New Year’s Resolutions for Your HVAC and Electrical System
Are you looking for ways to step up your game as a homeowner this year? Maybe you want to save some money on utilities or maximize the comfort of your home. Well, regardless of your specific home goals, there are plenty of improvements you can make for year-round health and happiness. To help you get started, the pros at BlueFlame are here with some New Year’s Resolutions for your HVAC and electrical system!
New Year’s Resolutions for Your HVAC and Electrical System:
1. Save More Energy
If you’re like most homeowners, saving money is one of the main New Year’s resolutions for your HVAC and electrical system. To help you get started on those savings, here are some options to consider for 2020:
Energy Savings for Your HVAC System:
Tackle Air Leaks
One of the most important things you can do to make your HVAC system more energy efficient is seal air leaks. Inspect windows and doors for any drafts, as well as chimney flues and attic access doors. These are all hot spots for cold drafts and can easily be sealed with some DIY elbow grease. For windows and doors, add some caulk and weather strips to seal drafts. In addition to windows and doors, caulk and seal air leaks where electrical wiring and plumbing come through floors, walls, and ceilings. Finally, be sure to close off your chimney flue when it’s not in use!
Add a Zoning System
Next on our list of resolutions for your HVAC and electrical system is upgrading to a zone-controlled heating and cooling. We all have different temperature preferences and not all rooms in our home are used at all times. With that in mind, zoning systems just make sense! With the ability to cool and heat different areas or rooms according to use and personal preference, you can save money and maximize comfort with a zoning system.
Improve Your Insulation
While tackling air leaks, don’t overlook your attic insulation. Start with your attic access hatch. If you notice a draft, caulk the trim of the hatch and insulate the perimeter with foam strips. If you noticed visible gaps between your attic insulation and floor joists, it’s probably time to call a pro to upgrade your insulation!
Energy Savings for Your Electrical System:
Now that you have a solid energy saving plan for your HVAC system, it’s time to explore some electrical system savings. Here are a few energy saving tips to start with:
Switch to LED’s
If you have not already made the switch, we recommend starting here! With so many advancements made in LED technology, we are no longer limited to those stark, cool-toned bulbs. In fact, LED bulbs now come in all varieties of different hues, so you can achieve your desired ambiance for any space with LED bulbs. To start, we recommend switching to LED bulbs for the 5 most-used fixtures in your home. With this simple change, you’ll see a significant reduction in your energy consumption!
Use More Power Strips
While this may seem like an unexpected energy saver, there is a method to our madness! Consider this: every appliance you leave plugged in consumes energy, even when it’s turned off. How can power strips help you save? Well, it’s unrealistic to remember to unplug multiple appliances before leaving your house. However, when you have multiple appliances plugged into one power strip, energy savings are as simple as unplugging that one power strip or flipping the switch to “Off”.
Use Cold Wash Cycles
Last but not least on our savings tips for your electrical system involves your routine for washing clothes and dishes. The main source of energy waste when it comes to these appliances is heat. According to LG Electronics, 90% of the energy your washing machine consumes is used to heat the water in the wash drum. In addition, cold cycles won’t cause colors to run, allowing you to wash larger loads at once! This same logic translates to your dish washer. While washing your dishes does require some heat to get the job done right, you can skip the heat for drying them. Most machines use a heated drying method that you can disable, saving you a bundle on energy.
2. Live Healthier
Now that you know how to save in 2020, we have some tips to help you live healthier, starting with your HVAC system:
Living Healthier with Your HVAC System:
Ideally, your home air should contain a humidity level between 30-45%, differing slightly during winter months. Without the proper humidity levels, you and your family can become susceptible to various respiratory problems. Furthermore, your home and furniture can face some serious damage due to air that is either too dry or too moist. To avoid these issues, invest in a whole-home humidifier/dehumidifier. These devices can be installed directly into your HVAC system or used separately to restore your home air to its ideal balance, year-round.
