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How to Slash Your Heating Bills

Even though the price of fuel has gone down somewhat in the Myrtle Beach area, don’t expect your heating bills to necessarily do the same! You may try to think of a big way to save on your bills but you should really concentrate on maximizing the energy efficiency of your home. This is the best way to realize overall savings, not only on your heating bill but your entire electric bill, even when summer hits and the air conditioner comes on.

Whether you are building a new home, remodeling an old one, or just want to make do with what you have, there are a number of easy ways to increase energy efficiency. Some of the options include major home improvement projects, and while you may be out of cash upfront, you will realize great savings for years to come.

Consider boosting your energy efficiency as a way of helping the environment. If you can slash your heating bills, you are reducing your reliance on fossil fuels for energy.

Here are a few ways to save:A Thermostat

  1. Adjusting your thermostat is the first line of defense. When you are not at home, lower your thermostat a few degrees and then bump it back up when you are home. Invest in a programmable thermostat so you can program your temperature settings and not have to worry about constant adjustments.
  2. Replace Older Heating Systems. Most heating systems are guaranteed to work for about 15 to 20 years although some are quite a bit older. Of course, the older a heating system is, the less efficient it will be. If you can afford it, replace your old heating unit with a more efficient system that carries an Energy Star rating label which signifies over 90% efficiency. If you cannot afford a new unit, conduct some preventative maintenance on your old one to prolong its usefulness and increase efficiency. Check the air filters; bleed trapped air from the lines; check for soot and dust build-up and clean when necessary … anything you can do to prevent a breakdown will help with efficiency. Be sure to check the air ducts for any holes and repair them.
  3. Repair or replace windows. Many windows in older homes may produce a draft around the window frame or sash. Replace old caulking and weather stripping around the frames. If you can afford it, replace the old windows with new energy-efficient windows that have a low U-value and a high R-value. Basically, this means the windows serve to insulate the home keeping the home temperatures in – not letting heat or cold air escape – as well as not allowing the outside temperatures to intrude inside the home.
  4. Check your doors. Many doors allow heat to escape and cold temperatures to seep in. You might have to replace weather stripping and do some caulking around the door frames, much like you would do with the windows.

There are a number of ways to improve the energy efficiency in your home so you can slash your heating bills during the winter. The basics of checking windows, doors, heating systems and your thermostat are just the first few lines of defense. Consider asking your electric or gas company (whichever provides the heat in your home) to inspect your home inside and out to bring to your attention the different areas that could use some repair in the energy efficiency department. Our Myrtle Beach  heating specialists can assist you in determining ways you can save on your heating bill. Just give us a call and we’ll be happy to come to your home and offer suggestions for ways you can save this winter, and enjoy the savings when the weather turns hot again. Call us today. 843-497-9867.

Can a Heat Pump Save You Money?

The cost of heating and cooling a home can be extreme. In many cases, the cost is downright prohibitive and many families end up having to go cold in the winter because the bills are just too expensive. Whether your heating is electric based or you have a gas furnace system, energy costs in general have gone through the roof in recent years and paying these bills has never been more difficult.

Some people believe the solution to soaring energy costs is a heat pump system. Heat pumps generally cost less to operate than central heating and cooling systems, so many people believe they are the way to go. But is it true? Can a heat pump really help you keep more money in your pocket every month when it comes to your energy bill?

First, let’s consider how heat pumps work and why they are less expensive.

Heat PumpsFor starters, a heat pump costs less to install than a central heating and cooling system. Heat pumps heat and cool with a single unit, while central heating and central cooling are each a separate unit. Clearly, purchasing and installing one unit rather than two saves money. During the operating life of the system, heat pumps also cost less because there is less equipment to maintain.

The real savings come into play when you consider how a heat pump works. When you have a central heating system, that system takes air, then uses gas or electricity to warm that air, then expels it into your home. The same holds true for a central air system. The air is cooled through some method that requires the expenditure of energy, and then it is pumped into your home, cooling the temperature by adding cool air to the air already in your home.

Heat pumps, on the other hand, work with the heat that is naturally present in the air. Although you may not be able to feel it, there is hot air constantly present in the environment, even on the coldest of days. Heat pumps take that warm air from the outside and pump it into your home. There is no artificial heating process, so there is less energy expenditure. In the summer, the heat pump takes the hot air inside your home and funnels it outside, cooling the air inside by removing the heat from it rather than cooling the air artificially.

In these ways, a heat pump can reduce your energy expenditure – on average, a few hundred dollars per year. However, this only holds true if you live in a moderate temperature zone. Otherwise, a heat pump will not provide adequate heating and cooling.

Call us for more information on how installing an energy efficient heat pump in your home can save you money in the long run. Call us 24 hours a day at 843-497-9867 for all your heating and air conditioning needs, or visit us at our website at http://MyrtleBeachACandHeating.com

Lower Your Electric Bill & Power Consumption This Summer

Finally, it’s July and winter is over! Whether you’re lucky enough to live in a warmer climate like here in Myrtle Beach, or you live in a state where you could literally have snow, rain and sunshine all in the same day, you’ll appreciate the following tips to keep your electric bill low this summer.

According to the California Energy Commission, the average home spends about $1,900 a year on energy costs. However, there are ways to not only lower your energy bills but also help the environment. Follow these summer energy-saving tips to cut your energy bills and make your home a “green” home this season.

Sustainable Power Consumption Tips

  • Don’t cook! Ok, maybe this isn’t a realistic suggestion, BUT instead of using your stove or oven, you could use your microwave and use less power.
  • Don’t hand-wash your dishes. Man, this list keeps getting better, doesn’t it? The truth is that dishwashers use less water than hand-washing dishes. You could let the dishwasher run and let the dishes air-dry in order to save energy.
  • Fill up your fridge. The less food you have in your fridge, the more it has to work to keep the food cool. If you don’t have a frost-free freezer, defrost your freezer; don’t allow more than one-quarter or an inch of frost to build up. Frost makes your freezer work harder and use more power.
  • Do your laundry efficiently. Avoid using hot water to wash or rinse your clothes. The colder the water you use, the more energy-efficient it’ll be. Line-dry your clothes to avoid using your drier, saving you energy, and money and keeping your clothes in better shape.
  • Shorten Your Showers. Even if you only shorten your shower by a couple of minutes, your energy bill can be reduced significantly.
  • Use energy-efficient light bulbs. ENERGY STAR-qualified lighting uses less energy and produces 75 percent less heat than regular light bulbs, which means your cooling bill will also be reduced.
  • Change your HVAC system’s air filter. A dirty filter makes air flow slower and will make your HVAC system work harder and use more energy. A good rule of thumb is to change your filter every three months.
  • Unplug when not in use. Make sure no energy is wasted by turning off, or even better, unplugging electronics when not in use (most new electronics use electricity even when switched “off”)
  • Promote sustainable energy. Install a solar power house fan in your attic to draw cool air into your home. Buy ENERGY STAR appliances. Buy curtains and shades (if you don’t have them already) to close them in order to keep the sun’s rays from coming into your home and to help keep your home cooler.

These are just some of the things you can do to save energy and money. If you’d like to learn more, visit the Energy Star website to learn what “green” changes you can make at home. You can either look up ideas by room type or by energy usage (e.g. appliances, lighting, electronics, etc.)

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