Lower Energy Bills - Blog Posts by Tag

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).

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Learn Why to Buy HVAC Products With the Energy Star Logo

Learn Why to Buy HVAC Products With the Energy Star LogoYour choice of HVAC products makes an impact on your comfort and energy budget for years to come. Opting for those that carry the Energy Star logo covers both dependable comfort and lower monthly cooling or heating bills.

What Is Energy Star?

The Energy Star program has been active for more than two decades and it has helped millions of consumers quickly identify products designed to use less energy. When you’re in the market for an HVAC system replacement, the logo helps you select those that will save energy

All HVAC equipment must undergo laboratory testing to measure its overall energy usage. Manufacturers submit applications for equipment that meets the efficiency standards for the Energy Star program to the U.S. Department of Energy for their approval, which they grant if:

  • The system works equally well under different climatic conditions.
  • Consumers will recoup any extra cost associated with the equipment in lower energy bills within a reasonable time period.
  • The features or components that contribute to exceptional energy savings are something that most consumers want and find beneficial.
  • The energy savings are measurable and verifiable.

How You Benefit

On a household basis, more efficient systems with the Energy Star logo will lower energy bills, helping you save money without reducing home comfort. Although there are many more variables associated with system installation and ongoing maintenance, high efficiency HVAC equipment also tends to last longer. The components that achieve better efficiency often are better quality and the systems embed more efficient engineering designs. Longer lasting equipment saves the cost of system replacement and reduces the demand for raw materials.

You may also qualify for incentives from utility providers and governmental jurisdictions for choosing an Energy Star system to help offset your investment in a new system. High efficiency HVAC equipment qualifies for the Home Energy Renovation Opportunity (HERO) program that offers advantageous financing programs for homeowners who upgrade their homes or systems.

To learn more about choosing HVAC products with the Energy Star logo, contact Sherlock Heating & Air Conditioning, providing trusted HVAC services for North County homeowners since 2002.

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).

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Is a Zoning System Right for Your San Marcos Home?

Is a Zoning System Right for Your San Marcos Home?It’s difficult to keep all the spaces in a home evenly comfortable with just one thermostat since each area experiences different levels of heat gain or loss due to a number of variables. If you’ve experienced this, a zoning system might be the answer to those high energy costs and uneven temperatures throughout your home.

Zoning a home involves dividing it into sections that have similar thermal characteristics and installing a motorized damper in the ductwork. The dampers open and close based on each area’s need for conditioned air. Each zone has its own thermostat that sends a signal to a central control panel that opens the damper and sends cooled or heated air to just that location.

Zoning systems work well in homes that have two or more levels, raised ceilings, large expanses of windows and rooms that are seldom used.

Benefits of a Zoning System

In addition to customized temperature control, zoned systems offer these tangible benefits:

  • Longer HVAC system life: Since you’re not conditioning the entire home when just a couple areas need it, your HVAC system won’t have to work as hard, reducing wear and tear. Zoning is also a better way to close off an area you seldom use, since closing registers without zoning dampers can damage the HVAC system.
  • Lower energy bills: It takes less energy to condition just one area of your home that needs it rather than the entire structure. If you use a programmable thermostat, your savings could be higher since you can set back the system when you’re not using that area.
  • Better comfort: Homes with south or west exposure and those with a second level will have more comfortable areas with a zoning system, since these areas gain more heat year-round.

To learn more about benefiting from a zoning system, contact the pros at Sherlock Heating & Air Conditioning, Inc. We’ve served North County homeowners for more than 30 years.

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).

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Programmable Thermostat Woes? Don’t Replace It Till You Try These Tips

Programmable Thermostat Woes? Don't Replace It Till You Try These TipsProgrammable thermostats are the best option for controlling the temperature in your home, and a quality one can help you keep your house comfortable while reducing your energy bills. However, programmable thermostats are also a little more likely to have problems since they have more parts and serve a more advanced function that the old analog ones. If you’re having problems with your programmable thermostat, try these troubleshooting tips before you rush to replace it.

