is-energy-conservation-more-important-than-indoor-air-quality-in-your-home

Is energy conservation more important than indoor air quality in your home?

It’s easy to become obsessed with energy conservation in the home, considering all of the different projects and products that are available out there. But is energy conservation really more important than indoor air quality when you’re looking for a healthy, comfortable lifestyle? Energy savings have their benefits—but not if that means trading off healthier air for lower monthly bills. We’ll explore how these two concepts interact in your home environment so you can make an educated decision when prioritizing between energy conservation and good indoor air quality.

The Basics of Energy Conservation vs. Indoor Air Quality

When it comes to maintaining a healthy living environment, many homeowners are forced to make tough decisions about balancing energy efficiency and indoor air quality. On one hand, energy conservation boasts a host of benefits, from lowering monthly bills to reducing carbon emissions. On the other hand, poor air quality within the home can lead to respiratory problems, allergy symptoms, and a host of other health concerns. While it may seem like these two factors are at odds, a little bit of know-how and a few smart choices can help homeowners strike the perfect balance, allowing for both energy savings and superior indoor air quality. Let’s take a closer look at the basics of energy conservation versus indoor air quality, and explore some helpful tips for keeping both in check.

Benefits of Improving Indoor Air Quality

Are you looking to enhance the health and well-being of your family? One way to do so is by focusing on improving the indoor air quality of your home. The benefits of cleaner air are numerous, from reducing the likelihood of respiratory issues to improving overall mood and cognitive function. One tool that can make a significant impact on air quality is a whole house air purifier. Unlike portable units, these purifiers work to eliminate harmful pollutants and allergens throughout your entire home. By incorporating a whole house air purifier into your air quality improvement plan, you can breathe easy with the peace of mind that your family is enjoying a healthier living environment.

Benefits of Reducing Energy Consumption

Reducing energy consumption is one of the most effective ways to help the environment and save money. By using less electricity, we can decrease our carbon footprint and reduce the amount of greenhouse gases emitted that contribute to climate change. Additionally, reducing energy usage can significantly lower our monthly utility bills. There are a variety of easy and affordable ways to reduce energy consumption at home or work, such as turning off lights when we leave a room, purchasing energy-efficient appliances, and adjusting the thermostat up or down depending on the season. These small changes can make a big difference in both the environment and our wallets.

Strategies for Improving Indoor Air Quality

In today’s world, indoor air quality has become a major concern due to the increasing levels of pollution and environmental hazards. People spend most of their time indoors, which is why it’s essential to improve indoor air quality to avoid health problems. One approach you can take towards achieving this is by investing in a whole house air purifier. Unlike traditional air filters, whole house air purifiers purify the air in your home’s entire HVAC system, filtering out gases, allergens, dust, and other harmful pollutants. This will ensure that your family breathes clean air, free from harmful particles that could cause health problems. With a whole house air purifier, you can count on improved air quality and a safer living environment.

Strategies for Reducing Energy Use in Your Home

As we continue to strive towards a more sustainable future, reducing our energy use at home is an important step in the right direction. Fortunately, there are many strategies that we can employ in order to achieve this goal. One effective strategy is to switch to energy-efficient appliances and light bulbs. This can save a considerable amount on your energy bill over time while also reducing your carbon footprint. Another simple yet powerful strategy is to be mindful of energy usage by turning off lights and unplugging appliances when they are not in use. With a bit of effort and awareness, we can all do our part to reduce energy use and make a positive impact on the environment.

Tips on Combining the Two to Achieve the Best Results

Improving indoor air quality while reducing energy use are two priorities that should not be mutually exclusive. With the right tips and strategies, you can easily combine these two goals and achieve the best possible results. For starters, bringing in more natural light and ventilation can help keep the air fresh and healthy without relying on costly energy-hogging systems. Another approach is to invest in energy-efficient appliances and lighting fixtures, which not only reduce energy use but also emit less heat and pollutants. And don’t forget to practice good habits like regularly changing air filters and turning off electronics when not in use – small steps that can go a long way in improving both air quality and energy efficiency. By combining these tips and others like them, you can create a healthier and more sustainable living space that benefits both you and the environment.

