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Posted by on in Efficiency

In the final post of this energy savings facts series, we’ve outlined a few more items that you may or may not already know about saving energy in your home. Even if you did already know these facts, they can serve as great reminders.

 

Enjoy these facts below and have fun saving energy!

 

Sealing your house can save you up to 10% a year in energy costs. Properly sealing your home can be one of the biggest ways to save energy and money each year. Most homes, especially if older, are not sealed. Doing manual checks or, better yet, having a home energy audit done in your home can pinpoint areas that aren’t sealed so you can get them taken care of immediately. Don’t let wasted energy and money leak out your doors and windows.

 

Leaky faucets can add up. A faucet that leaks one drop per second can result in almost 165 gallons of wasted water per month! That amount is equivalent to adding on the water the average person consumes every two weeks. That’s a lot of wasted H2O! Make sure your faucets are sealed to save that water and the heat wasted in the process.

 

Phantom power is a real issue. It’s been reported that up to 70% of the power used by consumer electronics is used when that unit is turned off. By unplugging your electronics and appliances that don’t require to be plugged in at all times, you can cut your electricity and overall energy bill by a lot.

 

Microwaves are extremely efficient (in general). A typical Energy Star microwave uses about 1/3 the energy of a conventional oven to produce the same amount of heat. If you have the option of heating food up with one or the other, a microwave is a better option than the oven. Not only more efficient, but more convenient!

 

The United States is home to just 5% of the world’s population, but it consumes more than 20% of the world’s energy. We can all do our parts to live a more energy efficient life—regardless of where we live. Again, being informed is the best place to start. At Bel Red, we’re always happy to discuss how these facts (plus many, many more) can affect you and your loved ones. Everyone’s needs are different, but we take pride in bringing the highest level of energy efficiency to all of our customers. Thanks for reading!

Posted by on in Efficiency

As we mentioned in part 1 of this blog series, the best defense against energy waste in your home is being an informed homeowner. Energy efficiency is something that can be easily realized if you have the knowledge to make smart energy choices in your home.

 

In part 2 of the series below, we’ve added some additional facts to help with that energy efficiency education process. Enjoy!

 

Energy Star isn’t just a sticker – it’s real a benefit. Appliances necessary for any number of tasks or home comfort can be labeled with an Energy Star rating. This isn’t just a label—far from it. These appliances are much more energy efficient than their counterparts. For example, a new Energy Star rated refrigerator uses 40% less energy than a comparable size and model from 2001 without an Energy Star rating.

 

The higher the R-Value of insulation, the better. Insulation comes in many different shapes and forms. What is consistent, however, is the performance rating system for each. The r-value of the insulation in your home indicates how effective it will be at keeping hot or cool air right where you want it.  Higher r-values indicate higher levels of performance.

 

Front-load washers are more efficient than top-load. Washers that load clothes from the front tend to be much more efficient than older models that load from the top. While these models are more expensive, the cost difference can quickly be made up in energy savings over the machine’s early life.

 

Programmable thermostats can save you big. Setting a programmable thermostat based on factors like whether or not you’ll be home, time of day and others can help you save a lot of energy. Setting the thermostat appropriately for times you don’t need heat or air conditioning in your home is a great way to automatically make sure your energy consumption is as low as possible.

 

HVAC air filters should be changed every 3 months. To keep your system working efficiently, you should change the HVAC filter regularly. While some filter types allow for a bit longer life than others, 3 months is a good gauge for at least checking to see if a new filter is needed.

 

We’ll have one more post with energy efficiency facts coming soon. Please stay tuned and if you have direct questions, please don’t hesitate to reach out to our team today!

Posted by on in General

There are a number of great resources out there to research and learn about ways to conserve energy or make your home more energy efficient through better habits, products and technologies. The best defense against energy waste in your home is being an informed homeowner.

 

In this blog series, we’ll try to help with that energy efficiency education process by listing some facts you may or may not know about energy efficiency. Enjoy!

 

Overall duct efficiency in the US can be drastically improved. According to residential energy efficiency research experts, overall efficiency of duct heating and cooling systems sits somewhere between 50 to 70 percent, on average, in America. That’s a lot of room for improvement.

 

A majority of Americans use natural gas for heating. About 56% of Americans currently use natural gas for heating purposes. Natural gas has become a go-to option for both utility companies and homeowners for heating residences.

 

Replacing old appliances is a great way to boost efficiency. One of the best ways to increase the overall efficiency of your home is to replace old appliances. Efficiency of appliances with newer technologies, especially in recent years, greatly reduces the amount of energy required to operate everyday appliances in your home. If you can afford to do so, replacing appliances with newer models can instantly help save energy in your home.

 

Energy efficiency is increasing at a lower rate than the overall US population. Thanks to advances in the energy efficiency of appliances and general technologies in homes, the overall rate of increase of population is outpacing the rate of increase in energy consumption.