  • Check to make sure your programmable thermostat is firmly mounted on the wall. If your thermostat was just installed, you may be having problems with an intermittent connection. Make sure the thermostat is secured properly and not loose.
  • Try checking the fuse in your thermostat. Most programmable thermostats have a fuse inside to power parts of the unit. Without a working fuse, your thermostat may not properly control the temperature in your home and the display may only function intermittently. If the filament inside the fuse is cracked, replace it with the same type, which you can get at any hardware store .
  • Replace the batteries inside your thermostat if it has one. Many programmable thermostats have batteries inside, though some work through hardwired power. Check your owner’s manual or open the unit to find out what type you have.
  • Try turning the thermostat to “Heat” or “Cool” instead of auto. Note whether the thermostat works in both settings or just one. In some cases, you may find that you have a problem with your heating or cooling system, not your actual thermostat.
  • Call a professional to help you diagnose the problem. Programmable thermostats are not always easy to understand and you may not be able to find all of the problems on your own. A technician that can diagnose your thermostat can also provide a heating and cooling inspection while they are in your home to make sure everything is working properly.

Contact Sherlock Heating & Air Conditioning, Inc. for more tips on troubleshooting the thermostat in your home. We can also help you with all of your other heating, cooling and air quality needs.

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).

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A Zero Energy Home is Achievable with a Few Changes

A Zero Energy Home is Achievable with a Few ChangesWith the high energy costs that we pay here in Southern California, many homeowners are searching for ways to decrease their energy usage. There are many ways to lower your energy bills, and, if you are willing to make some small changes, it’s even possible to achieve the goal of living in a zero energy home. This may seem like a fantasy to some, but it is definitely an option, and here are some tips to get you started: Continue reading “A Zero Energy Home is Achievable with a Few Changes” »

5 Furnace Warning Signs to Pay Attention To

5 Furnace Warning Signs to Pay Attention ToIt’s not time to pack away the sweaters just yet. Chilly weather will continue for a couple of months in San Diego, especially at night when average temperatures hover in the 50s. It is essential that your furnace is in good working order during this time. Knowing when your furnace needs repair can prevent total system failure. Continue reading “5 Furnace Warning Signs to Pay Attention To” »

Common Ductwork Obstructions That Can Wreak Havoc on HVAC Efficiency

Common Ductwork Obstructions That Can Wreak Havoc on HVAC EfficiencyHeating and cooling bills make up a significant portion of a household budget, and you don’t want to spend any more money on it than you have to. Sometimes, obstructions in your ductwork can negatively affect your HVAC system’s efficiency. Here are some of the most common ductwork obstructions, and what you can do about them. Continue reading “Common Ductwork Obstructions That Can Wreak Havoc on HVAC Efficiency” »

How Heat Pumps Deliver Quiet, Even Cooling

How Heat Pumps Deliver Quiet, Even CoolingBy strict definition, refrigerators, deep freezers and air conditioners are all “heat pumps,” utilizing the principle of heat transfer to pump heat from one location to another. The term heat pump, however, is usually reserved for a heating/cooling system capable of moving heat in two directions – into your home for heating and out of your home for cooling. Continue reading “How Heat Pumps Deliver Quiet, Even Cooling” »

Heat Pump Pros and Cons — How This Equipment Can Work for You

Heat Pump Pros and Cons -- How This Equipment Can Work for Youheat pump is an engineering marvel that allows a single appliance to both heat and cool your home. Before you begin comparing heat pump options, you must decide if this equipment is the best option for your San Diego area home. Here are the top pros and cons to weigh in your mind and help you make your final choice. Continue reading “Heat Pump Pros and Cons — How This Equipment Can Work for You” »

Upgrading Your San Diego Home to a Zoning System? Benefits You’ll See

Upgrading Your San Diego Home to a Zoning System? Benefits You'll SeeUpgrading to a zoning system is one of the best methods to increase daily comfort for all household occupants and reduce monthly energy bills. If you’re upgrading your HVAC system with zoning, prepare your home for maximum benefit which you’ll see and feel. Continue reading “Upgrading Your San Diego Home to a Zoning System? Benefits You’ll See” »