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How to Be More Energy Efficient in the Kitchen and Save Money


The kitchen: it’s known as the “heart of the home,” but it probably also cuts to the heart of your monthly electric and gas bills.

Next to your central air conditioner and water heater, your refrigerator uses more energy than any other appliance. This is a good place to start as you look for ways to be more energy efficient in the kitchen – and see the results on your energy bills.

Tips for Energy Efficient Appliance Use

Refrigerator and Freezer

  • Check the settings. Your refrigerator temperature should be between 30 and 40 degrees Fahrenheit and your freezer should be at 0.
  • Vacuum and clean the coils at least twice a year to stop dust, dirt and food particles from hindering your refrigerator’s efficiency.
  • Make sure direct sunlight doesn’t shine on your refrigerator. If you can, position it away from heat sources such as the oven and dishwasher.
  • Check there is at least a 2-inch gap between the back of the refrigerator and the wall so that air circulates freely.
  • Conduct a quick test of the seals by inserting a piece of paper into the door and then closing it. If you can easily pull out the paper, cool air is probably escaping and you should repair or replace the seal.
  • Defrost your freezer at least once per year – and more often if you notice ice buildup.
  • Cover food and liquids before storing them in the refrigerator or freezer so that released moisture doesn’t force the compressor to work harder.

Oven and Stove

  • Match the size of the bottom of the pot or pan you’re using to the heating element to save energy.
  • Place lids on pots and pans to conserve energy as you cook.
  • Bake with glass and ceramic dishes, if you can. They retain heat better than dark baking pans and can even allow you to lower the oven temperature by 25 degrees.
  • Keep the oven door closed as meals cook. Every rush of open air causes the oven temperature to plunge by 25 to 75 degrees, lengthening your cooking time.
  • Rather than your stove or oven, defer to a slow cooker, electric skillet, convection oven, or toaster oven for smaller meals. Generally, these appliances consume between one-third and one-half the energy of larger appliances.

Dishwasher

  • Wait to run your dishwasher until you have a full load of dishes.
  • Turn off the “heat” cycle and let your dishes air-dry, or use the energy-saving dry option, if your dishwasher has one.
  • Remove food particles from the dishwasher drain every week to help it run more efficiently.

Continue Being Energy Efficient with a New HVAC System

By putting these tips into consistent practice, they will eventually turn into habits. Over time, these good habits will become second-nature. Just think how much faster the energy savings will accrue if you get everyone in your home onboard in your endeavors to be more energy efficient. Think of this as your “recipe” for energy-saving success in the kitchen, then follow it up with an energy efficient HVAC system for a well-rounded approach. Call us at 702-385-2665 to schedule a consultation.

 

 




Vigilant Housekeeping Combined with Nifty Techniques Can Reduce “Dust Clouds” in Your Home


A common question asked by AC users everywhere is, “Every time my air conditioner turns on, it kicks up dust everywhere in my home. What can I do?” The key is to eliminate dust, not just move it around. You can keep “dust clouds” to a minimum with vigilant housekeeping and some nifty cleaning techniques.

Cleaning Techniques to Reduce Dust in Your Home

Be Vigilant about Housekeeping

  • Check your HVAC filter every month and replace it once you can no longer see through it. Otherwise, the excess buildup will impede the efficiency of your system and could funnel into your ducts.
  • Vacuum your carpets at least once a week, going over high-traffic areas twice.
  • Shake dust and dirt from throw rugs outdoors. Then toss them in the washing machine.
  • Wash bedding – sheets, pillowcases and blankets – in hot water at least twice a month. Dust mites love to nestle in bedding.
  • Declutter wherever you can. Piles of paper, books, magazines and toys are dust magnets.
  • Streamline your closet by storing clothes you don’t wear regularly in garment or plastic bags. Next to the fibers in your carpeting, more dust settles in closets than almost anywhere else in your home.
  • Clean your ceiling fan blades – a common source of “dust clouds” every time the blades begin to spin. Make this often-dreaded household task much easier by using a dryer sheet to lift dust. You can even wrap a dryer sheet around an extended paint roller to help you reach.

Adopt Some Dust-Trapping Cleaning Techniques

  • Dryer sheets also work particularly well on TV and computer screens – not only lifting dirt but keeping the screens cleaner for longer periods of time.
  • You may love your feather duster, but instead of lifting dust, it sends it flying to different locations around the room. If you haven’t made the switch to microfiber cloths, buy a bundle and watch how they draw dust like a vacuum. Shake them out, toss them in the washing machine and enjoy them for years.
  • Pleated lampshades can confound even professional house cleaners – unless they’ve tried using a (clean) dry paintbrush. The soft bristles fit snugly into creases. Alternatively, try using a lint roller.
  • Cleaning ceramic is simple if you rub it with a slice of lemon. Let the juice sit for about 15 minutes. Then polish the ceramic with a microfiber cloth.
  • An obscure, but effective, tool for cleaning oil paintings is a piece of white bread. The moisture picks up dust easily, also making it ideal for other dusty jobs if you’re in a pinch.