From the basics of energy conservation versus indoor air quality, the benefits, to meaningful strategies for achieving both, this blog post has provided an exploration of improving your home environment. You’ve seen first-hand the effects that various measures have on reducing your energy use and improving air quality. Utilizing the tips outlined here will lead you to a more comfortable, healthier home that not only saves you money on your monthly energy bill but also benefits you physically and mentally with cleaner air. Once again, as mentioned earlier in this blog post, implementing these solutions may come with its own set of challenges so it’s important to seek out experienced professionals like Weather Crafters – it may even qualify for financial incentive programs that you could be eligible for! Start netting greater savings while improving the indoor air quality of your home by contacting Weather Crafters today.

Stay Warm this Winter with These HVAC tips

When the temperatures start to drop outside, it’s important to make sure your home is ready for winter. One way to do that is by making sure your heating, ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC) system is up to the task of keeping you warm all season long. While it’s important to perform regular heat pump maintenance by a trained HVAC technician, here are a few tips that you can do at home to save your system from having to work too hard:

1. Clean Air Filter

Having a clean air filter in your furnace is critical for ensuring its efficiency and effectiveness in heating your home. The dirt, dust, and other particles that accumulate in your filter can reduce airflow to the furnace, limiting its ability to produce heat or operate correctly. As such, it’s important to check your filter regularly and if necessary, replace it with an appropriately sized filter for optimal performance. Taking this simple step will help your furnace run more efficiently and provide you with the warmth and comfort you need during cold winter months.

2. Set your Thermostat to 68 degrees

Maintaining the right temperature at home can be a headache, no matter what season it is. During the winter months, it is especially important to set your thermostat to 68 degrees for optimal comfort and energy efficiency. Studies have shown that this temperature tends to be ideal for the majority of households. By keeping your thermostat at 68 degrees during winter, you can ensure that everyone in your family is comfortable with optimal heating bills that won’t send you into shock come pay day. It’s truly a win-win situation!

3. Weather Stripping

Adding weather stripping around doors and windows is an easy and cost-effective way to help keep your home’s interior comfortable, while also reducing heating and cooling costs. This simple improvement can make a significant impact, as doorways and window frames provide some of the most common entry points for air leaks. Weatherstripping provides a tight seal, successfully blocking drafts that can compromise the insulation in your home’s walls, floors and ceilings. It is important to choose a good quality material for the weatherstripping in order to ensure it will offer maximum protection from drafts without causing problems with regular use of the doors or windows. In addition, you should inspect and replace the strips regularly to make sure they are providing a proper seal.

4. Drink Hot Beverages

Keeping your body temperature regulated is important for staying healthy, and one of the best ways to do this is by drinking hot beverages throughout the day. The warmth from the beverage will help to keep your core temperature steady, especially in winter or during cold weather conditions. It is important to choose your drinks wisely – opt for something natural and herbal such as green tea or chamomile tea – since some sugary drinks can have a net negative effect on your health. If you’re in a warm climate, you can still benefit from lighter hot beverages like honey water or fruit infusions. Remember: when it comes to selecting your beverages, opt for something natural.

Following these tips will help you stay warm and comfortable all winter long, without running up your energy bill. You still want to make sure to schedule regular maintenance on your HVAC unit. But take a few minutes to check your furnace filter, set your thermostat, and seal up any drafts, and then kick back with a hot cup of cocoa and enjoy the season!

