Top Ways to Save Energy at Home this Summer

Extra energy costs are bad for both your bank account and the environment, and most people assume that these increased cooling costs are just part of getting through a Greater Los Angeles area summer. But, it doesn’t have to be this way! Take a look at our ideas for ways to save energy at home this summer. From basic maintenance to clever energy-saving strategies, we’ve got you covered,

This season, don’t let the rising cooling costs of summer get you down. In this post, we have gathered together several ways that will help LA homeowners save energy on cooling costs, even during the hottest days of the year. Read on to find out how you can keep cool all summer long, without running up your home energy bills.

Home Energy Saving Tips:

Ways to Save Energy This Summer

Along with heating and cooling services, we at Brody Pennell also offer a large variety of air purifying products and services, which help ensure that your home has good indoor air quality. Call us at 310-836-0606 for more detailed information on our electronic air cleaners, and more!

We have been selling, installing and replacing HVAC systems for over 68 years in Los Angeles, California, and offer flexible payment options. Give us a call to find out more.

 

8 Twitter Accounts to Follow to Make Yourself Better at Saving Energy

Twitter is the ultimate resource for businesses and consumers who are looking to stay on top of the latest trends and news. With live updates directly from experts of any organization, industry or cause, Twitter has moved beyond just a social platform and into the world’s most active and transparent media source. This makes it the ultimate energy saving resource for those looking for the latest in energy efficient equipment, organizations and tips. We know that our L.A. community is always looking for ways to go green, so we’ve compiled this resource of Twitter accounts to follow for breaking energy saving advice.

#1 @EnergyCollectiv

Join the self-proclaimed – world’s best thinkers on energy and climate issues as they cover issues that concern global, residential, political and business energy efficiency and climate change. The Energy Collective provides a newsletter, webinars and ebooks as well as a slew of free resources to help keep you informed of the latest in energy news and tips for leading a more energy efficient life.

#2 @EnergyDemand

Global energy expert, Rod Janssen, and his blog – energyindemand.com – have been influencing the world of energy efficiency and climate change since its inception as a newsletter in 1990. Rod is extremely active on Twitter and his blog and is a great follow for those looking for a comprehensive and global view on today’s energy issues.

#3 @ACEEEdc

The American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy (ACEEE) is focused on leading solutions to create and promote energy efficient solutions to powering America’s economy. Follow their twitter and their organization for the latest in energy efficiency news, energy security and environmental protection.

#4 @AnaMariaTolbaru

Ana-Maria is a price specialist in European power and energy journalist that specializes in energy efficiency, power, gas and LNG. Follow Ana-Maria on Twitter and on LinkedIn for a global perspective on climate change and energy efficiency.

#5 @ElisaWood

Elisa Wood is a journalist for energy markets and policy. Follow her Twitter and website for top energy market trends and news.

#6 @ieeesmartgrid

The Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers has established a smart grid initiative that is focused on informing and guiding organizations and individuals on the advancement and optimization of our power grid. Follow the IEEE as they work to produce local and global solutions to a more stable and secure power grid.

#7 @Energy

The U.S. Department of Energy provides insight on both foreign and domestic energy issues. Follow the energy department to learn more about energy saving tips, our electrical grid, industry info and a lot more with over 13k tweets to date.

#8 @CircularEnergy

Circular Energy is an Austin, TX based energy company that focuses mainly on providing households with energy saving and bill slashing tips for greener and more frugal solutions to residential energy use.

For more local Los Angeles energy solutions, follow our energy savings blogs as a green resource to cutting your monthly bills. You can also schedule a consultation to meet with one of our energy experts to find out how we can create a greener home for your family and the environment.

 

5 Ways You Can Invest in Lowering HVAC Energy Usage

Saving money is always good, especially if you are a homeowner and your home is most likely your biggest investment. One of the best ways to save money on home expenses is to lower your HVAC energy usage. By reducing the energy that is needed to run your HVAC system, you’ll not only save money, but you’ll increase the longevity and efficiency of the system itself. Truly, lowering your energy usage is a win-win situation.

How to Invest in Lowering HVAC Energy Usage

Below, we’ve put together some of the top ways that you can lower your HVAC energy usage by making small investments in your home. These simple steps can make a big impact on your overall energy costs while also helping you get more life out of your HVAC system.

lower-hvac-energy-usage

At Brody Pennell, we focus on quality, value, and exceptional service. If you have more questions about HVAC energy efficiency or just your HVAC system in general, give us a call: 310-836-0606

Geothermal 101: What Homeowners Need to Know

If you are looking for more efficient ways to heat and cool your home, you may be interested in geothermal energy. Geothermal energy is a sustainable energy source that can help keep your home comfortable while saving money on monthly heating and cooling costs. If you would like to hear more about geothermal energy, read on for a basic guide to how this type of home energy works.

