Avoid Rising Energy Costs
To lower the energy bill, homeowners must first understand how they are being charged, and what it means. Sometimes homeowners are charged for consumption and demand. Consumption is what they are charged for the amount of energy used over the month. Demand represents the highest amount of power used at a given time.
Consumption is separated into two different rates, which are on-peak and off-peak. On-peak can be described as when they majority of buildings are using a lot of energy. Homeowners can get charged extra for their highest demand of energy being during on-peak hours.
This penalty is designed to limit demand. Utility companies have to account for the highest demand on the grid, and this penalty helps to avoid having everyone use a lot of energy at the same time. To avoid these charges, reduce peak load with these tips:
1. Major Appliances
Major appliances like the washing machine, dyer, and dishwasher use a lot of energy. Try scheduling to use them during off-peak hours so they don’t rack up too much energy. This doesn’t mean homeowners have to do laundry at 1 a.m., but be more mindful of when large appliances are being used.
2. Air Conditioning
Peak hours are generally during the day. Generally, most people are away at work during some of these hours, which makes it the perfect time to set the thermostat to a slightly warmer setting. This way the air conditioner will run less during peak times, and it doesn’t inconvenience anyone.
Summer can be a great time to fire up the grill or enjoy cold foods, which means the kitchen gets less use. Using the stove and oven can heat up the kitchen, making the AC run more as well. Try to avoid using the kitchen too much during peak hours, and opt for using an outside grill instead.
If the energy bill has skyrocketed, there could be an issue with the HVAC system that is causing the spike. Talk to the experts at Diamond Heating and Cooling to schedule an AC tune up and for more tips on reducing AC energy usage during peak hours and hot summers.
Surprising HVAC Filter Facts
Not all filters are equal. There are many types of filters made of different materials, and nobody can quite agree on which one is the best. Whether it is made of fiberglass, polyester, or cotton, the main job of the filter is to protect the HVAC system.
While protecting the HVAC system, filters can also improve indoor air quality a bit, but that isn’t their main function. Most filters can’t collect the particles floating in the air that cause allergies and asthma attacks. This is because these particles are less than one micron in size, which filters aren’t equipped to handle.
Even high-efficiency filters might not get the job done and could actually harm the HVAC system. Some high-efficiency filters slow airflow, which reduces the HVAC unit’s efficiency and can cause damage over time. They could also freeze the condensing coils similar to the effects of a dirty filter.
One filter that is equipped to handle submicronic particles to improve indoor air quality is the Micro Power Guard Air Cleaner. It’s an electronic polarized media air cleaner, not just another filter. With allergies and asthma prevalent in the Treasure Valley, filtering out those triggers, while still protecting the HVAC system is important.
Talk to Diamond Heating and Cooling about the Micro Power Guard Air Cleaner and how it can reduce allergies and asthma attacks this summer when pollen is rampant. It also comes with a year’s supply of replacement media.
Surviving a Broken AC
Sometimes the AC breaks down and it can take some time to get it fixed. While waiting for a repair or an entire new unit, use these tips to stay cool:
1. Lower the Shades
The sun can really heat up the house when the shades are open. To help keep the house cool, lower the shades during the hottest part of the day, when the sun is up. It will keep the cool air inside, and block the sun from baking the inside of the house
2. Cool Air
When the temperature starts to drop after the sun sets, it can be a great time to open the windows. It will cool the house down and keep it cool the next morning. When the sun rises, shut the windows to keep the cool air in.
Both box fans and ceiling fans can help make a room feel cooler. They don’t actually cool off the air, so don’t waste electricity running them in a room while nobody is there.
4. Cool Down
Use ice packs or cold, damp towels to cool, down body temperatures when the heat gets to be too much. Putting damp, cold towels on pressure points is a very effective way to cool down.
If the air conditioner does go out this summer, remember Diamond Heating and Cooling is available for emergency cooling services. They charge a low diagnostic fee and but do not charge after hours fees.
Summer Grilling Recipe: Spicy Honey-Glazed Chicken Breast
Summer is the season for grilling. Celebrate with this twist from Rachel Ray on grilled chicken breasts:
- ¼ cup extra-virgin olive oil
- 1 small onion, finely chopped
- 1 clove garlic, finely chopped
- ½ cup honey
- 2 teaspoons hot pepper sauce
- ½ teaspoon chili powder
- 1 teaspoon lemon juice
- 8 skinless, boneless chicken breasts
- 1 pineapple peeled, cored and cut into 8 thick rings
- In a small sauce pan, heat 1 table spoon of olive oil over medium heat. Add the onion and garlic. Cook this for 6-8 minutes until it is translucent and beginning to brown. Add the honey, hot pepper sauce and chili powder and simmer for 1 minute. Remove from heat, stir in the lemon juice and set aside.
- Preheat the grill to medium-high. Rub the chicken with the remaining olive oil and season with salt. Grill until well-marked, about 7 minutes. Flip and cook the other side until it is marked and cooked through. Put on a plate and brush with the reserved honey glaze. Cover with foil and let rest for 5 minutes.
- While the chicken is resting, grill the pineapple until marked, then flip and repeat. Serve with the chicken.