When we choose to be more energy efficient, we see benefits environmentally and economically. According to the EPA, energy efficiency can lower greenhouse gas emissions and other pollutants, as well as decrease water use. It can also lower utility bills, create jobs, and help stabilize electricity prices. If you are interested in how to become more energy efficient in your home or office, keep reading to hear what local experts suggest!

Don’t Compromise Comfort

Pat Killeen, owner of Engineered Controls believes both comfort and energy efficiency are achievable with the right tools.

Pat Killeen
Engineered Controls

“Today more than ever, building owners want their facilities to be environmentally responsible and healthy places to live and work,” emphasized Pat. “They also want to optimize the energy usage without compromising comfort. Together a tall order to accomplish, but at Engineered Controls that technology is available today.”

Engineered Controls can play a very big part in assisting new and existing building owners with controlling their buildings’ energy costs. Considering the fact that a building’s lighting and HVAC loads account for nearly 80% of a building’s energy usage, there are plenty of energy strategies that a Building Automation System can provide maximizing the energy strategy options available to building owners. Essentially, Engineered Controls can assist in total building control and help provide a healthier and more energy-efficient environment for occupants.

“To help our customers in identifying efficiency areas in their buildings, Engineered Controls has developed Energy Optimization programs,” Pat explained. “They are designed to leverage a broad portfolio of energy efficiency products and solutions, as well as offer a high level of energy expertise to commercial buildings in the hands of our skilled and knowledgeable professionals. Our team can help building owners and managers obtain real-world data to help them make fact-based decisions about how to optimize their buildings for occupants’ comfort while saving energy at the same time.”

Engineered Controls’ mission is to provide their customers with high quality products and services that create efficient, safe, and comfortable building environments. Their team of qualified and experienced employees must strive to be the most cost-effective producers in the marketplace by consistently focusing on improving processes, innovation, and teamwork. When you work with them, you know you are getting the best possible results and helping save energy at the same time.

Solutions You Can Count On

Regular maintenance of your furnace will ensure it’s operating properly and save you money on your monthly heating bills. When you get regular maintenance from the pros at Ideal Heating & Air Conditioning, you will have peace of mind that your system is working the way it should and that your family is safe and will remain comfortable no matter the weather.

Looking for an environmentally friendly way to heat and cool your Nebraska home? Consider a geothermal heat pump. These pumps can be installed in new construction or existing homes. They use special piping and equipment to transfer the natural heat of the earth to your home. These systems need little maintenance and use only a small amount of energy. When you heat or cool your home with a geothermal heat pump, you reduce air and water pollution, produce few emissions, and lessen your carbon footprint.

Simply put, a geothermal system pulls heat from the ground to heat your home in the winter, and it dumps heat from your home into the ground to cool it in the summer. Just a few feet below the frost line, the ground is a constant ~50 degrees Fahrenheit year round. A water-based solution circulates through underground pipes where it absorbs the ground’s heat and is carried into the geothermal heat pump.

The solution exchanges its heat with the liquid refrigerant inside the heat pump. The refrigerant is then vaporized and passed through a compressor where its temperature and pressure are increased. Finally, the hot vapor enters a heat exchanger where it transfers its heat to the air. This hot air is distributed through the home’s ductwork and warmed to whatever temperature set on the thermostat.

For every 1 unit of energy used to power your geothermal system, 4 units of heat energy are supplied. That’s about 400% efficient! Geothermal heat pumps can achieve this efficiency because they don’t create heat – they just transfer it. Only about one-third to one-fourth of the energy delivered in heating with geothermal systems comes from electricity consumption. The rest is extracted from the ground.

If there are areas in your Omaha home that are consistently colder or hotter than the rest of your house, you may want to consider a zone control system installed by the professionals at Ideal Heating & Air Conditioning. This system works hand in hand with your thermostats to heat or cool only the necessary rooms and keep temperatures consistent throughout your entire home.

The system is connected to a central control panel that blocks or releases either cold or hot air to create a stable temperature in every room. All you have to do is set the temperature for each zone on your thermostat and the system does the rest of the work for you. Zone control systems are ideal for multi-level homes, those with a concrete slab for a foundation, houses with large open areas, homes that have finished attic or basement bedrooms, or large floor plans with many different spaces.

Not only does a zone control system make your home more comfortable, but it can also save you money on your monthly heating and cooling costs.

Seal in the Savings!

The Streamline Energy Solutions team of energy-efficiency specialists operates with the goal of saving energy—and saving you money. Streamline’s energy auditing services coupled with a variety of weatherization upgrades maximize your savings while minimizing your home’s energy usage. Whether it be new construction or retrofitting existing structures, contractors, builders, and homeowners can rely on the team to go above and beyond.

