Category Archives: Energy Efficiency

Businesses Take an Energy Efficient Stance in Florida

brunoHaving an energy efficient office is both smart and responsible in Florida. Let’s face it, while we may live in paradise, there are some days when it’s just too hot. Boost your employee’s morale with air conditioning they can count on. A reliable HVAC unit is proven to improve productivity and maximize efficiency in and around the office!

Air conditioning is no longer a want but a need, especially in Florida. Our days are getting hotter despite the festive time of year. It’s always summer here! Florida is blessed to have gorgeous weather year round but that’s not to say it doesn’t have its disadvantages. Businesses cannot function without AC, your employees can’t work if they’re too focused on their shirts sticking to their backs.

Speaking of efficiency, one of the most important things you can do for your business is invest in its future! Choose an energy efficient system and reap the benefits of environmental responsibility! The American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy’s (ACEEE) report “Multiple Benefits of Business-Sector Energy Efficiency, summarizes how businesses can go green and save by implementing energy efficient units, such as Energy Star air conditioners, and save elsewhere in their business. Installing commercial, Energy Star HVAC systems can make significant differences in your business’ energy bill, utility bill, and can save you cost and time in other areas.

“Businesses that implement energy efficiency improvements often enjoy other benefits besides utility bill savings.” The report says, “…Still, evidence suggests that including non-energy impacts can reduce the payback time of some energy efficiency improvements by 50% or better.”

Bruno Air Conditioning is offering businesses and institutions energy efficient commercial units that will last them for years. Our technicians are experts in their fields and have the tools to properly install and maintain large units. Take a sustainable stance in 2016 and lead the way in environmental responsibility.

What is Radiant Heat?

Radiant heat has a major presence here in Florida. Being so far south, we are closer to the sun and the tremendous amount of energy it produces. Of course, only a very small portion of that energy reaches us here on earth, and an even smaller fraction actually touches our house.

Yet that smidgeon of energy is enough to heat up your entire home! Radiant heat seeps through your roof, windows and walls to make your living spaces pretty toasty, forcing your air conditioning or HVAC unit to work even harder to keep you comfortable and cool.

The sun isn’t the only source for radiant heat either, though it is the primary. Nearby machinery, asphalt, other pavement, and the use of indoor appliances can all generate energy that will push your thermometer ever higher.

How to Reduce Radiant Heat Exposure

You may not be able to turn off the sun, but you can make several home improvements or changes in your lifestyle to reduce your exposure. By doing so, you can save your AC unit’s workload, and save money on your energy bill! Here are a few investments that can really make a difference:

  • Plant fast growing, shady trees on the west and south sides of your home.
  • Install awnings over windows.
  • Glaze your windows so less sunlight can shine through.
  • Keep your blinds, shades or curtains closed over your windows during the day.
  • Use heat reflective fabrics over your treated windows.
  • Upgrade to heat reflective roofing.
  • Add a radiating heat barrier to your attic.
  • Reduce the use of heat generating appliances during peak daytime hours.
  • Plant shrubs between your home and driveway. This will lower the heat radiation from your driveway.

For more information on how to save energy, or to schedule a repair or maintenance appointment for your AC or HVAC system, give Bruno Air a call at 239.908.4704! We service clients all across Florida!

Programmable Thermostat Offers Major Savings

When it comes to saving money on our energy bill with our air conditioning or HVAC system, our first thoughts often go toward the unit. However, that’s not the only factor that goes into energy expenditure. We’ve covered different areas of insulation and everyday adjustments we can make to save in previous blogs, but another element in your AC system to thoroughly consider is your thermostat. There are countless new options today with programmable features that can help you reduce the energy your system uses while maintaining a comfortable temperature at home.

If You Have a Dial Thermostat, You’re Way Behind

As simple as a dial thermostat can be, they’re both outdated and imprecise. Frequent calibration is needed to ensure accuracy and adjusting the dial is easy. Perhaps too easy. Children can change settings on accident, while teens may intentionally change settings without your awareness, only to leave you wondering why the energy bill has skyrocketed.

Be Smart About Your Upgrade

Consumers often have the misconception that all digital thermostats are programmable. While programmable thermostats are generally digital in nature, there are some non-programmable units that are digital as well. It’s wise to read packaging to make sure the unit carries the features you want. Some thermostats provide pretty extensive programming options, including daily, weekend and even by-the-hour settings to choose from. Seek a device that’s intuitive or within your comfort level.