Lowering the Heat Cost in your Home

The average winter heating bill in Virginia is just over $100 a month. While saving a few dollars here and there may not seem like much, it all adds up. Knowing how to lower the cost to heat your home can be beneficial in many ways. Not only do you save money, you can also reduce your impact on the environment and you can make your home more cozy during the colder months. To save on your furnace maintenance and repair, here are some great DIY tips to follow this winter:

  1. Replace your HVAC filter – One of the easiest things you can do (all year round) to improve your HVACs efficiency is to replace the filter as needed. Depending on the quality filters should be changed every 3 or more months. If you have allergies, pets, or are a smoker, you should change it more often. Filters are easy to change and you can sign up for a delivery subscription so you don’t have to keep track. When the filter gets delivered, you know it’s time for a change.
  2. Reverse your ceiling fans – Another super easy thing you can do is to flip the switch on your ceiling fans so that it rotates clockwise. Clockwise rotations  create an updraft that recirculates heated air. In the summer switch it back – the counterclockwise rotation pushes air down, creating a wind chill to cool you.
  3. Turn down the thermostat – Over an 8 hour period, for every degree you lower the temperature, you can save up to 1% on your heating bill. If you are leaving for the day, turning the thermostat down a few degrees is easy, since no one will be there. If you are home all day, put on an extra layer, and consider investing in some warm socks. You can also turn the thermostat down 1 or 2 degrees at bedtime – just use an extra blanket.
  4. Install a smart thermostat – It’s never a bad time to invest in a smart thermostat. Most models are user friendly and connect to a smart phone so you have control even when you’re not at home. If you set the thermostat a few degrees lower while you’re at work, you can turn the heat back up on the way home so you don’t walk into a cold house. Another benefit is the habit tracking feature. The thermostat records every change you make. So if you have a habit of turning the thermostat down at 9 pm every night, the thermostat will pick up on that and do it even when you forget.
  5. Mind the gap – Check your windows and doors for gaps that allow cold air in and heated air out. Add or improve insulation in areas that feel drafty. Simple fixes as door draft blockers slide ride onto the bottom of most doors. There are also many different styles of window draft blockers on the market.
  6. Service your HVAC -Every fall, before turning on the heat, you should schedule a service appointment with a certified HVAC specialist. This ensures that your system is operating efficiently and there aren’t any big problems. By having a yearly check up, you will extend the life of your system and save money by fixing small issues before they become big problems.
  7. Go LED – During the holidays, switching to LED lights will save you a lot of money. You should switch all of your lighting to LED, not just holiday decor. According to the Department of Energy, LED lights use 75% less energy than incandescent lights, and last up to 25 times longer.
  8. Use your curtains wisely – Upgrading your curtains to a heavier style can help you sleep later by blocking sunlight, and can help your home stay cozy by keeping heat from leaking through cracks. Open the curtains during sunny parts of the day to allow sunlight to naturally warm your home and get some much-needed vitamin D.

There are quite a few tricks to help with heating your home in the colder months, many of which you can do yourself. For more tips, advice, or to schedule HVAC service, give Weather Crafters a call today!

ultramax

Using UV Lights to Clean your Air

Indoor air quality in your home is a constant struggle. Traditionally home owners have relied on air filters in the HVAC systems to keep all the airborne creepy crawlies under control. 

Filters trap things floating through the air – such as dust, pet hair, and pollen. However, smaller particles slip through the filter and keep circulating through your home. They are in the air you breath and they settle on the countertops, your toothbrush, and everything else in your home.

So how do you combat a germ-a-phobe’s worst nightmare? With the power of light! Use UV lights to clean your air. You might be surprised to know that outdoor air generally contains less pollutants and germs than indoor air. This is because the UV rays produced by the sun keep many airborne microorganisms under control – killing bacterias, viruses, mold, and other nasty things that travel through the air. UV lights, such as the Ultramax, can produce the same bacteria-destroying properties as the sun and help to improve the air quality in your home.

The Ultramax is installed inside your existing HVAC system and  using UV lights to clean your air couldn’t be easier. It is mounted near the indoor coil and keeps mold and other allergens from growing on the coil.

Because all the air in your home circulates through the HVAC system and ductwork, the powerful UV lights produced by the Ultramax will come into contact with pretty much all the air in your home. Not only does the Ultramax clean your air – it also cleans your HVAC system by removing mold and mildew that might build up inside the ductwork. This allows your HVAC to run more efficiently, saving you energy and money. The Ultramax is an awesome addition to any home. It is easy to install, it sits inside your already-existing HVAC system so it is out of the way, and it runs silently so you won’t have an annoying humming sound.

