5 Secrets of People with Low Home Energy Bills

Secret #1: Programmable Thermostats

Programmable thermostats are worth the investment. If your home currently uses a manual thermostat, a programmable thermostat is a smart investment towards greater energy savings. These devices allow you to increase or decrease the temperature of your home automatically so that it coordinates with your work/school and sleep schedule. For example, when nobody is home to occupy the house, you can lower the settings on the thermostat during colder months and raise it in warmer months. This way, you aren’t paying to heat or cool a vacant house. With proper thermostat settings, you could save up to 10 to 15% on your energy bills.

Secret #2: Home Energy Audits

Energy audits save money. Having a professional energy audit performed on your home is an excellent way to gauge your current energy usage so that you can implement changes that will help cut down on energy costs. A professional energy auditor can determine how much energy is being used in the home, where you could make changes, and help you implement a plan for future energy savings. The United States Department of Energy also offers a solution for homeowners who would rather do it themselves. This guide for a DIY home energy audit will help you spot many problems on your own, and even a little bit of energy savings is better than none!

Secret #3: Power Strips

Energy smart people use power strips. A lot of energy is wasted on electronics that are left plugged into outlets, even if they are turned off. By using a power strip, you can combat this energy usage quickly and easily. Seek out a power strip that also includes a surge protector, in case of any electricity outages. Plug energy sucking devices, such as television sets and video game consoles, into a power strip and when not in use. Turn the power strip off to stop them from drawing energy.

Secret #4: Proper Insulation

If your home has air leaks around doors and windows, then your home is certainly wasting energy. Walk around the interior perimeter of your home, focusing primarily on floorboards, window frames, and doors and check for drafts. To easily do this, hold a lit incense stick near suspected drafts and if the direction of the smoke changes, you’ll know you have an air leak. Seal any air leaks with caulking or weather stripping. Sealing any gaps will cut down on energy costs as well as make your home more comfortable during extreme weather. Other good areas to investigate for air leaks are areas where wiring or plumbing passes through from the exterior to the interior of the home.

Also, on a bigger scale, make sure that your attic is properly insulated. Experts estimate that a well-insulated attic space could save you up to 50% on your home’s energy costs!

Secret #5: Regular HVAC Maintenance

This is a very important, but sometimes overlooked task that will certainly help you reduce your home energy usage. A maintenance check will ensure that your home’s HVAC system is not only functioning, but also working as efficiently as possible. An HVAC system that needs some TLC will end up costing you extra money on your home’s energy bills. Prevent this from happening and schedule a maintenance call with a trusted HVAC professional.

If you’re in need of a maintenance check in the San Diego area, then check out our HVAC maintenance program, which makes taking care of your HVAC system effortless. Call Sheldon’s Heating & Air Conditioning, Inc. today to find out more details: 877-411-9888.

Save Money with these SoCal Energy Saving Tips for Summer

Energy conservation is something that most San Diego homeowners take an interest in. Even if it didn’t save you money on your monthly bills, the environmental impact of energy consumption is very serious. This is why we at Sheldon’s Heating & Air Conditioning have put together a helpful resource of ways to save energy at home this summer.

Energy saving tips for Southern California homeowners

During the summer, there are many ways to save energy at home. Saving energy translates to saving money on utility bills. It is harder to conserve energy in the summertime in warm climates because heat often seems to find a way to seep into your home. There are some very fundamental changes homeowners can make to save money on utilities. Here are some energy saving tips:

Seal and ventilate your attic

As heat rises, it’s important to have a proper path for the hot air in your home to escape through the attic, so that your home doesn’t retain so much heat in the summer. Even simply placing vents on the very top of your home instead of the sides can make a huge difference. Installing a radiant heat barrier in your attic is also a little known, yet extremely effective way to keep your home cool. As the sun’s rays travel downward, your attic is the first point of contact for your home. A radiant barrier reflects these rays and prevents the heat from getting into your home in the first place. Insulation and proper sealing will have the same effect on heat that is already in your attic. Keep your living areas comfortable this summer by starting at the top of your home.

