Energy Efficiency Archives

Unlike traditional window air conditioner units, a portable air conditioner is not designed to sit in a window. portable air conditioner reviewsInstead, a portable unit sits on the floor of the space you are attempting to cool, while an exhaust hose carries the hot air out of the room through a window. Since the unit does not function in the same manner as traditional window units, any fair portable air conditioner reviews must take into account the unique features and challenges of the portable units.

Size of the Portable Unit

Though you might assume that a portable unit is going to automatically be small and light weight, that is not always true. At 48.5 pounds, the LG LP0711WNR earns high marks in portable air conditioner reviews for its smaller size. However, other units can weigh over 80 pounds.

How Many BTUs Do You Need?

You may be wanting a smaller unit, but that smaller unit might not cool the space effectively. As is the case with all air conditioners, portable units’ cooling power is measured in British Thermal Units (BTUs). Units with a higher BTU can cool a larger space. If you only have 150 sq. ft. to cover, then a unit with 7,500 BTUs is acceptable. But if you need to cover 500 sq. ft., then you will need a unit with 14,000 BTUs. Check out this BTU calculator for help.

Energy Efficiency

Many people look at portable air conditioner reviews to see how energy efficient a product is, because they are worried about the environment or their monthly electricity bills. If you are one of those people, then you should pay attention to the Energy Efficiency Ratio, because it tells you how many BTUs are used for each watt of power. Portable units with a higher Energy Efficiency Ratio are more energy efficient than those with low scores. Toyotomi products earn excellent portable air conditioner reviews because of their energy efficiency.

Water Elimination

As the air is cooled, the moisture is removed, which means that portable air conditioners must deal with the water after it has been removed from the air. The cheaper and simpler models have buckets that collect the water, and these type of units require you to empty the bucket periodically. More advanced models will automatically evaporate the moisture, which will save you time and energy. If you are gone from your home for long periods, but still leave the unit running, you may need to purchase a more sophisticated model.

Saving money with portable heaters is something anyone can do. Larger and older homes or apartments, and those with already relatively inefficient or energy-wasting heating systems will see the biggest savings, but anyone can try.

Imagine shutting down an over-sized or too big furnace. A unit that’s no longer burning any fuel, and no longer heating an otherwise unused or under-used space, might seem to be a big money saver. The problem is, it’s not always totally possible.

Homeowners can keep the furnace thermostat set to a minimum temperature and, using portable heaters only in the occupied rooms, keep energy costs to a minimum. Almost any home with unused or little-used rooms could be better served with a space heater or some kind of radiant heating.

portable heatersUsing Portable Heaters to Save on Energy Costs

The most important thing to keep in mind is that for a space heater to really save you money it needs to have a good thermostat. Just like with a furnace, portable heaters save you more when they switch themselves off. And likewise, overheating rooms will simply transfer the cost from the furnace to the heater. You’re still going to pay for it.

How much anyone can save by running a space heater really depends on the room size relative to the rest of the house. And like with an entire house, then it comes down to insulation, curtains and weatherstripping. The difference is, now you’ve also got to consider the interior, probably uninsulated, walls and one or more interior doors. How often your portable heaters need to run to keep that space comfortable depends on all of these things.

Remember, on average, electricity is about twice as expensive as natural gas. So for the same price, you can only heat about half the same area. Cold drafts from underneath inside doors will quickly cut into the savings by making your space heater run that much longer.

Heating an entire house with only electricity is normally out of the question, but we do frequently work with customers who only plan on occupying a limited number of rooms. In some cases, we’ve even installed much more cost-effective natural gas heaters or similar appliances. These need to be professionally vented and installed and the cost doesn’t always agree with homeowners already looking to save, but the cost of running them can be surprisingly low.

Please remember, also, any space heater can present a fire hazard, along with other hazards not normally associated with a central heating system. Read the manufacturer’s instructions carefully and call us if you need any questions answered.

Thermostat Settings

Lots of customers we work with would just love to have thermostat settings that stay “perfect” or “totally efficient.” But often enough it’s not your thermostat or control system settings – it’s your house!

The wide variation in houses, insulation levels, and heating systems mean that you can’t really guesstimate energy costs based just on thermostat settings. You might save 1% on energy cost for every degree that you set your thermostat down, but then again, you might not. For example, setting the thermostat down 10 degrees for 8 hours when the house is empty will save some homeowners 10% off the next energy bill – but it simply won’t save all homes that same amount.

thermostat settings for winterBefore we get to talking about ideal thermostat settings for winter, it’s important to mention that only if your home is really properly insulated can you really control what’s going on with just your thermostat settings. All the outside walls and attic spaces need to have good layers of insulation installed. Windows and doors need to have good weatherstripping and sweeps at the bottom. Window joints can be caulked or re-caulked in a good weekend, and it’s a good project for the kids if they’re not too young.

