It’s that time of year again. Summer’s over, winter’s just around the corner and electricity bills have been soaring. Your customers are already looking for help with more ways to increase their building’s efficiency that doesn’t require the purchase of costly and cumbersome solar power systems. You may be surprised just how much an electrician can help increase home power efficiency and keep the building comfortable, too!
Some Top Efficiency Options
Not every upgrade will help every client, local climate and the structure’s insulation and other factors play a big part, too. But, if you want to move more of your customers away from heating and cooling with less efficient tools, consider suggesting upgrades like:
Whole House Fans
Using a fan instead of using the air conditioning can be a huge savings for homeowners who are willing to put in the small amount of extra work a whole house fan can require. Opening the windows in the rooms that need to be cooled is as complicated as it gets but remembering to turn the fan off as the day warms is also important, so they avoid replacing cool morning air with hot afternoon air.
With or without a whole house fan, ceiling fans in every room can have a huge impact on energy bills. In fact, because fans cool people, a properly sized ceiling fan that’s rotating in the right direction can make it possible for customers to raise their thermostats in the summer without noticing a difference in comfort. In the winter, they can be used to push the hot air that’s trapped against the ceiling back down into the room, effectively increasing the heat available to people.
Radiant Ceiling Panels
Although they’re not common in today’s homes, they may well be the norm in the future, even in residential areas where winters are cold. Radiant ceiling panels earn points toward LEED certification, as well as keeping hot elements away from small children and pets. They’re really a nice alternative to wall panels and baseboards that have been known to cause serious burns.
There are plenty of people who will turn the heat up just so they don’t have to walk across a cold bathroom floor, but what if they could just turn the floor up? Heat tape is an older solution to a very old problem, but it’s one that still isn’t widely used everywhere. High-quality heat tapes are good for a lot more than ice dams, though. Embed them in tile or cement floors for an energy-efficient alternative to cranking the heat.
Wait, what? Incandescent bulbs produce a lot of heat and even fluorescents can add to the heat in a building. LEDs, on the other hand, create such small amounts of heat while in use that they can be left on all the time and not create a noticeable temperature shift on the bulb’s surface. Each bulb or fixture replaced with LED lighting can save about $1.25, which can quickly add up, even in a home.
Making a Difference
You don’t have to go to the extremes of solar panels and windmills to improve the efficiency of a building’s climate control system. Making small changes, like replacing old light fixtures that are just adding a lot of heat to the equation, or including radiant ceiling panels in an energy-efficient retrofit, create a world of difference to a building’s energy consumption.
Are you promoting more energy-efficient options these days? What do your customers choose the most?