If you are looking for unique ways to celebrate Earth Day this year, you can reduce your carbon footprint by making small changes to conserve energy in your home. From programmable thermostats to changing the air filters in your HVAC system, there are plenty of simple ways to start saving more energy.
Here are some suggestions to get you started.
- Install compact florescent lights. An ENERGY STAR CFL uses less energy and lasts much longer than a standard incandescent bulb. You could save close to $50 a year if you upgrade all of your light bulbs to CFL or LED lights.
- Let your dishes air dry. The heat used in your dishwasher uses energy that could be saved by letting them air dry. Open the door before the drying cycle so that the dishes can dry naturally.
- Change the air filters in your HVAC system. Changing your air filters once a month, or as needed, can increase the efficiency of your HVAC system. Scheduling a yearly maintenance visit will also help maintain performance levels. Overall, you should keep your heating and cooling system clean and free of debris in or near the vents and air ducts to ensure that there’s adequate airflow. Lack of airflow causes the system to work harder and less efficiently.
- Insulate and seal air leaks. Insulating and sealing your home will help save energy year round; however, you should also make sure that your home has proper ventilation and moisture control since all of these strategies work together to increase overall home efficiency.
- Install a programmable thermostat. One of the easiest ways to conserve energy is to install a programmable thermostat. Because of their increased availability, digital programmable thermostats are a lot cheaper now than when they first appeared on the market. You only need the most basic model that will allow you to set the temperature according to your daily or weekly schedule. In addition to their affordability, they are also easy to install for the DIY homeowner.
- Upgrade your HVAC system. Upgrading to a high–efficiency HVAC system will also help you save a lot of money on energy bills, in addition to helping the environment. If you have a heating or cooling system that is older than 10 years, it doesn’t have the high AFUE or SEER ratings of the newer models on the market today. It’s always a good idea to speak to an HVAC professional about your options and help you decide on the most cost–effective system for your home. Call us any time to learn more about saving energy and the high–efficiency HVAC systems we can install for you.
Hard water is a persistent problem for millions of homeowners. Excess minerals from the water supply can be deposited in your pipes or come through your faucets and cause damage to your fixtures. Water softeners make it possible to remove the minerals in your tap water and ensure a nice even pH balance. Here are some ways that water softeners can increase the quality of your water.
Why You Need Water Softeners
When we say someone has hard water, we refer to the mineral content of that water – specifically calcium and magnesium (along with some other common ground water minerals). Hard water is anything rated at 7–10.5 grains per gallon of water (1 grain is 64.8 milligrams of calcium carbonate). If your water matches this definition, it can cause a number of problems for you.
First, it can create a scale buildup on your pipes and fixtures. Anything in your home that uses water regularly will develop this scale buildup, and while it is frustrating on a coffee pot or kettle it can be damaging if it builds up in your pipes. With time, scale build up can lead to clogged pipes, loss of heat or cracks in the pipes due to excessive pressure.
Another unfortunate side effect of hard water is that soap is less effective. It won’t lather properly and therefore won’t work as effectively in your dishwasher or for bathing.
What Water Softeners Do
The solution to these problems is a good water softener. Water softeners replace the calcium and magnesium ions clogging up your water with sodium, which doesn’t settle and therefore moves directly through pipes and fixtures. Before you worry about the addition of sodium to your water, know that most water softeners only add about 1.5 milligrams per ounce of sodium to your water – well below safe standards set by the Food and Drug Administration.
By removing the excess minerals from your water, you ensure that water will flow smoothly between the source and your fixtures. This reduces the risk of scale buildup in your pipes, damage to your fixtures, and possible issues with low pH balance.
Hard water doesn’t have to be a problem you must live with. If you are concerned about its effect on your home’s water supply, consider the benefits offered by modern water softeners. Call us today for a free estimate!