Earth Day is an annual event celebrated around the world on April 22, and 2021 marks the 51st year of celebrations.
On the very first Earth Day in 1970, 22 million Americans rallied around cleaner air, land and water. Since then, it’s grown into a global movement with 193 countries coordinating events to conserve and preserve our Earth—from park, beach and neighborhood clean-ups to sustainability efforts and education programs that equip us for a better tomorrow.
As we prepare to celebrate Earth Day this April, our team at Air Care is sharing ways to reduce your carbon footprint and improve the environment inside your home, with your HVAC system and in our Clearwater and the Tampa Bay area communities. Check out how to celebrate with us below.
Earth Day Starts in Your Home
Looking for easy ways to celebrate Earth Day? Start by assessing the energy you’re using inside your home—the place you spend the most time, especially during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Below are several ideas to make small changes this Earth Day—and every day:
- Check your energy bill: Check your monthly energy usage to see where you can improve. Duke Energy powers Pinellas County, while customers across Hillsborough County use Tampa Electric (TECO) and others in Pasco County use a mix of Duke Energy, TECO and Withlacoochee River Electric Cooperative.
- Turn off lights, appliances and electronics not in use: The average U.S household spends $100 a year on plugged-in electronics they aren’t using. Consider using a power strip as a central “turn off” point for electronics, video games and computers when not in use, and use natural light inside of electricity when possible. Want to see how much energy your devices really use? Check out this Duke Energy “Energy Vampire Calculator” to learn what’s “sucking” your energy.
- Switch to LED bulbs: Consider switching to energy efficient light bulbs, which use at least 75% less energy. Browse LED light bulbs at com.
- Conserve water: Replace your water faucets with an aerating option and install low-flow showerheads to save nearly 5,000 gallons of water per year.
- Lower the temperature of your water heater: Water heating is your home’s third largest expense. Lowering your temperature from even 140 to 120 degrees can save you money without a noticeable difference.
- Conduct a home energy check: Duke Energy Florida offers a free home energy assessment to evaluate your home’s energy efficiency, available either online or with the help of a representative in your area.
Earth Day and Your HVAC System
According to the U.S. Energy Information Administration, the average U.S. household uses 31% of its electricity on space cooling (16%) and heating (15%)—the top two energy expenses in your home.
Regardless of the improvements you make, these will likely always be the top home energy uses. However, there are still ways to conserve and preserve energy with these HVAC improvements below.
Raise Your Thermostat Temperature
Did you know that adjusting your thermostat one degree is equal to 1% in savings? As we enter the warmer seasons across the Clearwater and Tampa Bay area, consider adjusting your temperature to increase energy savings—especially when you’re asleep or away from your home. Watch a video from the U.S. Department of Energy below.
Upgrade Your Thermostat
With Florida’s unpredictable weather, it’s important to have a reliable thermostat that regulates your home temperature, comfort level and energy costs. Smart and programmable thermostats are the most energy-efficient options, allowing you to set and schedule temperature changes while you’re at home, asleep or away.
Inspect or Repair Your Ductwork
Did you know about 20% of the air in your home is lost due to leaks, holes or poor connections in your ductwork?
Your AC ductwork is one of the most important systems in your home. If your ducts are poorly sealed or insulated, it could be contributing to higher energy bills and costs. Read common signs your ductwork may need repair and learn about rebates in this Air Care blog post, and contact Air Care to schedule an inspection today.
Insulate and Seal Your Home
Your attic insulation, along with cracks and gaps around your windows or doors, could be leaking air. Insulating and sealing openings around your home can save an average of 11% on total energy costs. Learn about an attic insultation upgrade program and energy efficient window program through Duke Energy Florida.
Use Your Ceiling Fan
Your ceiling fan can improve comfort and circulate air within your home. Most fans have a switch that allows you to reverse the motor and operate the ceiling fan in the clockwise direction. This produces a gentle updraft, which forces warm air near the ceiling down into the living space.
Change Your AC Filters
An easy way to maintain your HVAC system is to check your AC filters at least once a month for dirt, dust and debris. If dirty, change the filter to help your HVAC system run efficiently and prevent particles from entering your home, which can cause allergies or lead to sickness.