Schedule an Air Duct Cleaning with Instant Air

It is just as vital that your air ducts remain free of dust, dirt and grime as anything else in your house. Instant Air is here to help! Call us at 702-385-2665 to schedule an air duct cleaning today!




Tips To Managing Your HVAC System This Holiday Season


When you’re hosting a holiday gathering at your home, you want everything to be perfect. And while it may seem as though you’re paying attention to every last detail, few people give thought to their HVAC system. Living in the desert, HVAC upkeep is especially important. Here are 5 tips for managing your HVAC system for your upcoming holiday gatherings:

  1. Schedule Your Annual Maintenance

The best solution to any problem is always to take action before a problem begins. Schedule your annual Las Vegas HVAC maintenance before the day of the celebration. Then you can rest assured that your guests will be comfortable.

  1. Dust the Vents

In any large group, there is bound to be somebody who suffers from allergies. Things your family might not be sensitive to could be a trigger for one of your guests. Go around and dust any visible vents in your home. You can also wipe them down with a damp rag to remove any dust that may have accumulated.

  1. Change Your Filter

Your HVAC system’s filter keeps dust, dirt, allergens and other contaminants from blowing into your home. This makes a huge difference in your indoor air quality. Usually, these filters should be changed once a month, or once per season at minimum.

  1. Adjust the Thermostat

When you’re hosting a party, the temperature tends to rise due to all of the extra body heat from your guests. Plus, you probably have a turkey or ham cooking in the oven, which is also warming up the house. A few hours before your holiday gathering begins, turn your thermostat down by a few degrees, ensuring your home will still feel comfortable while filled with guests.

  1. Keep the Door Shut

Every time you open the door, the warm air from inside escapes. This makes your HVAC system work harder to recover. Try to minimize the number of times you are opening your door and avoid leaving it ajar.

 

Schedule a Maintenance Visit for Your HVAC System

If you take the time to consider your Las Vegas HVAC system in advance, you will be rewarded with a nice, warm home throughout the holiday season. Call us today at 702-385-2665 to schedule an appointment.

 




Understanding How to Get the Most Out of Your HVAC Installation


As the seasons change, it becomes peak time to talk about maintaining your HVAC installation. Even here in Las Vegas, heaters start kicking on during the cool nights – and air conditioners still run during the day– you can only imagine the strain on your HVAC installation as it adjusts to the new demands of the weather. We are here to help you learn how your HVAC system works, so you can optimize its use and upkeep.

Five Components to Understand With Your HVAC Installation

1. The Air Goes In

It all starts with your air return vents. This is where the entire ventilation cycle begins. The fans draw air in via the return, pass it through a filter and send it through your system.

Maintenance Alert! Filters can get dirty fast. They need to be changed or cleaned regularly. Some of the most common HVAC problems begin with dirty filters.

 

2. The Air Goes Around

Ducts facilitate airflow, allowing air to move freely from the main HVAC unit to each of your rooms.

Maintenance Alert! Ducts rapidly accumulate dust. It’s important to have your ducts cleaned regularly, or the air floating around your house could be filled with allergens and mites.

 

3. The Air Comes Out

Exhaust outlets allow air to exit your home safely.

Maintenance Alert! Heating systems create exhaust, which can be dangerous if it builds up. Vent stacks and chimney flues need to be checked and cleaned at least once a year.

 

4. You Choose Your Ideal Temperature

You set your thermostat to your ideal temperature, assuming the rest will take care of itself. On hotter days, it’s best to set the temperature a little higher than you normally would if you’re trying to conserve energy, lower on colder days.

Maintenance Alert! You may find yourself in uncomfortable temperatures if your thermostat’s batteries are low or if you have a tripped breaker. These are easy fixes that usually don’t require a house call from an electrician.

 

5. The Outdoor Unit Does the Rest

The outdoor unit consists of the compressor, coils and blower. Each of these elements contains moving parts that need to be checked at least once a year to ensure optimal airflow throughout your home.

Maintenance Alert! Weeds and other vegetation can cause big problems if your outdoor unit becomes overgrown.

 

Schedule a Maintenance Visit for Your HVAC Installation

Now that you know a little more about your HVAC installation, you understand the need to keep it in tip top condition. Schedule a maintenance visit with an Instant Air technician to make sure everything is in prime working order as the seasons change. Give us a call at 702-385-2665 to schedule an appointment today!