Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Today's Energy Insight

The Twin Cities finally hit 80 degrees over the Memorial Day weekend. It's been 236 days since the last 80 degree reading here back in September 2013. If running the air conditioner this summer is a necessity, make sure it's humming and efficient. Reducing your unit's energy consumption is good for your wallet, your carbon footprint, and ultimately, the planet. Here are a few tips to keep in mind...
  • Change Air Filters Once a Month: A dirty filter decreases efficiency, and reduces the life of your air-conditioner.
  • Clean Condenser and Evaporator Coils: Dirty coils cause the system to run longer because the system cannot function as well, jacking up your electrical bill.
  • Adjust Blower Components: This provides better airflow and thus more comfort. Airflow problems can reduce efficiency by 15%.
  • Tighten All Connections: Bad electrical connections are unsafe and can damage your appliance. 
  • Check Your Settings: Turn your AC down when you leave. A timer that turns off when you leave and restarts right before you get back is a good investment.

Source: Energy Star

Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Today's Energy Insight

Adjusting your cooling or heating temperatures by just one degree Fahrenheit will result in a one to two percent energy savings. That may not sound like much but it does add up to make a difference.

Do your part and be energy smart!

Thursday, May 8, 2014

Semi-annual Reminder

Warm weather is finally making its way to Minnesota so it is time to change your ceiling fan setting for the months ahead. During the cooling season, the blades should be rotating in a COUNTER-clockwise direction. If your fan is spinning clockwise, look for an adjustment switch located on the motor at the center of the fan and slide it in the opposite direction.

The effect of a ceiling fan in the summer is very similar to what we call a wind chill factor when outdoors in cold temperatures. By producing a breeze or windchill, the downward airflow of a ceiling fan can make a room with a thermostat setting of 78 degrees feel more like 72 degrees. The actual thermostat reading does not change, the fan does not cool the air in the room but the people in the room will feel the wind chill effect making them more comfortable.

And while you are up there, be sure to clean the blades and remove any dust and lint from the motor vents. This will help the fan operate more efficiently ultimately using less energy. Finally, a good tip to remember is to not leave a ceiling fan or any sort of fan running in an unoccupied room. Fans cool people but not spaces.

Monday, May 5, 2014

Cinco de Mayo

In honor of Cinco de Mayo, here are my top 5 tips, in no particular order...

1) Unplug idle or seldom-used electronics.

2) Use a power strip for your pc, printer, speakers, chargers, etc.

3) Use fans and ceiling fans only in occupied spaces, these cool people not spaces.

4) Flip off those light switches!

5) Replace incandescent light bulbs with CFL or LED bulbs, there are so many colors and options now.