Tag: electric bills

New Year’s Resolutions: Save Energy and Save Money

Posted by Ben Hubbert - December 29, 2011 - ChampionAC, Energy Tips, San Antonio

Where did 2011 go? It seems hard to believe, but 2012 is just a few days away. That means a lot of people are making their New Year’s resolutions right now. Here are a few ideas to keep in mind for the New Year to help you save money and use less energy. These are all fairly simple things you can do in your home that are either free or cost very little.

Your San Antonio air conditioning and heating system is responsible for more than half of all the electricity you use. That’s why air conditioner maintenance is so vital. One part of that is making sure you regularly change the air filter in your home. A dirty air filter clogs air flow and makes your AC system or heater work double time, which means it’s costing you more money. Here are a couple rules of thumb about air filters. During December, January and February (the peak winter months), change your filter each month. During May, June, July and August (the peak summer months), change your filter each month. During the other months, get into the habit of checking your filter each month to see if it’s dirty. If it is, change it. If not, change your filter every 60 days during those non-peak months. And if you have pets or allergies really bother you, change your filter every couple of weeks.

When you leave a room, do you remember to turn off the lights? It’s a simple thing, but it’s amazing how often we all forget to do that. Leaving on lights in unoccupied rooms is a drain on your wallet – and is the quintessential example of wasting energy.

Speaking of lights, switching to CFL bulbs is a great way to save energy. CFL bulbs use 75% less energy than traditional light bulbs. They do cost a bit more than incandescent bulbs, but one, single CFL bulb saves you $30 on your electricity bill over its lifespan.

Finally, get an air duct evaluation. The average home loses about 30% of its cooled or heated air through faulty ductwork. That means you’re spending money to keep your attic heated or cooled. Champion AC offers a free air duct evaluation to catch problems like improper design or layout, unsealed ducts and ducts that are the wrong size for your home. If you decide to make changes to your ductwork, CPS Energy offers rebates up to $2,500.

Two Things to Get Ready for the Heat

Posted by Ben Hubbert - April 22, 2011 - air conditioner, ChampionAC, Energy Tips, San Antonio

San Antonio is getting another taste of summer this week. Temperatures hit the 90s yesterday and it’s going to stay pretty close to that for the next couple of days.

We’ve seen some people talking on Twitter about how they’re just now turning on the AC for the first time. That’s pretty admirable, considering we’ve already hit the 90s a couple of times this year. I know I’ve had my AC going for a while now. There are two things that are extremely important this time of year, especially if you’re turning on the air conditioner for the first time in several months.

You don't want your air filter looking like this. Photo courtesy of filters4life.com.

Now that we’re getting closer to the summer months (or summer weather), it’s time to consider changing your air filter once a month. Dirty filters not only make your air conditioner work harder, which means you pay more for electricity, but they can also potentially damage your equipment. Air filters run only a couple of bucks. You can buy them at HEB or any home improvement store.

Second, this is the time of year homeowners are encouraged to remember about air conditioner maintenance. Among several other things, a tune-up will clean your coils and the blower, which alone could increase the energy efficiency of your AC by 15%. It’s a small investment that can provide big results – especially as the temperatures get hotter and hotter.

Remember, it won’t be long until we’ll be wishing it was only 85 or 90 degrees outside!

How Much Energy Does Your Home Use?

Posted by Ben Hubbert - November 18, 2010 - Energy Tips

One of the great things about the Web is there’s a resource for just about everything – especially in our field of air conditioning/heating/home improvement/energy use.

A specific tool I like to tell people about is the Energy Star Home Energy Yardstick. It takes about five minutes and you need the last 12 months worth of utility bills, but it can tell you how your home stacks up in terms of energy consumption, especially regarding your San Antonio air conditioning system. Then you can use the information to determine which home improvement projects may be more important than others.

Check it out and let me know what you think.