Maintain Your HVAC System
Maintenance improves the life of your AC system and keeps your home comfortable, while also conserving energy and reducing your carbon footprint. So, it’s important for Florida residents to have a certified HVAC professional inspect and maintain their cooling and heating system twice a year.
Air Care offers a bi-annual AC maintenance package for $69.50 per HVAC unit, which includes:
- Check and clean burners
- Inspect filters (clean or replace if needed)
- Check carbon monoxide levels
- Check contactors and relays for wear
- Adjust refrigerant levels
- Inspect pressure and temperature
- Inspect safety devices and controls
- Test emergency shut-offs
- Inspect ductwork
- Flush and clean drain line and trap
- Inspect heat exchanger for leaks and cracks
- Tighten electrical connections
For more information about HVAC bi-annual maintenance, read this Air Care blog post. Existing customers receive coupons and promotional offers in the mail, so don’t delay—call Air Care to schedule an appointment today.
AC System Replacement and Installation
If your HVAC unit is more than 11 years old—and/or you’ve made recent improvements to your home (energy efficient windows, attic insultation upgrades, etc.)—there’s a chance you may need to install a new AC system. Newer HVAC systems are built with advanced technology, design and innovation, and likewise provide greater energy efficiency and savings.
Air Care recommends Rheem as our top HVAC replacement option due to its durability, outstanding performance and value compared to other HVAC brands. Rheem is also committed to “A Greater Degree of Good” and designs its latest HVAC equipment for zero waste.
Rheem Pro Partners
Air Care is a Rheem Pro Partner, which means our HVAC technicians are experienced in supplying, installing and servicing Rheem AC equipment for residential and commercial properties, and we hold ourselves the highest standards, including:
- Extensive knowledge and training on Rheem AC units
- Reliable advice, installations and repairs
- Proper licensing and EPA certifications
- A minimum 4-star customer rating each year from real customers
- Customer satisfaction as our No. 1 priority
We also provide Rheem financing options and promotional offers, as well as top value on AC equipment.
Your Clearwater AC Professionals
If you need a new AC installation, repair or maintenance, contact us at 727.449.2699 to schedule an appointment. We provide free “in-home” or “in-business” written estimates.
“The most remarkable thing about Air Care is the consistently high levels of attention and service their air conditioning repair technicians deliver. From just check freon levels and ensuring cooling elements are working properly, to fixing leaks in the unit, they are always awesome. When they came out to see why the air conditioner was frozen, they were able to discover the why and effect the AC repair in short order. As always, the service was good.” – Nancy B. of Safety Harbor
Contact Air Care today.
Tampa Bay Area Earth Day Celebrations
Want to celebrate Earth Day in your community? Check out upcoming events and opportunities in the Tampa Bay area:
Moccasin Lake Nature Park Invasive Species Scavenger Hunt: Clearwater
2750 Park Trail Ln, Clearwater, FL 33759
Clearwater Parks & Recreation is celebrating Earth Day with an interactive and outdoor invasive species scavenger hunt at Moccasin Lake Nature Park on Saturday, April 17 from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Registration is limited in order to allow proper social distancing. For more information and to RSVP, visit www.myclearwater.com.
2021 Earth Day Challenge Walk/Run: Clearwater
During the month of April, let’s see how many times Clearwater residents can collectively run the distance of the equator: 24,901 miles! For more information and to register for free, visit the Clearwater Eventbrite page.
Sunken Gardens Earth Day Scavenger Hunt: St. Petersburg
1825 4th St N, St. Petersburg, FL 33704
Sunken Gardens in St. Pete is hosting a scavenger hunt for all ages. Explore winding paths, exotic birds, turtles, butterflies and flowers in a self-guided hunt, and you could win seedlings to celebrate our Earth all year long. No registration required and entrance fees apply. Event will take place on Saturday, April 24 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. and Sunday, April 25 from 12 to 4 p.m.
Florida Botanical Gardens Earth Day Celebration: Largo
12520 Ulmerton Road, Largo, FL 33774
Join the Florida Botanical Gardens for an afternoon of family-friendly activities focused on aquatic ecosystems and water conservation. Visit the gardens between 12 and 3 p.m. on Sunday, April 18. Parking and admission is free; donations are welcome. Visit Florida Botanical Gardens for more information.