Established by cofounders Nathan Capps and Jen Keller, they provide a holistic approach to energy efficiency to keep money in your wallet and take it easy on the environment. Streamline prides themselves on being a one-stop-shop for all of your home energy-efficiency needs, providing various insulation and weatherization services, coupled with a crucial blower door test, to create immediate improvements in how your home uses energy.

Jen Keller
Streamline Energy Solutions

“One of the biggest upgrades we recommend to create the maximum impact when someone wants to insulate their home is air sealing,” said Jen. “We’ll locate all the accessible crevices in your attic, including around your fixtures and top plates and seal them so to prevent conditioned air from leaking into the attic space. That preps the attic for us to insulate with blown-in fiberglass. We prefer this product over cellulose because it doesn’t settle over time, does not absorb moisture, and is a lot cleaner product. Of course, the baffles we install in an attic are a crucial step in the process, too, because they keep the insulation from blocking air flow through your soffit vents and provide necessary ventilation. Proper attic ventilation reduces the risk of ice dams in the winter and the build up of condensation in the attic space, which could lead to mildew or mold.”

Streamline uses CertainTeed Insulsafe SP blown-in insulation not only because it doesn’t settle but also because it provides better coverage, excellent sound control, lasts for the life of your home to reduce long term energy demand and costs; is environmentally sustainable and formaldehyde-free; and comes with a limited lifetime warranty. This isn’t your typical itchy fiberglass. It is actually soft to the touch! Another fabulous offering from Streamline Energy Solutions that is not universal to all insulation companies is a blower door test because not everyone is BPI (Building Performance Institute)-certified to administer them. As a BPI-certified auditor, Jen starts by connecting the blower door device to one of the exterior doors of your home to audit energy loss.

Jen also owns Halo Custom Lighting. This sister business has become tremendously popular with versatile and fully customizable lighting options for your home.

Halo Custom Lighting is a permanent lighting solution for all your holiday needs. The team at Halo will help install your lights, and then they’re built to last around 20 years. The lights have so many different options to cater to any holiday or special day, and are conveniently controlled by an app where you can create your own colors and patterns. These lights can be used for more than just the holidays with a full spectrum of LED colors that can highlight your home during any time of the year.

Upgrades That Save Power

At Langer Electric, they pride themselves on the relationship that they build with each of their customers. The chances are that you will have more than one electrical need in your lifetime. They want to earn your business for life. They will do so by providing quality work, competitive pricing, and convenient servicing, all while being quick and efficient. Langer Electric strives to provide 100% customer satisfaction with affordable, efficient, and convenient servicing.

With energy costs rising, energy efficiency is more important than ever before. Perhaps your home is not as efficient as it could be. However, electrical repairs and upgrades can offset high utility prices and, in some cases, pay for themselves in the long run.

There are many ways to upgrade your electrical system to become more eco-friendly and efficient. If you live in an older home, chance are there hasn’t been an update to the wiring and other components for awhile.

If your home still operates using outdated aluminum wiring, you’re not only consuming more energy than necessary, but you’re also walking a very thin safety line.

Aluminum wiring presents a hazard when connected to light fixtures and receptacles because it cannot maintain a connection without some degree of deterioration. As the wiring continues to deteriorate over time, be ready to deal with persistent, daily power outages and soaring energy bills.

Saving energy can come from more than just updating your outdated system. Even if you live in a newer home, there are technologies created every day with energy efficiency in mind.

We all have lighting in our homes, and many of us probably don’t think about the little changes we could be making to the lights in our homes. Modern LED bulbs can reduce lighting-related energy usage by 50% to 75%. Both LED and CFL bulbs use less energy and now produce light as vibrant as their incandescent counterparts. These bulbs last longer too, meaning you save on replacement costs.

Chris Langer
Langer Electric

“It’s pretty common for electrical work to include upgrading everything to LED,” shared Owner Chris Langer. “LEDs use 90% less electricity than the standard incandescent bulb, so you’re getting more light for less power.”

Along with the upgrade to LEDs, a great energy saving option is light switch timers and dimmers. Sometimes, the most energy wasted at home comes from lights staying on and forgotten. Installing light switch timers can help cut your light consumption significantly. With timers, you’ll be able to set a specific time at night when your lights turn off without you having to remember every day.

Additionally, dimmer switches can help you set a comfortable mood while shaving off the amount of energy used per light. Lightbulbs’ lifespans also increase with dimmers, helping you save on lightbulb replacement overall.

We should all try to be more energy efficient, but if you’re unsure of where to start, we recommend contacting these local professionals. They have the tools and resources you need to relish in the benefits that come with energy efficiency!