Remote Access

There are many designs on the market, many of which focus on energy saving technology and features. These days, you’ll find they’re geared to use touchscreen interaction much like that used for smartphones and tablet computers. Reports can even be generated to pinpoint energy usage trends that can show you where you can alter your habits to improve savings.

Choosing the Right Programmable Thermostat for Your Home

Contacting your local AC or HVAC technician, such as Bruno Air, is the best way to decide which programmable thermostat will suit your needs and your air conditioning system. Call us at 239.908.4704 to discuss the best options, including the ease of use, design, and other useful features. We serve as the HVAC and AC experts for all of Florida, including Orlando, Tampa, Sarasota, Naples, and more!

5 Everyday Habits That Can Reduce Your Energy Bill

Most of us are always looking for a way to save a buck or two. Recent studies have shown that an average of 6% of our monthly energy bill is directly contributed to cooling the space within our home.

In hot climate states such as Florida, this percentage could likely be higher. Yet there are simple, everyday ways to whittle down that percentage without spending a dime. Bruno Air offers five easy habits they can form to reduce your energy bill.

Creating Natural Ventilation

Now that summer has passed us by, Florida is experiencing cooler days and refreshing breezes. On days like these, current residents can use nature’s reprieve to their advantage. How? By simply opening their windows.

Natural ventilation can bring fresh air into the home and also help regulate the temperature within your home. If you open windows on two sides of the home that correlate with the wind’s direction, you can create a cross-breeze.

How does this work? The wind disperses the heat our body gives off, cooling us down without having to turn down the thermostat.

Use Fans to Reduce Your Energy Bill

But what about those less-than-breezy days? This is the Sunshine State, after all. Coupling ceiling fans with your AC Unit can create an indoor breeze that can achieve our desired indoor climate without working our air conditioner so hard. Ceiling fans use 3% the energy that AC units do, and allow you to raise your thermostat up 6 to 8 degrees without sacrificing your comfort level. That’s a pretty big impact!

Avoid Using Indoor Appliances on Hot Days

In-home appliances produce heat when they’re active. Reorganizing everyday tasks and chores can go a long way in regulating your home’s temperature. On hot days, cook outside on the grill instead of in the oven, and avoid doing laundry during the heat of the day. If you have to cook indoors, use the fan inside your kitchen to reduce the heat and humidity you create.

Use Your Bathroom Fan

Just like in the kitchen, the fan in your bathroom can be really useful in reducing heat. Humidity plays a huge role in making us feel hot and muggy. Running your bathroom fan when taking a shower can help keep the room cool by reducing the humidity caused by the steam rising from your hot water.

Use Energy Efficient Drapes

Drapes were created for more than keeping out the sun and peeping eyes. Covering your windows can prevent solar energy from seeping in and warming up your home. If you don’t want to sacrifice your natural lighting for a cooler indoor environment, there’s a way around that, too! You can buy energy efficient drapes that are specially crafted to let natural light in while keeping solar energy out.

A Collaborative Effort

While just one or two of these habits can make a difference, combining them together will achieve the best results for you and your utility bill. Try making these simple actions everyday habits. If you still feel your energy bill is high, it may be time to invest in an energy saving air conditioning unit. High-efficiency air conditioners can reduce your bill by as much as 20 to 50 percent!

If you have questions about keeping your home cool or saving money, simply give one of our friendly and knowledgeable representatives a call at 239-908-4704!

How to Set Your Air Conditioning When Leaving a Seasonal Home

Florida is a hot spot for snowbirds to flock. However, before you lock the doors of your seasonal home for the next six months, you’ll want to make sure you make these important air conditioning unit adjustments.

You never want to skip these steps before leaving your house unattended for extended periods of time. Improper AC settings can elevate the humidity within your home. This creates the perfect environment for mildew and mold to grow, and you certainly don’t want these unwelcomed house guests to settle in while you’re gone.

Where to Set Your Thermostat

The ideal temperature depends on what kind of thermostat you have within your home. Digital thermostats like the Nest are becoming more popular thanks to their ability to remotely control the temperature within a home via an app on the owner’s phone. This technology gives you more control over your home while you’re away, allowing you to save money. If you have this option, then plan to set your thermostat to 72 degrees for two hours before sunrise every morning and 88 degrees for the rest of the time.

If you use a traditional thermostat that requires you to adjust the temperature manually, then you’ll have to stick with one setting for the duration of your absence. 80 degrees is the recommended setting for individual homes, while condos and townhouses should dip to a slightly lower 77 degrees.

This allows your air conditioning unit to run without producing mold-friendly levels of humidity.

