Homeowner’s Guide to Saving Money & Energy [INFOGRAPHIC]

In honor of Earth Day, we wanted to bring some extra attention to a few of the little things that homeowners can do to cut their energy use around their home, and ultimately save money.

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Ask any homeowner and they’ll tell you that owning a home isn’t easy… or cheap. But, that doesn’t mean you have to spend an outrageous amount of money to own and maintain your home. There are many things you can do to cut down your energy usage, which not only helps save you money but also the environment.

From using the right appliances in your home to switching to double-pane windows, our guide will show you just how easy it is to save money and cut your overall energy usage at the same time.
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7 Popular Features of Window Air Conditioners

Feature-Rich Window Air Conditioners Offer Advanced Cooling Solutions

Everyone wants to stay cool during the hottest months of the year but many people struggle to find effective cooling solutions. The cost of running a central air conditioning system is often too expensive and widespread power demands can lead to overloaded circuits and power shortages. Further challenges are posed by the variable temperatures of each room. Some rooms require focused cooling in order to be comfortable while others require much less. A window air conditioner is an effective cooling solution suitable for many environments – but is it right for your home?

Features You Can Expect From a Window Air Conditioner

Window air conditioners are a type of appliance intended to provide users with a cooling solution that supplements or replaces their existing air conditioning systems. Since a window air conditioner is designed to provide the users with a highly responsive cooling solution, many of the features found on these appliances are not present on typical central air systems. Popular features found on many window air conditioner models include:

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How To Lower Your Energy Bills With A Portable Air Conditioner

During the “Dog Days” of summer, people tend to look for ways to cool off. Some visit a local swimming pool to spend the day in the water. Others seek out a movie theater that has good air conditioning. Shopping malls are also a great choice for people who are looking to cool off during the summer. When these same people go home, however, they rely on their air conditioning units to cool down their homes so that they can relax and not feel the oppressive heat from the outside.

Portable Air Conditioner AP12000S

With energy prices skyrocketing around the country, many homeowners are now being forced to make a choice between a comfortably cool home and a low power bill. This is because many who rely on central air notice that their electricity bill increases dramatically during the months they are running their air conditioner. One way to keep cool and still keep a lower electric bill is by using a portable air conditioner.

Energy Efficient

Portable air conditioning units are much more energy efficient than central air. This is mainly because they can be moved from room to room based on which area needs to be cooled down.

A central air conditioning unit is built to cool the entire home, no matter which room a person might be in. By using the portable unit, you will be using electricity to cool only those rooms that people are using.
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5 Maintenance Tips for Window Air Conditioners

In order to prolong the life of your air conditioner and to ensure its continued and efficient function, it is important for you to take the proper steps to take care of the unit. There are several maintenance tips for window air conditioners that will help you keep your unit functioning properly for many years to come, while also ensuring that it continues to operate at optimal efficiency. Understanding how to maintain your window air conditioner at the beginning and end of each operating season will benefit you and your air conditioning unit in a significant way.

Here are five maintenance tips you should keep in mind for your window air conditioning unit.

1. Cleaning & Replacing the Air Filter

Perhaps the most overlooked aspect of air conditioner maintenance relates to the air filter. The filter plays a very important role in your air conditioning unit, and it needs to be either cleaned or replaced on a relatively frequent basis.

If the air system becomes impeded due to an air filter past its prime, significant stress may be placed on the entire system. This causes serious inefficiencies in function that should be easily avoided, especially given the fact that changing out an air filter is very simple. Some units have air filters that can be cleaned and reused, while others must simply be replaced.

Consult the information provided by the manufacturer to determine which type of air filter your unit uses. If it can be cleaned, check the filter once a month to clean all of the debris from the filter. If it must be replaced, it is generally ideal to replace the filter once every two to three months. Of course, the presence of pollen or allergens will influence the frequency with which you should replace or clean your filter.
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How to Clean Your Ice Machine: Step-by-Step Instructions

It can be easy to take some machines for granted. Ice makers are a machine that might get overlooked in the maintenance department. When you go and grab some ice from your machine, you might not think about how long it has been since it was last cleaned, or even notice that the quality of your ice cubes has gone downhill.

Ice Maker

Like any other machine that you own, regular maintenance and cleaning will help keep your ice maker in great working condition.

Why Cleaning is So Important

Water — especially hard water — naturally has many different minerals and microscopic sediment in it. If left unfiltered, these minerals can build up in your machine. Eventually, it becomes clear to the naked eye just what is in your water. Dirt and rust are two culprits that can clog up your machine over time. Lime scale and mold can also build up and make it difficult for your machine to produce ice.