What Homeowners Need to Know About Geothermal

Are you interested in using geothermal energy in your home? Below, we’ve put together some basic information that homeowners need to know about geothermal heating and cooling:

Geothermal-infographic

Interested in learning more about geothermal heat pumps and if they might be right for your home? Give us a call today to speak with an experienced HVAC specialist: (310) 836-0606.

Energy Efficiency Tips from Brody Pennell

Many homeowners spend a significant amount of time thinking about how to save money on home costs throughout the year. Your heating and cooling system contributes to a big part of your home spending. That’s why it’s vital that you look for ways to increase your energy efficiency to decrease your total costs. With a little planning and some small changes to your habits, you can be on your way to saving more energy (and money) in no time. Below, we’ve rounded up some of our best tips on energy efficiency from our top blog articles.

Los Angeles Energy Efficiency Tips

Want to cut costs while saving the planet? Here are some of our favorite energy-saving tips from past blogs that you can use to reduce your energy usage and lower your monthly costs:

  1. Use a ceiling fan to help circulate cool air through your home.

Many homeowners feel like they have to choose between their ceiling fan and AC. Though the ceiling fan certainly uses far less energy than the air conditioner, it does not always keep you comfortable. In Energy Efficiency: Using Fans vs. Lowering the A/C, we take a look at how homeowners can use their ceiling fan and AC together to keep their home cool and comfortable while saving a significant amount of energy.

  1. Weatherproof your home.

Does your home ever feel drafty? Warm or cool air may be leaking out of cracks around your doors, windows, and air ducts, which makes it harder for your HVAC system to keep your home comfortable. Weatherproofing your home can help you find and eliminate these air leaks that waste energy and cost you money. Want more simple tips like this? We’ve got an infographic for that. Check out 6 Simple Tips for Saving Energy (And Money Too!) for more easy ways to save energy and cut down on monthly home costs.

  1. Invest in an energy-efficient furnace.

Your heater uses a lot of energy while keeping your home warm and comfortable during the colder months. By investing in a more energy-efficient furnace, you can heat your home without wasting energy or money. To learn more about furnace efficiency ratings and what they can mean for your monthly energy costs, take a look at our article, What are the Ratings for Furnace Efficiency? This is a great read for anyone that is thinking about replacing their furnace this year.

  1. Make sure that your HVAC system coils are clean.

According to the U.S. Department of Energy, dirty evaporator coils can increase your compressor’s energy consumption by about 30 percent. These dirty coils decrease airflow, which in turn decreases the efficiency of your system. That’s why it is vital to have your HVAC system’s condenser and evaporator coils inspected and cleaned annually. For more great tips like these, check out Going Green While Saving Green: How to Increase Energy Efficiency and Lower HVAC Costs.

  1. Purchase a start thermostat.

By now, you’ve probably heard about the smart thermostat. This device allows you to control your home temperature remotely from your smartphone or mobile device, and the system even gets to know your habits so that it can automatically adjust your home environment to your ideal home comfort settings. But did you know that this innovative piece of home technology can actually help you save energy and cut down on monthly heating and cooling costs? We explain all of this and more in What is a Smart Thermostat, Anyway? If you have been considering a smart thermostat, this is a must-read.

Want to learn more about energy efficiency, home improvement, and HVAC? Be sure to check out our blog each month for more great content. While you’re at it, follow us on Facebook, Twitter, and Google+ so that you never miss an update from Brody Pennell.

6 Simple Tips for Saving Energy (And Money Too!) [INFOGRAPHIC]

As the holidays start to wind down, you may have noticed an increase in your energy bills. Turning on your holiday lights, cooking up a storm, hosting guests, and keeping your home comfortable all require a significant amount of energy. The good news is that you can start taking small and simple steps today toward saving more energy (and reducing your energy costs). Our infographic below shows you how you can get started.

Infographic: 6 Simple Tips for Saving Energy (And Money Too!)

Are you ready to start saving a little more each month on your energy costs? We’ve broken it down into some simple energy-saving tips that you can start using today:

Energy Saving Tips

Which one of these energy saving tips are you ready to try? What else do you do to save on energy costs throughout the year? We’d love to hear from you in the comments below.

Tips for Saving on Energy Costs this Holiday Season

The holidays are a fun and exciting time of the year. Unfortunately, the holiday season is also a time of high energy usage for most homeowners. The good news is that you can work toward reducing energy even during the holidays. Below, we’ll offer some expert tips for saving on energy costs during one of the biggest energy-packed times of the year.