Why wait to purchase an Utramax UV Light? Every second you wait, you are breathing in bacteria and germs. Contact Weather Crafters today to hear about our special promotions for Ultramax UV Lights and how your family can benefit from  using UV lights to clean your air. We can answer any questions you have, help determine which model would be best for your home, and help with installation. Put a stop to breathing dirty air! Call Weather Crafters now!

For more information about the Ultramax UV Light system, check out https://www.ultravation.com/germicidal-uv-air-treatment/

Save Money on Heating

Air Leaks that Cost You Money

Energy efficiency is an important topic for many homeowners. Not only is energy efficiency important for the environment, it also saves you money by reducing your energy bill. Things like buying energy efficient appliances and changing to more efficient light bulbs will cut costs, but there is something else you can do that will save you a significant amount of money. According to the U.S. Department of Energy, the average home spends 48% of its energy bill on heating and cooling. By reducing or eliminating air leaks in your home, you can reduce that part of the bill and save yourself money. Air leaks that cost you money are throwing money out the window, but it doesn’t have to be that way. Here are some easy tips to find and fix air leaks in your home.

  1. Unsealed Windows and Doors
    Making sure that your windows and doors are well-sealed is key to preventing air leaks that cost you money. Having an energy auditor come to your home to do an inspection is the easiest way to check the seals on your windows and doors. However, you can check the seals yourself. Begin by inspecting the seals on your windows and doors. If there is an obvious gap, or if the seal looks like it is worn or torn, it needs to be replaced. If you aren’t sure, try closing and locking all the doors and windows in your home. Close the vents and air ducts. Turn on the exhaust fans in your bathrooms and kitchen. Take a lighted incense stick and walk slowly past each window and door, where the seals are. The smoke from the incense stick should float normally. If it start to float toward a seal, that means there is air leaking out from that seal. Do this with all external windows and doors. The smoke from the incense will show you where you should replace the seals.
  1. Attic Air Sealing
    To find any air leaks that cost you money in your attic, start by making a blueprint of all the lights and fans that are below the attic. Lights and fans are mounted by creating an electric cutout in the ceiling, which will cause air leaks. Go into the attic and check each spot that a light or ceiling fan is. You may need to pull back insulation to see the opening. Make sure that all electric cutouts are properly sealed using either acrylic latex or silicone caulking. This will keep air from going up into that attic and help keep your home the desired temperature.
  1. Air Ducts
    Another area that may have air leaks that cost you money is found in the ductwork. The ductwork is essentially a series of tunnels that the air from your HVAC travels through to go to various parts of your home. If there are leaks in the ductwork, the air that you are paying to heat or cool is leaking out into the space under your floor, going to waste. Because air ducts are generally tucked away, it may be hard to visually see them. For areas of the ductwork that you can see, look at the joints where the ducts connects, and make sure there is a tight seal. If you need to re-seal a connection, use mastic or sticky metal tape. If you are having trouble seeing your ductwork, have an energy auditor or your HVAC company come out to inspect it.
  1. Recessed Lighting
    Recessed lighting can be another culprit for air leaks. Just like ceiling fans, these lights often require an electric cutout into the ceiling. You can check for air leaks using an incense stick. If you find a leak, you can re-caulk the seal or replace the light fixture with a more air-tight lighting can.
  1. Chimneys
    Chimneys often cause leaks because of the building codes. They require one inch between wooden frames and metal flues, and two inches from the brick chimney itself. These gaps help your chimney from overheating or catching on fire, but they also cause air leaks. To fix these gaps, you will need aluminum flashing cut to perfectly fit the gap in your chimney. This is definitely a project that requires a skilled hand, so getting in touch with your chimney inspector is probably the best way to deal with air leaks in your chimney.

Air leaks that cost you money are no joke. Not only  are they cutting down on the energy efficiency of your home, they are taking dollars right out of your pocket. Taking a weekend to check for and fix air leaks will save you money in the long run and it’s worth the time and effort.

For more information on how to air seal your home and cut down on your heating and cooling bills, check out https://www.energy.gov/energysaver/weatherize/air-sealing-your-home