If left unclean, all of this buildup can lead to unnecessary wear on your ice maker. Even if you use a filter, at some point your machine will need some cleaning. The good news, however, is that cleaning your machine will help it to maintain peak ice production and keep your ice looking and tasting great. It can also prolong the overall life of this important kitchen appliance.
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5 Tips to Keep Your Portable Air Conditioner in Good Shape

When your portable air conditioning unit is running properly, it serves you well. It cools a room when you need it to and even helps you save money on your monthly your energy bill every month. Additionally, it is easy to move around your home or business. However, if you fall behind on performing basic maintenance or fail to install it properly, your unit can start running at a lower capacity.

You can prevent may issues by following these five basic tips for keeping your portable air conditioner in its best shape.

1. Location Matters

Portable Air Conditioner

One of the biggest advantages of a portable A/C unit is that you can move it from room to room. However, just because you can put it in any room does not mean you can put it anywhere.

Here’s a few things you should consider when moving your portable A/C unit around:

  • Avoiding areas that are dusty or dirty. Small particles can clog either of the two motors in the machine and eventually cause either electrical or mechanical problems.
  • Placing the unit the correct distance from the window or source of power. A humid room means you will have more condensation and need to regularly drain the unit to avoid issues.

If you do find you need to drain the unit often, consider either installing a drain tube that can move liquid into a bucket or taking the unit outside to remove the moisture.
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How to Install a Window Air Conditioner

Even though a window air conditioner is relatively easy to install, it is still important to follow these simple tips for installing your unit. These air conditioning units are not only easily installed, they also represent a significant savings over the cost of the construction of a central air conditioning unit within a home.

While it is important to know the basics of how to install a window air conditioner, it is also important to refer to the manufacturer’s instructions for any specific steps required for that particular unit.

Choosing the Ideal Space for the Unit

In order to ensure the efficient function of the air conditioning unit, it is important to select the ideal space for it. This can be done by selecting a space that is as close to the center of the room as possible, close to an electrical outlet, and away from the heat of the sun.

If it is not possible to find a location that possesses those three factors, opt for a space that is in a shaded spot of the house, as prolonged sun exposure will cause the unit to use much more energy to cool the room. If an extension cord must be used to reach an outlet, it is important that it has been rated for use on an air conditioner.

One more important step before you buy a window air conditioner is to review the unit specs to see what the minimum window width and maximum window width requirements are. If your window is too narrow or too wide, the window air conditioner will not fit properly.
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5 Places That Would Benefit From a Portable Ice Maker

There is nothing like coming inside the house on a hot day, filling a tall cup with a delicious beverage, and adding ice cubes. Within minutes, condensation appears on the side of the cup as the dropping temperature of the beverage creates a reaction between the cold cup and the warm air. A cup filled with an ice cold drink is rarely finished off quickly. Instead, it is held, savored and enjoyed for the cool relief that it brings with it.

A portable ice maker helps to ensure that ice is always available for those who prefer to enjoy a cool drink on an overly warm day. Here are some places that these small sized ice makers may come in handy.
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What Are BTUs & How Do They Impact You Air Conditioner Selection?

Each heating and cooling appliance comes with an informative facts sheet that lists technical specifications about the appliance. Though this information is very helpful, not everyone knows how to make sense of it. People shopping for an air conditioner will have certainly come across the acronym BTU on the facts sheet of different appliances. What are BTUs? Why do they matter to someone buying an air conditioner?

BTUs: The Basics

What are BTUs

BTU stands for British thermal unit. This is a unit of measurement used to gauge the amount of heat (thermal) energy that an appliance is capable of generating. One BTU is the amount of energy required to raise the temperature of one pound of water at sea level by 1°F;. Since air conditioners are intended to cool the air rather than warm it, the BTUs listed on the technical fact sheet of a portable air conditioner refer to how much heat an appliance can remove from their air. In other words, a portable air conditioner’s BTU number relates directly to its cooling power.

Is More Actually Better?

Since a portable air conditioner’s BTU number is directly related to its available cooling power, an appliance with a larger number is going to be better, right? Actually, that may not be the case. You have to consider the size of the space you wish to keep cool before you begin looking for the portable air conditioner with the highest BTU rating.
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Types of Ice Makers Explained

Ice is no longer a one size fits all product. It has changed from simple cubes produced at home in silver or white freezer trays to frozen pieces of many varieties.

The varieties of ice today include:

  1. Crushed — used mostly in beverage dispensers.
  2. Flake — used to hold delicate foods without damaging them, beneficial for beverage presentation.
  3. Gourmet — Crystal type appearance, octagonal in shape.
  4. Nugget — Softer, more chewable.
  5. Dice Cube — Clear cube with a rhomboid shape.
  6. Regular Cube — traditional ice cube.

Those who enjoy different types of ice often wonder what types of ice makers are used to produce them. Let’s take a closer look at the different types of ice makers that are available to you today.
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