Pay less what? Help the environment how? The simple truth is that a big chunk of your monthly expenses goes to your heating and air conditioning system. A study done by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) shows that the average American household spends $1,300 yearly on utility bills for heating and cooling. The study also revealed that heating and cooling also accounts for thousands of pounds of carbon dioxide emissions each year.
Clearly if your house is larger or smaller than the ‘average’ home your costs will differ. However, regardless of the size of your home, there are two things that all residences have in common: 1) your utility bills can be reduced, possibly up to 30%, and 2) you can still be comfortable while helping the environment at the same time.
The average energy costs for a single-family dwelling is about $0.63 per square foot. How many square feet of conditioned floor space does your home have? For example, if you have 1,000 sq. ft. then you probably pay about $630 per year. So find out what your home’s square footage is and do the math. That will give you a rough idea of your yearly heating and cooling utility costs.
Now imagine if you could reduce that by 30%. That’s money back in your pocket with just some very simple measures. Should you consider some of these measures? The folks here at GAMA Air want you to just ask yourself these two questions:
1. Are you comfortable and healthy in your home?
2. Are your heating and cooling costs reasonable when compared to similar dwellings?
If you answered ‘No’, ‘Not really’, or ‘Probably not’ to these questions then you might want to think of making some changes. You may have already read our series “How Can I Make My Home More Energy Efficient”. We’re going to cover some other basic steps to take to pay less and help the environment, starting with...
Are you comfortable and healthy?
Do you remember our article “Do I Need a Humidifier?” Then you know that humidity plays a vital role to both your comfort and your health. Why comfort? In the winter you want to add moisture to the air in your home. This is because humid air holds more heat and makes you feel warmer. For example, you may have your thermostat set to 72 degrees. But if you add the right amount of moisture to the air, then you will probably be comfortable with it set at 69 or 68 degrees.
Obviously in summer just the opposite is true. When it is warm outside you’ll want to reduce the humidity level in your home to feel cooler. Dropping the temperature isn’t enough. High humidity inhibits your body from cooling down by perspiring. You’re sweating but the perspiration doesn’t evaporate quickly. That’s what gives the sensation of your skin feeling “clammy” or the air feeling “muggy”. A properly functioning air conditioner not only cools the air, but will also pull out the correct amount of moisture. If you have specific problems with high humidity in the summer time, then you would benefit from a whole-home dehumidifier.
The EPA recommends an ideal summer-time humidity level of 60% or lower. If the humidity is higher than this in the summer, you won’t be comfortable. Not only that, but high humidity also increases the load on your cooling system because humid air contains more heat than dry air at the same temperature. Plus you might suffer health ailments related to a buildup of mold or mildew in your home.
The recommended winter-time humidity level is between 25% and 40%. If the humidity is lower than this in the winter then you’ll have to crank the heat way up to feel comfortable. Plus there are health concerns from having humidity levels that are very low in the winter.
So if you are not completely comfortable in either or both seasons, or if anyone in your family is experiencing some of the health ailments that are related to improper humidity levels, then take action! If you need some help controlling the humidity levels in your home, then just give us a call at (310) 651-6936 or use our online form to request a free quote. In a future post we will consider other steps you can take to be comfortable. (UPDATE: Read it now here!)
Want to know more? Visit our “Ask an Expert” page and send us your question!