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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.

Top 4 HVAC New Year’s Resolutions

Your HVAC system has worked hard this year to keep your Riverside home comfortable no matter what the weather. Don’t you think it’s time that you’ve put a little work into being good to your heating and cooling system? With the top 4 HVAC New Year’s resolutions below, you can make sure that your furnace and air conditioner are in peak condition throughout the year for optimal home comfort.

  1. Check your air filter at least once a month.

A clogged or dirty air filter can restrict air flow, which reduces your HVAC efficiency and can also have a significant impact on your indoor air quality. Most standard air filters need to be changed or cleaned once a month. Make a habit of checking your air filter at the same time each month. If the filter is dirty or clogged, then you need to replace or clean it. You may also want to set yourself a reminder, so that you don’t neglect this important monthly task.

  1. Schedule an annual HVAC maintenance visit.

There is more to adequate HVAC maintenance than just changing your air filter each month. Your heating and cooling equipment needs to be cleaned, lubricated, and inspected at least once a year by an experienced Riverside HVAC technician. During your annual maintenance visit, the tech will make sure that your HVAC system is running smoothly and that your equipment has no immediate repair needs. This annual maintenance visit will help you optimize energy efficiency and get the most out of your HVAC equipment.

  1. Seal any leaks in your ductwork.

Leaky air ducts can cause you to lose a significant amount of energy. The start of the new year is the perfect time to inspect your ductwork and search for leaks. Look for tiny leaks, larger holes, damage, and gaps between ductwork. If you find any leaks or gaps, quickly fix them with sealant or tape. This will help you avoid energy loss throughout the year, which can affect your energy bills.

  1. Purchase a more energy-efficient HVAC system.

If you are serious about saving energy this year, you may want to invest in a newer, more energy-efficient HVAC system, especially if your current air conditioner and heater are getting a bit old. Not all HVAC systems are created equal. That’s why it’s important to do your research, and consult with a trusted HVAC company before choosing a new system. An experienced HVAC technician can help you determine the best size and type of equipment to meet your indoor air quality and home comfort needs.

If buying and installing a new HVAC system is on your To-Do list for 2017, the HVAC experts at Sheldon’s are ready to help you find the best new system for your home and budget. Check out our line of quality Carrier heating and cooling systems and products, or give us a call for more information about our energy-efficient HVAC equipment: (877) 411-9888.

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.

Looking to Buy Your First Home? Look for these 5 Upgrades to Stretch Your Dollar

Buying your first house is both an exciting and daunting process. There are many things that you need to keep in consideration while searching for the perfect new home. Though there are a variety of features on your “need to have list,” there are also some home upgrades that you can look for in a new home that will help you save money in the long run.

Home Upgrades to Save Your Money

Sellers often make upgrades to their house before putting it on the market that help increase the value of the home, but are also attractive to homebuyers because they are money-savers. Here are 5 common home upgrades to look for that will help you save money:

1. New Roofing

Though a brand new roof is not a necessity, if your new home has recently had the roof replaced, this means that you will not have to invest money in the roof any time soon. You might also look out for energy-efficient roofing materials that help you save on cooling costs by reflecting more sunlight and absorbing less heat than standard roofing materials.

2. Energy-Efficient Windows

Another upgrade that can help you saving money on heating and cooling costs is energy-efficient windows. These windows use quality frame materials and special coating that helps reflect light, keeping the heat inside in the winter and outside during the summer. If the home does not have energy-efficient windows, make sure that the insulation is adequate to avoid energy waste that can increase your electricity bills.

3. Energy Saving Appliances

Much of the energy that we use in our homes on a day-to-day basis originates from our appliances. Energy saving appliances can help you reduce energy waste and save as much as $400 a year on utility bills. If your new home does not feature these upgraded appliances, you may consider purchasing them later to help reduce energy costs.

4. Wood Flooring

Most homebuyers want wood flooring because it looks great, and it’s easy to care for. However, there are many other benefits that wood flooring can offer. If you or someone in your family suffers from allergies or asthma, wood flooring may be a better option as it reduces the allergens that get trapped in material like carpet. Also, since homeowners love wood floors, buying a home with wood flooring helps you increase the resale value if you ever put the home on the market.

5. Updated HVAC System

An energy-efficient HVAC system is another home upgrade that can help you save money over time. Not only do upgraded HVAC systems help you cut energy costs, but they can also make it simple and more convenient to maintain a comfortable home environment. In addition to the actual unit, look for a programmable thermostat, adequate insulation, and well-sealed ductwork.

Once you buy your first home, it is important to have your HVAC system regularly maintained in order to prolong the life of the unit. Contact us when you are ready to have your HVAC unit in your new home inspected.