The high-efficiency, air-tight insulation in today’s construction is a double-edged sword. While homeowners can enjoy the benefits of reduced energy waste with fewer air leaks, this new construction leaves no escape for indoor air pollutants. Furthermore, any plumbing leaks or humidity issues can quickly spiral into a full-blown mold problem, since excessive moisture has no way to escape. With that in mind, you’ll want to ensure that your home is well-ventilated. While cracking open some windows during the morning hours is a good natural ventilation method, we recommend exploring some whole-home ventilation systems for your HVAC.
Upgrade Your Filters:
Another underestimated protector against indoor pollutants is your HVAC filter. A simple way to help your air filter do more for your home air this year is by upgrading to a HEPA filter. In addition to using HEPA filters for your HVAC system, we recommend investing in some HEPA air purifiers for your home for the healthiest air.
Living Healthier with Your Electrical System:
Add Some Dynamic Lighting
A growing trend as we near 2020 is the use of dynamic lighting for improved moods and overall health. Although this is a fairly new concept, we are all for fighting off winter blues with some strategically curated lighting! The idea behind dynamic lighting is to help reset your body clock during long winter months by mimicking daylight hours. In other words, your indoor lighting will gradually shift from cool, white lights at sunrise to warm, white light at sunset.
Reset Your GFCI Outlets Each Month
As another way to improve your home and family’s health in 2020, commit to resetting your GFCI outlets every month. Simply put, a ground fault circuit interrupter outlet protects your home and family from shock injuries and electrical fires. Any time your GFCI detects a disruption in electrical currents running through your home, it automatically breaks the circuit. Usually found in moisture-prone areas like kitchens and bathrooms, these GFCI outlets can be easily tested each month. Simply press the test/reset button and ensure the outlets trip and resent correctly.
3. Get Smart with Some Upgrades
There are some exciting smart home upgrades to look out for in the new year, and we are excited to talk about some of our favorites. To start, here are some HVAC smart home upgrades to consider:
HVAC System Smart Upgrades:
A Smart Thermostat with A.I. Capabilities:
Although the development of smart thermostats has already taken the home industry by storm, we are really excited about the added A.I. technology being added to smart thermostats. With new offerings, such as the Nest Learning Thermostat, your HVAC system can learn your schedule and temperature preferences over time. Once your thermostat learns your habits, it automatically programs itself according to these behaviors and preferences. In pairing this A.I. feature with remote access to your smart device, this thermostat can track the device it’s paired with and adjust your settings to energy efficient levels while you’re away.
Wi-Fi Enabled Fans
Using your ceiling fans in tandem with your AC can help you cut cooling costs. With Wi-Fi enabled fans, you can take those savings a step further. By connecting this device to your smart phone or smart home network, you can program your fan to run according to preset temperatures and schedules. You can also control it remotely from your phone, if you want to turn it off while you are away from home.
For a considerable return on your investment, you can upgrade to a motion activated AC system! With special sensors installed in various areas or rooms of your house, this AC system turns on and off when it detects people entering or leaving an area.
Electrical System Smart Upgrades:
In addition to the many advancements in smart home tech for your HVAC, there are many exciting upgrades to consider for your electrical system.
First on our list is the simplest upgrade you can make this year. Whether you program your smart bulbs to come on when someone enters the room or to turn on/off at specific times during the day, the flexibility is endless. By connecting these bulbs to your smart device, you can even control your home lighting remotely. Furthermore, many smart bulbs have built-in dimming capabilities, allowing you to create the perfect ambiance for any occasion with ease.
Wi-Fi Smart Plugs
Next on our list of 2020 smart home upgrades are Wi-Fi smart plugs. As a step above regular smart plugs that operate on a timer, Wi-Fi smart plugs allow you control outlets and appliances inside your home from anywhere in the world!
4. Stay on Top Maintenance
Of all the resolutions for your HVAC and electrical system, the most important is keeping up with routine maintenance. This means changing your air filters regularly, keeping your ducts and vents clean, and regularly changing your smoke and carbon monoxide detector batteries. When it comes to larger tasks, our HVAC and electrical experts are here to help! From your ducts to your outlets, 2020 is the year to step up your game as a homeowner with regular maintenance from your friends at BlueFlame! For help from the best in the biz, visit our website or give us a call today!