Save More on Energy Costs with These Tips

The holidays are here, and many homeowners are looking for any way they can save money this season. Cutting down on energy costs is one way to do just that. Here are some energy-saving tips that you can use to cut costs this holiday season:

Entertain more efficiently.

Hosting guests can be fun and rewarding, but it can also use a great amount of energy. You can entertain more efficiently by turning down the thermostat once your guests arrive. With the warmth coming from the stove, food, and extra bodies in the room, you should still be able to stay comfortable without turning up the temperature too much. You can also cook more efficiently by keeping the oven closed when baking and keeping your burners clean to decrease necessary cook times. You may also want to cook as many dishes as you can at one time to reduce the time the oven is on. This will help you save a little more energy when entertaining this holiday season.

Use more energy-efficient holiday décor.

If you want to save energy with your holiday decorations, consider investing in LED holiday lights. LED holiday lights are much more energy efficient than the traditional variety. They also tend to last longer and pose fewer risks. Homeowners should also avoid using inflatable lawn decorations. Though these inflatable holiday lawn ornaments may be cute and festive, they use up a lot of energy and can drive your electricity costs through the roof this holiday season. Instead, opt for décor that does not require electricity.

Unplug unused appliances and electronics when on vacation.

If you are going out of town this holiday season, make sure that you unplug your appliances and power down any electronics before you head out for vacation. This will ensure that your home is not using energy while you are away. Similarly, you will want to adjust the temperature on your thermostat so that you are not using electricity to heat or cool your home while you are away. A programmable thermostat is also an effective option for controlling temperature while you are away. If you will be in and out of your home running errands, shopping, and visiting friends and families during the holiday season, you can use a programmable thermostat to adjust the temperature and save money.

If you’re interested in learning more about saving energy throughout the year, check out our previous blog post about saving energy with your HVAC system – Going Green While Saving Green: How to Increase Energy Efficiency and Lower HVAC Costs.

Going Green While Saving Green: How to Increase Energy Efficiency and Lower HVAC Costs

Today it seems like there are so many green products on the market, it may be hard to determine which environmentally-friendly products are right for you and your family. But you don’t have to be an environmentalist to see that increasing energy efficiency is both beneficial to the environment and your wallet. When it comes to your HVAC system, there are a few ways that you can increase efficiency while saving money in the long run.

How to Increase Energy Efficiency and Lower HVAC Costs

There are many simple steps that you can take right now to help increase your energy efficiency and lower HVAC costs. With these tips, you’ll be on your way to making your heating and cooling unit run smoother and more efficiently while also preventing unnecessary wear and tear to your HVAC system:

  1. Change your air filter regularly.

This is one of the easiest things that business and homeowners can do to improve the energy efficiency of their HVAC system. Yet so many people forget to change the air filter on a regular basis. A dirty or clogged filter slows down air flow, making your HVAC system work harder than it needs to when heating or cooling your home or office building. This wastes energy and can also lead to costly maintenance as dust and dirt builds up within the system.

  1. Make sure your heating and cooling ducts are properly sealed and insulated.

Ducts move air to and from your central air conditioner or forced air furnace. When there are cracks or air leaks in your duct system, this can become a real energy waster. By sealing and insulating ducts that run through the attic, garage, and other crawl spaces, you can help cut down on energy loss. In fact, according to Energy Star, sealing and insulating your air ducts can improve HVAC energy-efficiency by as much as 20 percent.

  1. Make sure that your HVAC system coils are clean.

According to the U.S. Department of Energy, a dirty evaporator coil decreases airflow, which can cause an increase in compressor energy consumption by about 30 percent. That is why it is important to have your home or building’s HVAC system condenser and evaporator coils inspected and cleaned each year. Not only will this help improve efficiency, but it can help prolong the life of the unit, saving you even more money over time.

  1. Get an annual HVAC tune-up from a professional technician.

All homeowners should get an HVAC tune-up once a year from a qualified HVAC technician. Studies show that effective HVAC preventative maintenance can cut energy costs by 5 to 40 percent depending on the system and equipment in your home. Not to mention regular maintenance can also extend the life of the equipment and improve its ability to keep your home comfortable throughout the year.

If you would like more information on how you can increase energy efficiency, contact the HVAC experts at Brody Pennell today. We would love to discuss all of your home comfort options with you from new energy-efficient HVAC systems to affordable upgrades.

