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TheBolt

The official blog of Abt Electronics & Appliances

Posts Tagged ‘HVAC’

What Appliance Uses The Most Energy In Your Home?

Monday, July 19th, 2010

HVAC at Abt

Hello again, I’m back with more green tips for you!

Last time we talked about your refrigerator which uses the second most energy of any appliance in your home.  What’s the first?  Your HVAC system.  At this time of year it is your air conditioner using the bulk of your electricity.  I thought we should take a moment to review what you can do to get the most from your AC.

  • If you are buying a new AC, of course buying an energy star unit should be your first choice.
  • If buying central air, get the highest SEER (seasonal energy efficiency rating) you can.  The higher the number, the less energy you will use.
  • Add a programmable thermostat to your existing central air unit.  That way you can program it to cool your house around the times you are actually there.  No reason for the AC to be running full tilt when no one is there.
  • If adding a window unit, try to place it in a window that is in the shade.  Placing your window unit AC in direct sunlight can reduce its efficiency by up to 10%.
  • If you don’t have shade, plant a tree or two.  Trees naturally cool the air and will cut the heat generated by the sun significantly.  Not to mention trees clean pollution from the air!
  • Can’t plant trees?  Install vinyl shades and opaque drapes to your windows.  Both of these can drastically reduce interior temperatures and allow less use of the AC.
  • Don’t run heat generating appliances like dishwashers, clothes dryers, or ovens during the hottest times of the day.  Save those chores for the morning or evening.  The added heat just makes your AC run even harder.
  • Change your light bulbs.  Incandescent light bulbs emit a good amount of heat.  Going to CFL or LED light bulbs can reduce the heat output of your bulbs by 65-80%.
  • Finally, don’t run the AC when the temperature outside is at or below what you have your AC set at.  Open up those windows and let mother nature cool your house for you.  Best of all, she won’t send you a bill!

Stay green and stay cool everyone.

-Tim S.

Refrigerator Buying Tips

Wednesday, July 14th, 2010

Refrigerators at Abt

Hello!  It’s Tim again and I’m back with more green tips for you!

Today, with the current heat level around here, I thought I’d talk about refridgerators.  After your HVAC system, your fridge uses the most energy of any appliance in your home.

When buying a new or replacement fridge, keep these things in mind:

  • Buy an energy star unit.  The slightly higher purchase price will be offset by your lower energy bill in the long run.
  • If you are in the process of planning product placement, keep the fridge away from heat registers and out of direct sunlight.
  • Look at a French door unit.  When the kids, or you, go to peruse the fridge for what you may want to eat, only having half of a door open lets less cold out than having a full door open.  This is one of the biggest benefits of a French door unit.  Plus they look great!

When using the fridge you should:

  • Plan on what you want before opening the fridge.  Standing with the door open quickly raises the temperature and makes your fridge work harder than needed.
  • Plan when putting your groceries away.  Separate which products go into the fridge or freezer.  Then, only open each door once to put it all away.  This is much better than opening a door for each individual item.
  • Keep the fridge at 36-38 degrees.  This is the sweet spot for energy efficiency.
  • Check the seal around the door.  Make sure it is in good condition, seals all the way around, and that nothing is keeping the door from closing all the way.
  • Let your leftovers cool on the counter before putting them in the fridge.  Putting hot food in the fridge is a sure way to increase your energy use.

With summer here, your fridge will get lots of use taking care of you by giving you cold drinks and ice to cool off.  Take care of your fridge by helping it to work as little as possible! For more information on choosing a fridge, view our Refrigerator Video Buying Guide.

Stay green!

-Tim S.

Trane HVAC and 24-Hour Service at Abt

Friday, June 18th, 2010

One of our latest endeavors, home comfort, is a new addition to the list of products and services that we provide. We are now carrying Trane’s entire line of furnaces and air conditioners. Along with sales and support services, we are offering 24-hour HVAC service.

Abt has been here for you the better part of a century, so don’t just look in the phone book for an HVAC specialist, call us at 847.544.2262.

-Kelly B.

Stay Cool This Summer with an Air Conditioner from Abt

Wednesday, May 26th, 2010

It’s hot and humid in Chicago; chances are, it will be this way for many, many months. Abt has five types of air conditioners: window, wall, casement, portable, and central A/C units. Now is the time to think about air conditioning!

When looking at air conditioners, consider they type of home you live in, how much space or how many rooms you would like to cool, what floor you will be air conditioning which direction the windows are facing, are you cooling the kitchen, and how many people live in the home.

If you have a large space then you will need a more powerful unit that has a higher number of British Thermal Units or BTUs. A BTU measures the amount of energy an air conditioner will consume. So, if you have a large space to cool, then you will want a unit with more BTUs than you would if you are cooling a small room. Also, increase the number of BTUs when you are cooling sunny areas, rooms on the second floor or higher, a kitchen, or a residence where more than three people live.

For more information on air conditioners, contact an Abt home comfort specialist today!

-Kelly B.