Good Home Improvements
Utility Bills for the Homeowner
Something Called "Energy Star"
Heating, Ventilating and Air Conditioning equipment bearing an Energy Star label, indicating approval by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and the Department of Energy, is the most efficient and cost saving equipment for you to have in your home. This is a long-term savings item because the up-front costs shouldn't be undertaken lightly. However, if you have to put in a new system anyway, Energy Star equipment should be considered seriously.
For example, windows approved by Energy Star are designed to protect against cold in northern climates, while those approved for southern climates protect you from heat. Energy Star ventilating fans use less energy and last longer than other fans. Such approved equipment can give you long term energy savings as well as the right to some current rebates for your outlay of purchase money. The government is motivated to reward Americans for doing their part to conserve energy use.
Energy Star is a comprehensive program that emphasizes a whole look at your physical surroundings at home. Taking into account your entire house when making decisions that can enhance your energy efficiency and the health and comfort of your family is the goal of the energy conservationist.
At the same time that the Energy Star program is making energy savings, it is also working toward protecting our environment. This is becoming a more important factor to all of us as we learn about the limited resources available to us to protect us from severe climates.
To learn more about these environmental factors as they relate to your home utility bills, see www.energystar.gov.
Your Heating, Cooling, and Ventilating Equipment
When you are deciding on the best equipment for your home, you have a right to ask your contractor if his work guidelines coincide with those required under the Energy Star program, including:
Selecting the correct size of equipment
Carefully charging your system with refrigerant
Having the best possible air flow
And an Energy Star installation checklist that includes the following:
- Leaving adequate room for service and maintenance
- Optimizing programmable thermostats
- Giving you filter changing instructions
- Conducting an air flow test
- Testing your furnace or boiler, and all vents
- Properly matching your Indoor and outdoor coils
- Double-checking refrigerant charge and airflow across indoor coils
- Placing your condenser in a protected area
- Providing you with certificates for tax credits and rebates
Having this chart of matters to consider can save money for you and also show your contractor that you are appreciative of any advice and work that will benefit you and your family.