Additional Ways to Reduce Humidity:

Air conditioners use moisture to manage the temperature within a designated environment. It controls the level of humidity within your home, but it won’t eliminate it entirely. Even after you set your thermostat to a manageable temperature, it helps to go the extra mile. Below are a few additional ways to prevent humidity from developing bigger problems:

Dehumidifers: Dehumidifiers will manage the concentration of moisture in the air during the cooler hours. It is generally advised to use one dehumidifier for every 1,000 square feet within a home. Simply set the unit to 52 degrees and leave it in a drainable location such as a kitchen sink or bathtub.

Install a Humidistat: This will eliminate the need to use dehumidifiers in your home while serving the same function.

Humidity Home Remedies: An easy, non-energy consuming method to control humidity is to set out small containers filled with charcoal or kitty litter in every room to absorb moisture.

One Last Thing:

Always, always, ALWAYS change your air filters before you leave. This will save you on energy costs and help prevent major issues from developing while you’re away.

Regular maintenance is always important with air conditioning systems. If you’re returning to a summer home here in Florida, we suggest you also take the time to setup an appointment for maintenance service. To schedule a time and date, simply give us a call at 239-908-4704!

Replace Your Mercury Thermostat

Are you still using a mercury thermostat? Over the last few decades, there’s been an increase in awareness regarding the toxicity and dangers of the substance, which was once a prominent component in everyday items, including batteries, thermometers, electronic devices and, yes, thermostats.

Today’s thermostats have veered away from it through the years. As technology advances, the HVAC industry is finding newer, greener ways to keep businesses and homeowners cool while conserving energy and resources.

However, there are still several old thermostats, both in use and lying in landfills. Although the Thermostat Recycling Corporation has been working diligently since 1998 to collect and recycle these outdated (and dangerous) components, it’s anything but a short-term project. In 2014, the corporation saw a 13 percent increase in collections of mercury-bearing thermostats to be recycled.

You may be wondering how much of a difference this really makes. After all, thermostats only use a small vial of mercury to operate. Consider this: In 2014, a competition was held called Big Man on Planet (BMOP) that challenged HVAC businesses to collect as many of these thermostats as possible. The result led to the donation that amounted to over 252 pounds of mercury!

Why Proper Disposal of Mercury Matters

Not everything can be properly disposed of by throwing it into the recycling bin. Mercury that ends up in landfills sinks into the soil and comes straight back around to haunt us. Through the soil, mercury finds its way into our waterways and oceans, permeating our drinking water and poisoning the fish we consume.

Its impact isn’t subtle, either. Mercury poisoning causes severe side effects in humans, including memory loss, blindness and tremors. It is especially dangerous to pregnant women and can cause birth defects in children.

Do You Have an Outdated Thermostat?

Are you still using an outdated, mercury-based thermostat? If so, reach out to Bruno Air to see about getting it replaced, and then make sure you dispose of it properly. You can click here to find a drop-off location near you.

Saving is the New Green

Feeling hot, Florida? So are we! These summer storms aren’t doing much to cool down the temperature. We have a few tips from Energy.Gov and our own experience that will give you some of the relief you need for a cooler, energy efficient summer.

Cooling Tips

  • Set your thermostat at a high a temperature in the summer and ensure humidity control if needed. The smaller the difference between the indoor and outdoor temperatures, the lower your overall cooling bill will be.
  • Avoid setting your thermostat at a colder setting than normal when you turn on your air conditioner. It will not cool your home any faster and could result in excessive cooling and, therefore, unnecessary expense.
  • Consider using an interior fan along with your window air conditioner to spread the cooled air through your home without greatly increasing your power use.
  • Avoid placing appliances that give off heat such as lamps or TVs near a thermostat.

Long-Term Saving Tips

  • If your air conditioner is old, consider buying an energy-efficient model. Look for the ENERGY STAR® and EnergyGuide labels — qualified room air conditioners are 10% more efficient, and qualified central units are about 14% more efficient than standard models.
  • Consider installing a whole-house fan or evaporative cooler if appropriate for your climate.

Bruno Air Conditioning is offering Energy Efficiency checks for Florida residents and businesses. Contact us for HVAC preventative maintenance, installation, or repair. We are available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week for your convenience. We’re making it easier than ever to stay cool!

Energy Efficient Air Conditioners

It may not be Saint Patrick’s Day anymore but Bruno Air Conditioning is always going green! In our environmentally friendly society, we are making great strides towards energy efficient and environmentally responsible products. Bruno Air Conditioning is proud to not only provide products with high SEER ratings but Energy Star products as well.

