Earth Day Tips for Saving Energy Dollars in Your Home
Nicholson Plumbing, Heating & Air Conditioning offers tips for finding and fixing the issues that may be costing you hundreds
FRAMINGHAM, Mass. – April 18, 2017 – Nicholson Plumbing, Heating & Air Conditioning are experts on how homeowners can save energy and money and are offering tips to address common issues that affect the home.
“An energy audit is the best way to find the places where your home is not energy efficient, but you don’t have to wait for a professional,” said Mike Nicholson, owner of Nicholson Plumbing, Heating & Air Conditioning. “There are some things homeowners can do to identify where energy dollars are flying out of the home. The best thing about fixing these issues is that they will continue saving money for years to come.”
Nicholson suggests starting with identifying major problems. One of the biggest energy drains on a home is air leakage, which means the conditioned air in your home exits through cracks and leaks and is replaced by unconditioned air from the outside. While windows are the top culprit, air can come in anywhere the heating and cooling system runs or any place that the exterior structure of the home has been joined together. Leaks can be sealed with caulk, weather stripping or spray foam insulation.
“Sealing leaks could cut heating and cooling bills anywhere from five to 40 percent, depending on how many you have,” Nicholson added.
Other areas to check include:
- Insulation. Pay special attention to the attic, basement or crawlspace, and all exterior walls. Since heating and cooling are responsible for upwards of 40 percent of all energy expenditures in the average home, keeping your house well insulated can significantly lower energy costs.
- Power strips. Electronics can drain electricity even when they’re turned off. Putting them on a power strip is an excellent way to stop the draw when electronics are in a standby mode, while at the same time protecting them from power surges. You probably have 30 or more electronic devices in your home, so the drain can be substantial. The U.S. Department of Energy estimates that some homes carry phantom loads that raise the monthly electric bill by as much as 10 percent.
- Water fixtures. If your toilet was installed in 1992 or earlier, it probably uses between four and five gallons of water per flush. Older ones could use up to nine gallons. Buying low flow toilets can cut this water use in half. Updating shower heads and faucets means even more savings.
- Heating and cooling system. Things like soot build-up on gas furnace burners or dust and debris on air conditioner condenser coils can hurt the efficiency of your system. Getting the system cleaned and professionally maintained could mean a ten percent efficiency improvement.
- Light fixtures. The major trend has been toward compact fluorescent bulbs, but these aren’t the best choice because they contain mercury, and they also lose lifespan when they are constantly turned off and on. LEDs, although more expensive up front, last much longer and use half the energy of compact fluorescents.
“In addition to recouping your investment, these fixes make your house more energy efficient and more attractive to potential buyers, which increases the value of your home,” Nicholson said. “Spring is a great time for a heating and cooling tune-up that will protect your investment and help with fixing and adjusting minor issues to the home’s plumbing, heating and air conditioning systems before they become bigger and more costly repairs.”
To find out more about Nicholson, visit http://www.nicholson-hvac.com or call 508-881-1500.
About Nicholson Plumbing, Heating & Air Conditioning
Based in Ashland, Massachusetts, Nicholson is a family-owned, full service residential plumbing, heating, and air conditioning company proudly serving all of the MetroWest area and beyond. Nicholson takes an all-encompassing approach to ensure clients reach the highest possible level of comfort, while staying within their budget. The company offers a 100 percent satisfaction guarantee and Solid Warranty. Nicholson is an Angie’s List “Super Service Award” recipient. For more information, visit Nicholson at http://www.nicholson-hvac.com/.