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How to Start Living an Energy-Efficient Lifestyle

September 27, 2016

Do you cringe every time you pay your utility bill? Do you spend a lot of time trying to figure out what you could do to save more energy? Energy efficiency is a lifestyle built on a foundation of energy-saving habits. Establishing an energy efficient lifestyle can start with taking control of your home’s energy usage and ensuring that your HVAC system gets the TLC it needs. Here are a few habits that you can use to start building an energy-efficient lifestyle in your Jacksonville, Florida, home.

Regular HVAC Maintenance

You’ve heard it before: get regular HVAC preventive maintenance! You hear this so often because its importance can’t be overstated. With the hustle and bustle of everyday life, it can be easy to forget things that seem like they can wait, like taking proper care of your air conditioner. It’s probably not the first thing on your list of daily concerns. But taking care of your HVAC system, especially if you’re concerned with energy efficiency, should be a priority.

You don’t need HVAC maintenance every week. Some tasks should be performed once a month, like changing air filters, but most preventive maintenance only occurs twice a year. All you need is to schedule service ideally in spring for your AC and during the fall months for your heating system. You’ll begin to notice a positive shift in your AC’s energy efficiency.

HVAC contractors inspect your system, fix any components in need of repair, and clean the system. This simple habit prevents greater issues and keeps your HVAC system in tip-top shape, which increases energy efficiency in your home.

Prepare Your Home Before Travel

You have plenty to worry about while preparing for a vacation, but by taking a few minutes to prepare your home for your time away, you’ll still be able to save money. First, adjust your thermostat so that your home is kept a little warmer while you’re away during the summer and cooler during winter. Completely turning off the AC is not usually recommended. However, adjusting the thermostat correctly helps you to avoid wasting energy on optimum temperatures for an unoccupied house.

Next, unplug electronics and small appliances. No, it’s not enough just to turn them off. Just leaving your cable box plugged in year-round, even it’s turned off, will add to your yearly extra utility costs. And that’s just your cable box. Before leaving, unplug electronic items except for the refrigerator and those at hard to reach outlets. If constantly unplugging devices is a hassle, use a surge protector or power strip, and simply turn off the power strip to stop energy flow to the devices. This is a good energy-saving habit to develop all the time, not just when you’re going on vacation.

Before heading out, take a few extra minutes to clean up your home. You’d be surprised at the impact that indoor air quality has on energy efficiency.

Properly Use a Programmable Thermostat

You may have already heard of the benefits of using a programmable thermostat since many homeowners in Jacksonville have seen its positive impact on their energy efficiency. A programmable thermostat allows you to take greater control of your temperature, and greater control combined with proper use leads to better energy efficiency.

With a programmable thermostat, you can program your AC to the right temperatures while you’re away — whether at work or on vacation. You can then program the AC to restore comfortable temperatures by the time you return. You get the best of both worlds: money saved while you’re away and comfort when you return.

Smart thermostats add Wi-Fi connectivity to all the fantastic capabilities already inherent in programmable thermostats. With Wi-Fi, you can adjust your thermostat from the convenience of your smart device. Many smart thermostats also send the owner energy diagnostic reports that inform you where you may be wasting energy.

Achieving energy efficiency in your home has a domino effect. Not only does it save you money in monthly utility costs, but it also contributes to a more comfortable and stress-free home. We here at Ocean State Air Conditioning & Heating would love to lend a hand and increase your AC efficiency. Give us a call at (904) 574-5619 for more information.

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