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Understanding the Difference Between Energy Conservation and Energy Efficiency

Posted on December 16, 2014

Thanks to our ever improving technology, the gap between energy conservation and energy efficiency has grown smaller. Conserving energy means not using as much of it, while using it efficiently means that the appliance or device uses less energy to provide the same service. 

When you deliberately use less energy at home, chances are you’re sacrificing something. Turning down the thermostat in the winter will conserve energy, but it’ll also make you feel less comfortable. Sticking with incandescent lighting in your home and using it sparingly will cut back electrical consumption and promote conservation, but you may find the lighting too dim.

Fortunately, you can take advantage of more efficient products that will enhance your life without sacrificing comfort. LED and CFL bulbs emit good light using a fraction of the electricity of incandescent bulbs. Improving home insulation thwarts heat transfer and using a programmable thermostat is a convenient way to practice conservation, especially if you’re away routinely during the day. It uses less energy to heat your home back up than it does to keep it a livable temperature while you’re away.

Improving furnace efficiency is another good way to conserve energy. Heating systems are rated by the amount of fuel they consume versus the actual heat they supply. An old combustion furnace may waste as much as half the gas it uses up the chimney, while new condensing furnaces can reach efficiencies as high as 98 percent. They waste just 2 percent of the fuel, while the other 98 percent heats your home directly.

Another good way to combine energy conservation with energy efficiency is by adjusting your water faucets and showerheads. By installing WaterSense faucet aerators and showerheads, you’re practicing conservation. Wrapping an old, inefficient water heater with an insulating blanket increases efficiency. Using less water with the WaterSense faucets and retaining more heat in the water heater combines both conservation and efficiency without sacrificing any comfort.

Contact the pros at Comfort Systems to help improve energy conservation and energy efficiency. We’ve been provided top-notch HVAC services for Wichita homeowners since 1953.

Our goal is to help educate our customers in Wichita, Kansas about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems). For more information about energy efficiency and other HVAC topics, download our free Home Comfort Resource guide.

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