Also, consider your window coverings and how much light is getting in during the day, and how much cold is seeping in at night. A set of heavy drapes can also give you better control of indoor heat without even touching the thermostat settings.

Thermostat Settings for Winter

Modern, programmable controls for your furnace can really take all the magic out of finding the perfect thermostat settings for winter. Just like a fussy old man, a programmable thermostat will set the temperature up when you’re getting ready for bed, and down when the thermostat is confident you’re sleeping. The old man will get up extra early to warm up the house before you get up. Your programmable thermostat will even shut your furnace almost completely down during the day when you’re off to work, and the kids are off to school.

Optimal thermostat settings for winter depend on your preferences, the insulation level, age and size of your home and your willingness to automate some of the heating. One of the most wasteful things you can do is to set your thermostat too high in order to warm the house faster. You will spend a lot more on energy costs if you do that too often. Rather, consider these tips:

During the day, if you’ll be home, 68°F is optimal. Families with smaller kids often want to set it higher but 70°F – 72°F is the recommended max (even for most thermostats).

At night, many homeowners will drop it down to 62°F or a bit lower at night for sleeping. But you’ll want to insure that it isn’t turned up much higher than 68°F on extra cold mornings.

If you won’t be home, drop it down to 58°F. But be prepared for a cold home when you get back. You shouldn’t have to blast the furnace because you likely won’t get it warmer faster

Digital thermostats are your best bet, they come with preset temperature and time settings that will work with most homes and lifestyles. Just use the thermostat’s factory settings and you’re all set to stay warm throughout the day and night while saving money!

Thick blankets and warm clothes are another big help. Adjusting your winter thermostat settings is a lot less urgent when you’re wearing a wooly sweater. So bundle up, enjoy a nice warm blanket and get the warm good nights sleep you deserve! If you have any questions about thermostat settings for winter, please call us at 646-783-2475.

Ceiling Fans In Winter To Save You Money.

Home heating efficiency can be significantly improved with the use of ceiling fans in winter, and particularly in larger spaces and those with cathedral or similarly high ceilings. Anyone with high ceilings will tell you, they’re dramatic and beautiful, but heating a high ceiling in winter time is wasteful if you’re not pushing some of that air back down.

One of the problems though is setting the ceiling fan direction correctly. Many newer ceiling fans are reversible so that air can be moved up or down depending on the direction of the ceiling fan rotation. As warm air rises ceilings fan in winter should push the heated air lower in the room. If it’s working correctly, and you’re not heating a lot of other areas, you should be able to shave five percent off your winter heating costs.

ceiling fans in winterCeiling fan rotation direction can be set to better cool the house during hot summer months and to better distribute warm air during heating months.

So, if you’re simply planning on a cooling a summer cottage, you may not need a reversible ceiling fan, but for ceiling fans in winter, you should consider a model that will allow you to change the ceiling fans direction, i.e.; the optimal setting for ceiling fans in winter should rotate clockwise and rotate counter clockwise in the summer .

In winter heating months, as hot air rises, it becomes trapped at the ceiling level. At the correct ceiling fan setting, the fan is pulling air up at the center of the room. At the same time it’s pushing air down the walls. When checking the ceiling fan rotation direction, you may feel almost no air moving underneath the ceiling fan but you want to try to detect air movement closer to the walls.

One of the problems people have with the direction of ceiling fans in winter is that, because the ceiling fan is upside down, or we perceive it that way, we’re not sure which direction is clock wise. But it really is as simple as imagining a clock face on your ceiling and being sure that your ceiling fans winter direction is set to clockwise.

Summer ceiling fan direction can have a much more dramatic and cooling effect. Ceiling fans in winter are not as dramatic but you should notice a much more quickly heated room and eventually, once you have the ceiling fans winter direction set correctly, you’ll also see savings on your winter heating bill. Just by correctly setting the ceiling fans direction for winter, many homeowners can even adjust their thermostat setting down by three to five degrees!

Remember you shouldn’t install any ceiling fan with less than 7 feet of clearance from the floor and the fan blades should be at least 2 feet from any wall to work properly. Using ceiling fans in winter and setting the correct ceiling fans winter direction (clockwise) is a simple and effective way to cut your winter heating bill and to be more comfortable when you do it.

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