Tag Archives: saving energy

How to Save Energy with Ceiling Fans

Save energyWhen utilities use spikes during weather extremes, ceiling fans help take the edge off. Right now, the heat of summer is bearing down across most of the nation. That means higher electricity consumption and some pretty scary bills. Although fans also use electricity, the combination of benefits that they bring to the table equals savings without losing comfort. Here’s how to get it.

Fans Use Electricity but Air Conditioning Uses More

The right combination in the summertime is a bit of air conditioning and a bit of ceiling fan use. It might seem like you’re trading dependency on one device for dependency on another, but fans use a lot less.

When you add a ceiling fan to your home’s cooling plan, you get immediate relief plus lower energy consumption for a result that’s sometimes even more comfortable than air conditioning alone. That’s because fans help the body’s natural cooling system work better. A breeze on the skin makes you feel better right away.

Fans won’t lower the indoor temperature in summer, they only make the people in it feel cooler. So you don’t need to run them when you’re not at home. But according to Brent Glasgow for HuffPo, they might help improve ventilation for a lower risk of mold. So it’s really your choice.

Save energy Cool sleep is more restful, which is why ceiling fans are perfect for bedrooms.

Rotation Direction is Important

Most ceiling fans rotate in either of two directions. One direction works best for warm weather, and the other works best when it’s cold. The concept is confusing for some people, but the principle is very simple.

In summer, you want to feel the breeze. In winter, you don’t. It’s really as simple as that. So this time of year, set your fan’s rotation to blow straight down. That will improve its cooling effect on your skin, which lets you raise the thermostat just a touch without feeling stuffy.

Here’s the part that causes some confusion. Once winter arrives, reverse the fan so that it blows up against the ceiling. Heated air rises, that’s true. But it’s also true that your fan will circulate the heat by bouncing it off the ceiling and sending it back down into the room. Bonus: you won’t get a chilly breeze.

Better Lights Ramp up Efficiency

Most ceiling fans have a rather ordinary light kit, but that’s another area where you can conserve energy. Instead of using fancy incandescents that are made mostly for looks, think about upgrading to a better fan, a new light kit or at least better bulbs, which the pros refer to as lamps.

Some fans are designed with a built-in fluorescent light ballast, which Home Energy magazine says is likely the most efficient choice. This style has fluorescent lamps that pop in instead of the screw-in style CFLs.

Another choice is a fluorescent replacement light kit. If upgraded fans and light kits are too pricey, consider using LED lamps in the standard ceiling fan fixture. They save more energy than the typical spiral-shaped CFLs and don’t contain any mercury. Earth Easy says they typically last 10 times longer than CFLs, too.

Ceiling fans make your air conditioning work better so you feel cooler. And with the right lighting, either LED or fluorescent, you won’t add more heat. But perhaps the best thing about fans is that they don’t need to be ultra-sophisticated to work wonders. If they circulate the air, they’ll help. So if your home needs a cooling boost without making your energy bills worse, they’re definitely worth considering.

Fans make summer heat more bearable, but sometimes a stuffy home means the AC is in trouble. Call Rodenhiser today, and we’ll evaluate your air conditioner, perform necessary maintenance and get you back on the road to a cool, comfortable home.

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What Does Tankless Water Heating Offer That Storage Tank Water Heaters Don’t?

Is your home’s storage tank water heater pretty old? Have you had to repair it more than once in recent years? If so, it may be time to consider a new water heater. But before you go out and buy another storage tank water heater, learn the basics about tankless water heating.