Window Treatments

One easy way to cool a home is by applying interior window treatments throughout the home. Prevent the sun from entering the room with window shades, draperies, interior shutters, and blinds. Anything that keeps the sun from shining into a room and heating the air and furnishings will make things cooler. The cooler it is, the less power needed to run your air conditioner.

Lights

Always turn off lights. While everybody knows better than to leave their lights on, it’s often overlooked. Don’t forget that this doesn’t just use up energy, but inefficient incandescent lights produce heat which can trigger your AC. Install dimmer switches on existing lighting to lower watt usage. Turn lights off completely when no one is home. If people get home when it is dark, and they want a lit entrance, use a lamp timer. Program it to come on at dusk. This will conserve energy during the daytime and provide safety when it gets dark.

Shade

There are many different ways to provide exterior shade for the home. Most people think regarding planting trees to prevent the sun from shining on the home’s exterior and transferring its radiant heat energy. Another great way to shade your exterior is by installing awnings over the tops of windows, especially those on the upper levels of the home. They create instant shade and will prevent whistling wind from penetrating the windows directly. Most awnings require little maintenance beyond the occasional power washing.

Think about buying a ventilated cover over the air-conditioner unit. These covers are cheap and will give your unit some much-needed shade during the summertime. An air-conditioning unit with shade consumes less electricity than those exposed to the sun.

The AC unit you use can also play a great role in your home’s overall energy consumption. Even if you adhere to these energy saving tips, an outdated unit may still drive up your energy bills. Consider replacing your AC unit with a newer, more energy efficient model as the summer continues to heat up.

The Holidays are here! Save Money with these HVAC Tips

It’s the most wonderful time of the year! The holidays are just around the corner. This time of the year brings fun and excitement, but it can also cause a bit of strain on your wallet. One way that you can save money this holiday season is by working to use your HVAC system more efficiently. Below are some HVAC tips for saving money this holiday season.

Money-Saving HVAC Tips for the Holidays

During the holidays, homeowners tend to use a lot more energy than any other time of the year. Whether you’re hosting guests or just taking part in the festivities, here are a few HVAC tips for saving energy (and money) this holiday season:

Turn down the thermostat when you are entertaining guests.

You want to keep your friends and family comfortable when you’re entertaining or hosting guests. However, more bodies in your home also means more warmth. Not to mention, if you are using the stove or oven, the heat from these appliances will warm up your home quickly. Make sure to turn the thermostat down once your guests arrive to save a little bit of energy and decrease your heating costs.

Don’t forget to change your air filter.

The holidays are a busy time, and it can be easy to forget simple maintenance tasks like changing your air filter. However, a clogged or dirty filter can decrease your HVAC system’s efficiency as it restricts airflow. Make sure that you stay on top of air filter changes so that you can keep your heating and cooling system running efficiently throughout the holidays.

Be sure to adjust your thermostat when you leave your home.

Many people find themselves running a lot of errands, taking more time to do some shopping, and even traveling near and far during the holiday season. Make sure to adjust your thermostat before you leave the house to conserve energy while you are away. You might also consider investing in a programmable thermostat, which automates the adjustment process, making it simple and convenient to adjust your home’s temperature even while you are away.

Get your annual HVAC tune-up.

Homeowners should get an HVAC tune-up, or routine maintenance visit, at least once a year. During this visit, an experienced HVAC technician will make sure that your HVAC equipment is clean, well-lubricated, and in working order. The tech will check for any repair needs, and fix your equipment before the issue becomes more costly. An annual HVAC tune-up will save you money by improving the efficiency of your HVAC system while also prolonging the life of your equipment.

Looking for more ways to save money on energy costs this holiday season? Check out this helpful guide from the Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy for other ways to save energy during the holidays. If you need an HVAC tune-up or have any other questions about energy efficiency and your HVAC system, don’t hesitate to contact us.