April 21, 2009
Canton, NY – April 21, 2009: Air conditioners, particularly older models, create a large demand on electricity and contribute to pollution during the hottest days of summer – a costly prospect for residents and the environment.
In an effort to help people cool their homes efficiently this summer, the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA) and Community Energy Services are hosting a free turn-in day on Saturday, April 25, from 9:00 AM TO 3:00 PM where anyone can recycle old room air conditioners and dehumidifiers at SUNY Canton, Parking Lot.
“Many consumers do not realize that old, inefficient room air conditioners actually have to work harder to cool a room. They waste energy and money,” said Francis J. Murray Jr., President and CEO of NYSERDA. “Saving energy means saving money and preventing pollution, so consider purchasing ENERGY STAR® qualified products as part of your spring cleaning this year. Be sure to recycle the products you are replacing to avoid waste and pollution. We can all do our part to save energy by purchasing ENERGY STAR products and appliances and following energy saving tips, which will bring reduced energy costs and benefits to the environment for future generations.”
According to the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) and Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), the average family spends $1,900 a year on energy bills, with nearly half going to cooling and heating. Energy-efficient air conditioning can make a significant impact on comfort and monthly electric bills, as well as reduce energy use at times when energy demand is greatest.
NYSERDA offers the following tips to reduce energy bills all year long:
- Look for a High Efficiency Model
ENERGY STAR qualified room air conditioners use less energy than a standard new model. Also, look for a high Energy Efficiency Ratio (EER). Units with high EERs cost less to operate.
- Proper Sizing Matters
A properly-sized air conditioner will operate more efficiently and dehumidify more effectively. An oversized unit will cycle on and off more frequently. Short cycling reduces an air conditioning system’s life, and a short cycling system will not reduce humidity effectively. Undersized equipment can reduce the efficiency of air distribution and accelerate wear on system components, leading to premature failure. When buying a new central air conditioning unit, a Building Performance Institute (BPI) accredited Home Performance with ENERGY STAR contractor can determine the correct size and provide installation of the unit.
- No Dirty Business
A dirty filter will increase energy use and can damage the air conditioner, leading to early failures, so check the filter every month and replace as needed.
- Chill Only When You’re Home
For central air conditioning, an ENERGY STAR qualified programmable thermostat allows homeowners to automatically adjust to a more comfortable temperature when they are home. While away, homeowners can set the temperature to use less cooling energy. Residents save three percent on energy costs for each degree they turn the thermostat up from 72 degrees. ENERGY STAR window and through-the-wall room air conditioners also typically include programmable thermostats or timers.
- Chill Out in the Shade
A unit operating in the shade uses as much as 10 percent less electricity than the same one operating in the sun.
- A Home Needs Shades Too
Block out heat by keeping blinds or curtains closed during the day, especially on south facing windows.
- Don’t Forget the Adoring Fans
ENERGY STAR qualified ceiling fans can help cool a home without greatly increasing electricity use. They improve airflow and create pleasant breezes.
- Change Your Habits
Use ovens, washing machines, dryers, and dishwashers in the early morning or at night when it’s generally cooler outside. Use a microwave to cook, or barbecue, if possible.
- Turn It Off
Save electricity and reduce waste heat by shutting off lights and electronics. Seldom used home electronics should actually be unplugged from the wall or shut off with a power strip. Items like DVD players, VCRs and cordless phones use 40 percent of their energy while in the “off” position to power functions such as clocks and remote controls.
- Watch TV Efficiently
Did you know that according to the Consortium for Energy Efficiency two set-top boxes (cable boxes or DVRs) use the same amount of energy as one refrigerator does annually? Request an ENERGY STAR qualified set top box from your cable provider. There is no additional charge and cable companies have the option to distribute ENERGY STAR qualified set-top boxes to their customers.
- Check Your Computer
Be sure to enable your power management feature on your computer. According to the U.S. EPA, enabling the power management function on your computer can reduce a computer’s energy consumption by 50%. The power management function can typically be enabled when you click on the computer’s preferences.
- Fight the Energy Pirates In Your Home
Do any of your products have clocks or remote controls? If they do, they’re using energy even when turned off. According to the U.S. EPA, the average U.S. household spends over $100 a year powering products when they are turned off. Fight the energy pirates in your home by using advanced power strips and unplugging seldom used electronics.
- Take a Whole House Approach
Houses work as a system. Insulation, heating and air conditioning, air sealing, water heating, ductwork, windows, and doors all work together to determine efficiency. A BPI accredited contractor will perform a comprehensive home energy assessment to help you map out a plan to improve your home’s energy efficiency. Visit NYSERDA Get Energy Smart or dial 1-877-NYSMART to find a participating Home Performance with ENERGY STAR contractor near your home.
NYSERDA uses innovation and technology to solve some of New York's most difficult energy and environmental problems in ways that improve the State's economy. To learn more ways to save energy, visit NYSERDA Get Energy Smart or call 1-877-NY-SMART.
Nancy Norman, NYSERDA
866-NYSERDA, ext 3414
Last Updated: 11/26/2012