Tankless Water Heating

tankless water heater
Source: iStock.com/AlexRaths

Here are a few of the benefits that come with opting for a tankless water heater:

  • Enjoy hot water any time you want it. – Have you ever tried to take a bath right after someone else has showered or done a load of laundry? Often, you find there’s no hot water left. With a tankless water heater, that’s no longer a problem. You can have that hot water whenever you want it, without waiting.
  • The hot water doesn’t run out. – This is the other side of the coin. You want to enjoy a long hot shower, but half way through, the hot water runs out. You have to rush to rinse yourself off with freezing water. That problem is solved with a tankless water heater. The hot water keeps on flowing, no matter how long you shower.
  • Energy efficiency is a guarantee. – A lot of energy is used every day, keeping the water hot in a storage tank heater. If you only need water in the mornings and evenings, that’s a lot of energy wasted keeping water hot when no one needs it. A tankless water heater can save up to 50 percent on water heating costs annually.
  • A tankless system will usually last longer than a tank water heater. – The main failing of a conventional water heater is the tank. It will start to rust due to sediment build-up; many often fail in less than 10 years. A tankless unit can last 15 to 20 years with proper maintenance.

To learn more about tankless water heating or for other home comfort concerns, contact the pros at Rodenhiser Plumbing, Heating & Air. We’ve proudly served homeowners throughout the Route 495/128 area of Massachusetts since 1928.

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Learn More About Your Programmable Thermostat With These Tips

Programmable thermostats offer a convenient way to maximize comfort and energy savings through pre-programmed temperature changes. But they must be installed and used correctly to enjoy the benefits. Use these tips to learn how to make the best of your new or current programmable thermostat.

Read More Learn More About Your Programmable Thermostat With These Tips >>

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Closing Air Vents Can Have a Bigger Impact on Airflow Than You Might Expect

closing air vents, home heating, Holliston, MassachusettsSome homeowners start closing air vents in little-used rooms in the fall to save money on heating costs. However, this practice has a tendency to backfire, resulting in higher energy bills down the road. Read More Closing Air Vents Can Have a Bigger Impact on Airflow Than You Might Expect >>

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Considering a Heat Pump for Your MetroWest Boston Home? Learn More

considering a heat pump, Holliston, MassachusettsIf you’re upgrading your cooling or heating systems, or both, considering a heat pump with the latest advanced features for your MetroWest Boston home pays off with premium energy savings and home comfort in any season. Read More Considering a Heat Pump for Your MetroWest Boston Home? Learn More >>

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The Energy Star Logo Points Boston Area Homes Toward Better Efficiency

energy starIf you’re looking for ways to make your home more energy efficient, nothing packs a greater punch than replacing your old heating and cooling equipment with a new, more energy efficient version. Just look for the Energy Star logo, which can guide you to savings. Read More The Energy Star Logo Points Boston Area Homes Toward Better Efficiency >>

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4 Ways to Keep Your Home Cool and Minimize A/C Usage

minimize a/c usage, Holliston, MassachusettsAir conditioning can be an expensive way of keeping our homes comfortable, particularly when summer is at its peak. Here are six ways to minimize A/C usage and give yourself a break on your monthly utility bills.  Read More 4 Ways to Keep Your Home Cool and Minimize A/C Usage >>

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Your High-Efficiency Air Conditioner: These 4 Installation Factors Are Key to Performance

high-efficiency air conditioner, Framingham, MassachusettsOne of the keys to choosing the right high-efficiency air conditioner installation is the seasonal energy efficiency ratio, or SEER. Read More Your High-Efficiency Air Conditioner: These 4 Installation Factors Are Key to Performance >>

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Why Put off That Air Conditioner Replacement When You Can Start Enjoying the Benefits Now?

air conditioner replacement-Holliston, MassachusettsHow long have you been thinking about an air conditioner replacement? The longer you wait, the longer it will be before you begin to enjoy the benefits of a new air conditioner.  Read More Why Put off That Air Conditioner Replacement When You Can Start Enjoying the Benefits Now? >>

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Ductless Mini-Split Technology Keeps Making Major Strides

ductless mini-split technology, Holliston, MassachusettsMajor strides in ductless mini-split technology make these little workhorses a leading solution for cooling and heating home additions and remodeled areas. Read More Ductless Mini-Split Technology Keeps Making Major Strides >>

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