Tag Archives: energy efficiency

5 Energy Saving Tips for May in Massachusetts

Energy saving tips
Keep those Benjamins and Grants in your wallet instead of handing them over to the utility company.

During the month of May, you probably experience more than a few temperature swings, which means your heating and even cooling appliances are on again and off again, sometimes in the same week. Just last year, Accuweather says that Massachusetts statewide average temperatures fluctuated as much as 30 degrees for the daytime highs in a 7-day period.

The average Massachusetts resident uses about 109 million BTUs of energy every year. That’s 22 percent higher than the average American home, so finding ways to conserve can also help save a considerable amount of money. Here are 5 tips to help meet that goal.

#1: Use a Programmable or Smart Thermostat

Programmable thermostats automatically adjust indoor temperatures based on settings that you choose. Many homeowners prefer a warmer home during the day and a cooler home at night, which the National Sleep Foundation says falls between 60 and 67 degrees.

Smart thermostats take the idea of climate control one step further. You designate temperature settings initially. But over time, the thermostat learns your family’s habits and programs itself to increase and decrease the temperature at different key times of day, such as when you’re at work or just waking up in the morning, for optimum savings.

#2: Get Leaky Faucets Repaired

Believe it or not, plumbers can help you save energy. Not only can a reputable plumber install a high-efficiency water heater that reduces your energy consumption for household hot water, he can help the heater perform better by repairing water supply leaks.

A leaky faucet at the kitchen sink or in the bathroom can draw hot water from the tank continually. That causes the heater to cycle on more than it should. Get drips and trickles repaired, and your hot water will stay in the tank until you need it instead of going down the drain.

Energy saving tips
Get the right insulation depth for your home and warm air will stay put.

#3: Inspect Your Insulation

Living in Massachusetts means that you likely have insulation in the attic and maybe the walls, too. But inadequate insulation lets heat escape your home, which puts a heavier load on your furnace or boiler. It can also make your floors bone-chilling cold.

Almost every home could benefit from additional insulation. Unless you recently had new material installed, it’s a safe bet that beefing it up would help reduce thermal transfer even more. And if your crawlspace or basement has no insulation, correcting that situation would give you warmer floors and fewer cold drafts wicking up indoors.

#4: Repair or Replace Windows and Doors

Old windows and doors don’t necessarily require replacement, especially in a very old or historic home. But because they can be major points of drafts, heat loss in cold weather and heat gain in summer, older windows and doors do need attention.

Caulk is an inexpensive and effective way to seal drafts, says the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. Add insulating storm windows and doors, and you’ll have another measure of protection against the temperature fluctuations outside.

#5: Get a Home Energy Assessment

Perhaps the best way to help lower heating and cooling bills is to get a home energy assessment. Mass Save says that in about 2 hours, an energy specialist will evaluate your home for areas that make it less efficient. That information shows where you need to focus repair and improvement attention.

To make energy efficient improvements more affordable, the Commonwealth offers several rebates and incentives. Get up to $2,000 back on insulation, targets air sealing for free, heating, cooling and water heating appliance rebates, and there’s also a 0 percent financing program for some residents.

You don’t need set the thermostat too high or too low and compensate with clothing to save a little money. Work at improving your home’s heat loss and gain issues, and your heating and cooling equipment will work less to keep your home comfortable.

The professionals at Rodenhiser Plumbing, Heating, A/C and Electric can work with you to improve energy efficiency. Contact us today to schedule an appointment or to learn more.

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Geothermal Heat Pump: Is This Option Right for You?

The U.S. Department of Energy (DoE) and the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) consider a geothermal heat pump (GHP) the most energy efficient form of heating and cooling available. GHPs achieve such efficiency by exchanging heat underground or with a body of water, and other than the electricity to run them, they use no other energy source. Their advantages may help you decide if this system is right for your home and family.

Read More Geothermal Heat Pump: Is This Option Right for You? >>

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Do a Little Research Before Selecting a Boiler Upgrade for Your Home

Boilers are a common way to heat homes in Massachusetts, but an old, inefficient boiler can be a real fuel hog. Upgrading a boiler at the right time can save you a ton of money with lower energy costs in the future.

Read More Do a Little Research Before Selecting a Boiler Upgrade for Your Home >>

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There’s an Array of Programmable Thermostats to Select From

programmable thermostat 8Programmable thermostats are one of the most affordable and effective ways to trim energy usage in your home, especially if you’re away on a routine basis. These devices remember when to change the temperatures in your home based on a schedule you set. Considerations for choosing the best one for your heating and cooling needs involves identifying the type you want, its features and its compatibility with your system. Read More There’s an Array of Programmable Thermostats to Select From >>

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Heat Pump Getting Up in Years? Why a Replacement Shouldn’t Be Avoided

heat pump replacementA quality heat pump is a great investment that can last for years on end, but even the best system can get a bit long in the tooth after years of reliable service. When it comes time to replace the system, you should take the opportunity to choose a replacement that offers the best in energy efficiency and performance. Read More Heat Pump Getting Up in Years? Why a Replacement Shouldn’t Be Avoided >>

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How to Troubleshoot a Problematic Gas Furnace

troubleshooting a gas furnaceWe’re poised for another long, cold, Massachusetts winter. The worst thing that could happen is for the furnace to break down, leaving you out in the cold. But don’t panic. It’s not the end of the world, and the problem may be just a quick fix. Before you call in an HVAC technician for repairs, here are a few common problems to help you in troubleshooting a gas furnace. Read More How to Troubleshoot a Problematic Gas Furnace >>

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Preparing the Boiler for Winter Use After a Quiet Summer

Preparing the Boiler for WinterAs you prepare for starting up a boiler after summer, you may wonder if there are any special steps to take. Keeping your Massachusetts home comfortable this winter is a matter of preparing your boiler for a long, cold season. Read More Preparing the Boiler for Winter Use After a Quiet Summer >>

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Programmable Thermostats Are the Way to Go When You Upgrade From a Manual Model

programmable thermostatsIf you’re like many homeowners, you may be wondering why programmable thermostats are generating such enthusiasm. In many ways, it’s akin to why most people don’t miss cranking the windows in their cars: there are real advantages to automation. And when it comes to programmable thermostats, the advantages are plentiful,  even if you never really minded jumping up and down to adjust the thermostat. Read More Programmable Thermostats Are the Way to Go When You Upgrade From a Manual Model >>

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Considering a Ductless Mini Split Heat Pump? Tips for Getting More Out of It When It’s Cold

ductless mini split heat pumpsThe ductless mini split heat pump is the proven alternative to space heating and cooling individual rooms. In homes where central heat and cooling isn’t installed or where extending existing ductwork to new additions or retrofits isn’t feasible, the ductless mini split provides superior efficiency combined with the power of a central system. Read More Considering a Ductless Mini Split Heat Pump? Tips for Getting More Out of It When It’s Cold >>

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How to Keep the Water Heater in Your Massachusetts Home Maintained

water heater maintenanceIf you haven’t thought of water heater maintenance lately, the fall season is a good time to tend to this valuable, yet often forgotten home appliance. Read on to learn maintenance tasks you can perform, and which tasks you may want to ask your plumbing professional to handle during fall home maintenance. Read More How to Keep the Water Heater in Your Massachusetts Home Maintained >>

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