Energy Star systems are especially special, environmentally friendly, and cost efficient. If you are looking for an efficient, energy saving unit then anything Energy Star certified is the air conditioning unit for you. These specialized HVAC systems have numerous benefits as well.

Lower Utility Bills

By using less energy for heating, cooling, and water heating, “Energy Star certified homes deliver approximately 20% savings on annual utility bills.” Families can save thousands of dollars in maintenance!

Enhanced Performance

With Energy Star air conditioning systems, there are more consistent temperatures, leading to a more comfortable home. Experience the benefits from higher indoor air quality as well! Energy Star systems can help reduce pollen, dust, debris, and any other harmful contaminants that may have gotten through your air filter.

Environmental Protection

By using less energy, Energy Star units are making strides in environmental responsibility and sustainability. Thank to advances in modern technology, we can all do our part to ensure that our Earth stays good and green. Simply switching over to an Energy Star unit can make the difference in your home’s comfort and in your wallet.

You can also be energy efficient by:

  • Regularly changing Air filters
  • Tune up your HVAC equipment yearly
  • Install a Smart/programmable thermostat
  • Seal your air ducts
  • Asking about Proper Installation of your new equipment

Take the pledge here and commit to saving energy in your home! Bruno Air Conditioning is committed to keeping Florida green, beautiful, and preserving our natural environment.

Energy Efficient Thermostats

Energy efficient thermostats are becoming the next step in sustainable, responsible air conditioning. Programmable thermostats in particular are changing the way we comfort our homes while saving on energy and costs.

Simply setting your thermostat at night or away from home can make significant strides in your utility bill and your comfort. Thanks to innovative, new technology, thermostats are coming with timers, sensors, and programmable features, making it easier than ever to find your optimum comfort level.

Smart thermostats are also providing remote options. Control your temperature from the office or while you’re on vacation. This is a great tool that will help you turn off the air when you’re gone, turn it on before you come back, and checking it for those of us that ran out of the house and forget to turn off the air.

“In the summer, you can follow the same strategy with central air conditioning by keeping your house warmer than normal when you are away, and lowering the thermostat setting to 78°F (26°C) only when you are at home and need cooling. Although thermostats can be adjusted manually, programmable thermostats will avoid any discomfort by returning temperatures to normal before you wake or return home.” According to the Department of Energy. It’s a good idea to establish a “rule of thumb” in your household. Find out what temperature is comfortable for the whole family and stick to it.

What thermostat are you using now? Is it time for an upgrade? Consider all of your options and make an environmentally responsible decision. Bruno Air Conditioning is available to discuss sustainable options for your home. Contact us today to schedule an appointment. We are your local choice for all your maintenance, repair, and installation needs.

5 Benefits of an A/C Tune Up

While most of the country is being blasted with frigid temperatures, snow, and ice, here in Florida your air conditioner is working hard. Our few days of cold weather is going to dissipate as quick as it came and our temperatures will continue to climb. Get ready for that summer heat with an air conditioning tune up. When was the last time you pampered your HVAC unit? Before the summer months, treat your air conditioner and yourself to an A/C tune up. Air Conditioner tune ups can bring you endless benefits. Save money, cool your home, and feel better and more comfortable about your unit.

A/C Tune Ups can:

  • Save money on energy costs. Ensuring that your air conditioner is in top shape will prevent future problems and issues within your system.
  • Increase the lifespan of your unit. Air conditioners can be pricey and replacing them even more so. Bruno Air Conditioning installs and maintains your units regularly so they’ll last 10, 15, even 20 years.
  • Improve your air conditioners performance an A/C tune up. Identify problems and find their solutions quick to properly cool your home and your family.
  • Protect your friends and family with high quality indoor air quality. A poorly maintained air conditioner can release debris, dust, and harmful bacteria into your home, making the air unhealthy, particularly for those with respiratory problems.
  • Make the most of your warranty! Most manufacturers require your HVAC system to be serviced and regularly maintained a few times a year.

“Just as a tune-up for your car can improve your gas mileage, a yearly tune-up of your heating and cooling system can improve efficiency and comfort.” Says Energy Star. While there are certainly some steps that you can and should take to maintain your air conditioning system, such as regularly changing or cleaning the filters, it’s best to leave the tune-up process to a qualified HVAC professional.

Bruno Air Conditioning can troubleshoot for potential problems while performing the necessary checks and maintenance activities. Contact us today to schedule an appointment and take your first step towards total air conditioning control.