one, and there are many factors to consider when replacing or repairing windows. You’ll not only want to invest in high-quality windows but also a team that works to avoid common causes of air leakage. A faulty installation will negate the benefits of your replacement product.

Learn more and browse through our replacement window options, and request your free estimate now to get started on your next window replacement project!

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