 

When it comes to cooling buildings, light colored roofs are best. Believe it or not, the color of your roof can mean a great deal in energy expenditures. On average, buildings and homes with light-colored roofs use about 40% less energy for cooling the building than do those with darker roofs.

 

Incandescent light bulbs are extremely inefficient. When it comes to efficiency, our light bulbs matter. Incandescent bulbs tend to convert only about 10% of their energy into light. The rest is converted to wasted heat coming form the bulb. If you’re replacing your bulbs, consider using Energy Star rated CFLs or, better yet, LED light bubs.

 

We’ll be following up this post with some more general facts on energy efficiency in the home. Please stay tuned and if you have direct questions about these facts or any others, please don’t hesitate to reach out to our team today!

Posted by on in Heating

In our most recent post, we discussed some benefits of gas fireplace inserts. These advantages can bring heat, comfort and efficiency to your home during the cold winter months. Good news—there are even more benefits to installing these units in your home for a heat source! Read a few more benefits below:

 

Gas fireplace inserts are safe. Direct vent gas fireplaces are extremely safe when installed by professionals. Wood-burning fireplaces have been linked to carbon monoxide problems due to open burning inside the home. Vented gas inserts pull fresh air directly form outside, then flow gases and smoke directly back outside.

 

Placement and design of gas fireplaces are flexible. While many models, specifically those that retrofit to an existing fireplace, are designed to utilize the current chimney, other direct-vent models can be placed in other areas. This gives design flexibility when thinking about the installation of a gas fireplace. Some models vent directly out to a sidewall in the home, eliminating the need for a chimney. Gas fireplaces and fireplace inserts also come in a variety of designs and sizes, making each unique to the home and homeowner’s preference.

 

Maintenance is a breeze. If you own a wood-burning fireplace, you know maintaining it properly can be a fairly large burden. Regular cleaning of the chimney is crucial to avoid potential chimney fires and to maximize performance. Ashes and soot need to be removed from inside the fireplace on a very regular basis to maintain safety and to make sure logs can breathe properly to stay lit. With a gas fireplace insert, maintenance is much easier and requires much less work and attention. Regular inspection is still important, but beyond that maintenance is simple.

 

No need for huge gas tanks. Because gas fireplaces and inserts typically run on natural gas, there’s no need to invest in a large gas tank to sit outside your home. In most cases, the natural gas needed to use the fireplace can be received directly from your home’s regular gas line provided by your energy company. Your energy company meters usage as well. More good news? Burning natural gas in a fireplace insert is very efficient, so you’ll likely see savings on your energy bill compared to other heating sources.

 

As a reminder, Bel Red offers installation of many different types and models of gas fireplace inserts. If you’re looking to benefits from one of the advantages listed above (or in the next post), contact us today!

Posted by on in Heating

Homeowners have many options for heating their homes. Many homes have wood-burning fireplaces that, for many years, homeowners have relied upon for either their main or complementary heating sources. Wood-burning fireplaces can come with their own set of maintenance, operation and energy challenges.

 

Gas fireplace inserts have become increasingly popular as a major heating source for homeowners all over. These safe, efficient units have a number of benefits. In this blog series, we’ll be outlining their benefits to help you decide if a gas fireplace insert is right for you and your home. We kick off the benefits below:

 

  • Gas fireplace inserts are sealed for efficiency. One major issue with wood-burning fireplaces is the loss of efficiency when warm air from the home escapes through the flue. This can occur either through faulty sealing or, most commonly, when someone forgets to close the flue when the fireplace is not in use. This can also allow cold air drafts to enter the home. Both problems obviously contribute to lower efficiency and poor comfort levels for your home during cold months. When installed correctly, gas fireplace inserts all but eliminate air leaks and heat loss—even when installed in existing fireplaces!

 

  • Fireplace inserts are extremely convenient. Let’s face it—hauling wood for traditional fireplaces is a pain. Even if someone else is doing the chopping, you still have to get that wood to the fireplace log by log. Starting fires can be a challenge depending on the type and quality of wood you’re burning, as well. This can be frustrating when all you want is a quick, hot fire to warm your home. Gas fireplace inserts light with the flip of a switch—literally! You can have fast heat and fast comfort with no work at all.

 

  • Temperature management is easy. With gas fireplace inserts, you have control over the temperature, much like other non-fireplace heating systems. With wood-burning fireplaces, the fire is either burning or not, so temperature management is often difficult. Many gas fireplace inserts come with thermostat management so you can set your desired temperature and be done.

 

  • Gas fireplace inserts pump out heat. Many remember the early days of gas fireplace inserts, which were typically more for decoration than for actual home heating. Those days have passed and fireplace inserts are now powerful heat sources that can efficiently heat a large portion of your home.

 

  • They provide heat when the power goes out. Unlike many other sources of heat, gas fireplace inserts can be used when the power is out, which is especially useful during times like these when we’re experiencing high wind storms.

 

Bel Red offers installation of many different types and models of gas fireplace inserts. If you’re looking to benefits from one of the advantages listed above (or in the next post), contact us today!