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Lower Energy Bills are a Nice Gift to Yourself

Lower Energy Bills are a Nice Gift to YourselfAs exciting as the holiday season may be, it also tends to bring unwanted guests such as high energy costs. Fortunately, you can make some simple adjustments to your HVAC system and daily habits to cut down your home’s energy usage and save money without sacrificing comfort.

Get lower energy bills by using the tips below.

  • Locate and seal leaks. You can lower your heating and cooling bills by as much as 10 percent by sealing air leaks. Install caulk around your windows and weatherstripping on your doors to seal them. Take the time to seal leaks around chimneys, recessed lights, plumbing penetrations and behind any cupboards and closets where unfinished spaces may be.
  • Add insulation. Heat will escape from your home if it’s inadequately insulated, causing your heating system to work inefficiently. Upgrade the insulation in your attic, basement, crawl space, and exterior walls.
  • Schedule a tuneup. Your heating system should be checked by a professional once every year. That will improve its efficiency, helping you lower your energy usage.
  • Check your air filter monthly. A dirty furnace filter will impede airflow, making your system work harder and waste energy. If your filter is dirty, make sure you clean or replace it.
  • Set the temperature back. If you’re still using a manual thermostat, consider replacing it with a programmable thermostat, which can be easily programmed for maximum energy savings. Lower your thermostat setting by 8 degrees or more while asleep or not at home. That will help you save energy by avoiding heating your home when it’s unnecessary.
  • Improve the efficiency of your fireplace. Heat loss also happens through your fireplace. Keep the damper closed if a fire isn’t burning. Caulk around the hearth. If you don’t use your fireplace, consider plugging and sealing the chimney flue.

By adopting these fall and winter energy-saving strategies, you’ll keep your comfort levels high and energy bills as low as possible. For more information on how to lower energy bills, please contact us at Sherlock Heating & Air Conditioning. We serve San Diego and the surrounding area.

Our goal is to help educate our customers in the greater San Diego and San Marcos, California area about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems).

Credit/Copyright Attribution: “pexels/Pixabay”

Want Lower Utility Bills? Turn Down Your Water Heater Temperature

Want Lower Utility Bills? Turn Down Your Water Heater TemperatureOne of the best ways to give yourself a raise is to lower your energy use. Chances are, even if you’re already super thrifty about saving power, there are at least a dozen more things you can do around the home to trim utility bills. One of the most overlooked is to turn down the water heater temperature.

How Hot Does the Water Heater Need to Be?

Have you ever checked the temperature of your water heater? Manufacturers frequently set thermostats at 140 degrees. The truth is, that’s a bit on the hot side. You can easily scald yourself with water that hot, while mineral buildup and corrosion in your pipes are exacerbated by the hotter temperatures. Turn the water down to 120 degrees, and you’ll have less chance of scalding, while slowing corrosion and mineral buildup.

Water Heater Savings

Turning down the thermostat just 20 degrees also results in substantial savings on your water heating power use. Consider that with a tank-style water heater, you’re paying to maintain hot water at this temperature continuously. Your water heater will have to work extra hard when the weather is chilly, or when you have standby heat loss from the water heater being located in an unheated space such as a garage. Couple these factors with high consumption of that super-hot water in your home, and you’ll find your costs are much higher than they need to be.

Using 120-Degree Water

Most people find showering with water at 120 degrees quite comfortable. Water heated to this temperature is also adequate for washing clothes and, in most cases, for dishwashers. Although there is a slight risk of allowing legionellae bacteria to survive at 120 degrees, this shouldn’t be a problem for anyone except those with a suppressed immune system.

Turning the thermostat down also contributes to maintaining a greener household, in that you’ve reduced your carbon footprint.

To learn more about lowering your water heater temperature, contact Sherlock Heating and Air Conditioning. We serve San Diego and the surrounding area.

Our goal is to help educate our customers in the greater San Diego and San Marcos, California area about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems).

Credit/Copyright Attribution: “tbit/pixabay”