LIVERMORE, Calif., Jan. 10, 2017 /PRNewswire/ -- Houses can be energy leeches, causing money to seep out without your even knowing it. It pays to find those places and fix them, and the savings could be substantial. Gentec Services, a leading provider of residential electrical, heating, and air conditioning services in the San Francisco Bay area, describes some common issues, and offers tips for addressing them.
"It's ideal to have an energy audit to find the places where your home is not energy efficient, but you don't have to wait for a professional," says Joe Scerbo, owner of Gentec. "There are plenty of things you can do on your own. The beauty of getting these energy leaks fixed is that they will continue saving you money for years and years."
Scerbo suggests starting with the major problems. One of the biggest energy drains on a home is air leakage, which means the conditioned air in your home exits through cracks and leaks and is replaced by unconditioned air from the outside. While windows are the top culprit, air can come in anywhere your heating and cooling system runs or any place that the exterior structure of the home has been joined together. Leaks can be sealed with caulk, weather stripping or spray foam insulation.
"Sealing these leaks could cut your heating and cooling bills anywhere from five to 40 percent, depending on how many you have," Scerbo says.
Other areas to check include:
- Insulation. Pay special attention to the attic, basement or crawlspace, and all exterior walls. Since heating and cooling are responsible for upwards of 40 percent of all energy expenditures in the average home, keeping your house well insulated can significantly lower energy costs.
- Power strips. Electronics can drain electricity even when they're turned off. Putting them on a power strip is an excellent way to stop the draw when electronics are in a standby mode, while at the same time protecting them from power surges. You probably have 30 or more electronic devices in your home, so the drain can be substantial. The U.S. Department of Energy estimates that some homes carry phantom loads that raise the monthly electric bill by as much as 10 percent.
- Water fixtures. If your toilet was installed in 1992 or earlier, it probably uses between four and five gallons of water per flush. Older ones could use up to nine gallons. Buying low flow toilets can cut this water use in half. Updating shower heads and faucets means even more savings.
- Your heating and cooling system. Things like soot build-up on gas furnace burners or dust and debris on air conditioner condenser coils can hurt the efficiency of your system. Getting the system cleaned and professionally maintained could mean a 10 percent efficiency improvement.
- Light fixtures. The major trend has been toward compact fluorescent bulbs, but these aren't the best choice because they contain mercury, and they also lose lifespan when they are constantly turned off and on. LEDs, although more expensive up front, last much longer and use half the energy of compact fluorescents.
"In addition to recouping your investment, these fixes make your house more energy efficient and more attractive to potential buyers, which increases the value of your home," Scerbo says.
To learn more, visit www.gentecservices.com or call 925-954-9780.
About Gentec Services
Gentec Services, Inc. is a Livermore-based team of electricians, HVAC technicians, and system technicians who serve residential, commercial, and industrial customers throughout Alameda, Contra Costa, and Santa Clara counties. Gentec offers the industry's most complete collection of services, from services and repair to design and installation of HVAC, electrical, network wiring, alarm, access, security cameras and more. To learn more, visit Gentec at www.gentecservices.com.
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SOURCE Gentec Services, Inc.