Lancaster Inspector’s Corner – Saving Energy in Lancaster Pa Part 2

Energy Efficiency in Lancaster PAWelcome Back Readers!  This post wraps up the two part series on energy efficiency from Matt Steger with WIN Home Inspection !   As we began discussing last time. electricity costs in Lancaster PA have skyrocketed due to the deregulation of electric companies here in PA.  One of the ways to combat this is to take steps to make sure your home is as energy efficient as possible, so this week Matt has some specific steps you can take, so read on after the jump to find out what they are!

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Last week, we discussed energy efficiency.  This week, let’s discuss some ways to help you save energy in your home. 

I’ve created a basic list of things that the average home owner can do to save money each month on their utility bills.

  1. Of course, the first thing would be to purchase and use products that have earned the Energy Star sticker.  Even if a product in your home is still functional yet it is near the end of its design life, you may want to consider replacing the product with a newer Energy Star rated model. 
  2. Unplug appliances when not in use.  While this can also have a safety benefit in some regards, unplugging certain items when you are not using them can help save energy.  Unplugging a desk lamp won’t save energy when the lamp is not turned on (since the switch in the OFF position turns off the power to the bulb), however unplugging things like most kitchen counter top appliances will help lower your energy bill since many of these items still consume a little energy when turned off.  Even saving a few pennies per day, can really add up over time.  For example, plugging a computer setup (computer, printer, router, and monitor) into a surge protector and flipping the surge protector off when not in use, can save energy.  Unplugging items with a wall or inline transformer (like for a laptop or game unit) can save energy as the transformer still consumes some energy even if the laptop is unplugged from it.  Of course, unplugging appliances before a thunderstorm strikes may also help protect the appliance’s user and the appliance itself from lighting damage.
  3. Install a programmable thermostat and use it correctly.  Simply replacing your old manual thermostat with a modern programmable thermostat may not save very much energy if you don’t program the thermostat properly.  The purpose of the programmable thermostat is to allow you to set what temperatures you want in the home at different times of the day without having to manually make these changes.  These programmable thermostats can be used on furnaces, boilers, heat pumps, and central air conditioners.  For example, I’ll use a typical February workday schedule.  You get up at 6:30am, work 8am to 5pm Monday through Friday and go to sleep at 11:30pm.  You can program this type of thermostat to automatically warm the house to 72 degrees starting at 6:15am before your feet hit the floor, drop 5 degrees automatically at 7:45am (when you leave the house), warm the house back up to 72 degrees at 5pm so that you walk back into your front door to a warm house that didn’t waste energy all day when no one was home.  Then, when you are ready for bed, it automatically drops back to 67 degrees at 11:30pm.  Of course, the time and temperature settings are determined by the user.  Similarly, you can create settings for cooling in the summer.  Remember to reset the thermostat’s clock when we change between standard time and daylight savings time.  It is best not to have large temperature swings for heating or air conditioning systems as the energy saved throughout the day may be wasted by having to make up a 15 degree difference when the next time/temp setting is reached.  This may produce no savings and may actually cost you more.  You can save approximately 1% for each degree reduced, but generally, 4~6 degrees F is the recommended temperature swing between settings. 
  4. Ceiling fans versus a central A/C system – Running ceiling fans instead of a central A/C system can lower your utility costs since a central A/C system consumes a large amount of power compared to the ceiling fan.  Since heat rises, set the switch on the fan to pull warm air upwards.  If you don’t want to turn your central A/C system complete off, you can raise the thermostat’s temperature a few degrees when running the ceiling fan and this should lower the number of times per day that the central A/C system runs.Lancaster Pa Home Inspections

Of course, trying to save energy can cost you a good deal of money up front, such as if you are replacing your kitchen and laundry appliances or the home’s heating/cooling equipment with modern Energy Star appliances, yet these items can pay for themselves in time on your utility bills.  Most reputable salesmen or contractors can provide cost comparisons, such as the yearly operating costs for your current furnace, water heater, or other appliances compared to the yearly operating costs for new Energy Star appliances.

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As always, I recommend that my clients call Matt Steger with WIN Home Inspection for all of their Lancaster County home inspection needs, Matt can be reached at 717-361-9467!

As always, I’d like you to be part of the conversation, so if you like what you read here please comment, forward The Lancaster Connection.com to your friends and subscribe! 

If you have questions, need real estate advice or want to buy or sell a home, you can call or text me at 717-371-0557, email me at Jason@JasonsHomes.com or contact me at the office at 717-490-8999!

Your Friend in Real Estate,Lancaster PA Homes for Sale, Jason Burkholder

Jason Burkholder

Weichert, Realtors – Engle & Hambright

Search for Lancaster County Homes for sale at www.JasonsHomes.com by clicking here!

 

Want to see what’s happening to home prices in your neighborhood?  Go to www.RealEstateCrystalBall.com !