How Cogeneration Impacts HVAC Systems

Saving energy is a major topic in the HVAC industry. Although the American economy is recovering, the process is slow, and for consumers and businesses, saving energy means saving time and money. However, HVAC systems often use massive amounts of energy, which naturally translates into larger energy bills for home and business owners. HVAC experts are finding cogeneration may be the answer to this issue.

What Is Cogeneration?

Cogeneration, otherwise known as combined heat and power (CHP), uses a power station or heat engine to create useable electricity and heat simultaneously. When an HVAC system generates electricity, it also generates heat. This keeps the home or business warm in fall and winter, but that energy is often wasted during spring and summer. Even during colder seasons, extra heat is siphoned into the environment, causing wasted energy. Cogeneration captures leftover heat and “recycles” it.

How The Heat Is Used

In cogeneration, the “waste heat” from an HVAC system is used to heat water, and offsets greenhouse gas emissions and fuel that would otherwise be burned away. This keeps the HVAC system from overheating or breaking down. Over time, such use saves significant time and money in terms of repairs and replacements. The longer an HVAC system lasts, the more energy it can create and the cleaner and safer its surrounding environment will be.

Cogeneration Cuts Costs

Additionally, cogeneration decreases the overall need for electricity. An HVAC system that uses CHP will use about 50% less electricity than systems that do not. As a result, home and business owners can run their HVAC systems for shorter periods, saving energy and keeping the surrounding environment free of pollutants. In addition, home and business owners who use a CHP HVAC system will learn to respond better to natural temperature fluctuations in their buildings. Over time, they may turn to more energy-saving methods of keeping themselves warm or cool, such as using environmentally friendly building materials.

The EPA and other agencies estimate that using a cogeneration HVAC system cuts energy costs and harmful emissions by at least 30-40%. Growing popularity and technological improvements guarantee that increasing numbers of people will use cogeneration systems in the future.

The Growing Popularity Of Cogeneration

Although cogeneration has existed since 1882, our over-reliance on fossil fuels has created a resurgence among home and business owners, especially those who work with HVAC systems. With cogeneration, HVAC systems are now relying more on thermal energy, a cleaner energy source than oil, gas, and other fossil fuels. This decreases air pollution and its many negative consequences, such as the impact of poor air quality on human health.

As the technology behind cogeneration improves, the EPA and other agencies estimate its popularity will only continue to grow. Right now, technological improvements include cost reduction for HVAC systems that use cogeneration, as well as improved environmental control technology. These particular improvements will allow HVAC experts and their customers to adjust individual cogeneration systems to fit their needs and surrounding environments.

Finding An HVAC Dealer in Los Angeles

There are several cogeneration HVAC systems available, so finding the right dealer is crucial. If you are searching for a Los Angeles HVAC dealer, please call Brody Pennell or visit us online. We can further explain the benefits of a cogeneration HVAC system and determine the best system for your particular needs.

Energy Saving Strategies for Summer

When the temperatures rise during the summer so does the electric bill. Having your air conditioner running all the time can really rack up the costs when the bill comes. But there are a number of things you can do to keep that energy bill low and your home comfortable.

Raise The Thermostat Temperature

The first way to save money is pretty obvious – raise the temperature the thermostat is set at. For every degree you raise your thermostat, you’ll save 3-7% on your electric bill. Ideally your thermostat should be set at 78 or higher for the most savings.

Control Your Thermostat Properly

Speaking of thermostats, programming it to turn off when you aren’t home, and turn back on a half hour before is going to amount to a large energy savings. Your air conditioner doesn’t have to work too hard to cool the home down from say 87* to 80* before you come home. And Air conditioners are more efficient when they run at “full speed”, versus turning on and off for short periods to maintain a temperature.

Keep Excess Heat Our Of Your Home

The next way is by closing drapes, curtains, or blinds during the day. No, you don’t have to live in darkness. Instead, focus on closing the ones on the eastern side of the house in the morning, southern in midday, and western in the afternoon. This will cut down on the amount of direct sunlight entering your home through the windows which can really heat a home up.

Move Air Around Your Home

While a fan won’t have an impact on the temperature of your home but it will make the air feel cooler by disturbing the microclimate around you. The air just above your skins surface is warm and has a great deal to do with how you perceive the temperature of a room. When the fan is on it will blow away that warm air and create a wind chill effect, making you feel cooler.

Water Heater Energy Savings

Lower the temperature of your tank-style water heater. Your water heater uses a lot of energy to heat up all that liquid. By lowering the temperature on it you’re going to cut back on that energy quite a bit. And in the summer you can shower comfortably in water that isn’t as hot as it is during the winter.

By using these simple tips you can help keep your summer power bills down while staying comfortable. For more energy saving tips and HVAC information be sure to follow the Brody Pennell blog.