|Vol. 3: Issue #4: Letter #33 (Previous newsletters available in archives on web site)
Winter Advisory #3, 2001/2002
Because the costs to heat and cool your home comprises 40-50% of your
total energy bill, it may be worthwhile to review some of the tips advanced
in previous newsletters that can help you reduce them. However, don't
expect any one suggestion to magically cut your energy costs in half (if
there was one, you wouldn't need us to point it out to you because it
would be so obvious).
And let us state up front, that as much as we would like to see you upgrade
your old heating system with one of the brand new, shiny, high efficiency
ones, the truth is that it takes a "whole house" approach; a
combination of large and small things to make a substantial reduction
in energy costs. BUT the average home owner can substantially reduce their
energy bills…some times as much as 50%, when upgraded equipment, properly
maintained, is combined with appropriate insulation, weatherization and
Even relatively little things like seeing that registers and radiators
are clean and not blocked by furniture, carpeting or drapes. That the
drapes and blinds in south facing windows in the winter are opened on
sunny days to maximize the free warmth from the sun and closed at night
to keep out the cold, that fireplace dampers (that are like an open window
to the outside) are closed when not in use, and using kitchen, bath and
any other ventilating fans judiciously as they all contribute to your
ever rising, total energy costs.
The hard truth is that many homeowners lose hundreds of dollars every
year and don't even know it. They choose to believe (or ignore) for example,
that turning the thermostat down 2 or 3 degrees really doesn't save that
much or that a programmable thermostat that can automatically hold a lower
temperature all night (or the 3-8 hours while you are at work), can really
reduce energy costs up to 10-15% (summer and winter). They shrug it off
as just an "advertising gimmick".
These same people pay little attention to dirty filters that restrict
air flow, causing the HVAC system to work harder and longer, thereby using
more energy. Who believe that the excessive humidity of summer makes the
temperature more meaningful but don't seem to believe that an automatic
humidifier installed in the heating system, has a similar effect on dry
air indoor air, making it more effective and comfortable at lower temperatures
and enabling you to further reduce energy costs.
And men, who pretend to know all about the importance and value of keeping
car and boat engines properly cleaned and tuned, will completely ignore
the combustion efficiency of a furnace or the refrigeration cycle of a
heat pump or air conditioner for years, assuming that there is a "good
fairy" some place that keeps the system properly charged, coils cleaned
and the proper amount of air flowing over heating and cooling surfaces
to extract the maximum amount of heat at minimum energy costs.
If you want to get all the life and comfort your system can provide.
If freeing up money for other things by reducing energy costs is important
If you would like to receive these and many other benefits such as:
1. Improved indoor comfort.
2. Improved health.
3. Reduced pollution.
4. Avoidance of premature expenditures by extending operating lifetime
5. Reducing unnecessary repairs.
then we strongly recommend visiting these sites on the HVAC information
1. Humidifiers (adds moisture to air in winter) http://www.climatemakers.com/humidifier.htm
2. Electronic Air Cleaners (removes dust and air borne articles) http://www.climatemakers.com/indoor_air.htm
3. Programmable Thermostats (Provides heating/cooling when you want it)
4. Zoning (provides heating/cooling where you want it) http://www.climatemakers.com/zone.htm
Merry Sherman, President
Phone #: 757-468-5800
Fax #: 757-468-5805
Web site: www.climatemakers.com
Your family's indoor comfort is our family's business