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Make the Most of Your Thermostat this Season


Make the Most of Your Thermostat this Season
When the seasons change, so do your home comfort needs. As you change your furnace filter and schedule your furnace check up for the fall, don’t forget to reset your programmable thermostat. Your programmable thermostat can be one of your best tools to lower your energy bills, if it is used effectively.

Tips for Making the Most of Your Thermostat

Fall is an excellent time to reevaluate your needs and ensure that your thermostat is set as efficiently as possible. Here are some tips to help.

  • Readjust for cooler weather – When running your air conditioner in the summer, you want a higher thermostat temperature. In the fall, when your furnace kicks in, drop the temperature and add more layers of clothing for your comfort. A temperature around 70 degrees is great for fall.
  • Set back for nighttime – You can drop the temperature as much as eight degrees at night and still feel comfortable while sleeping, so use your programmable thermostat accordingly.
  • Set back when you are at work – Again, by dropping the temperature on the programmable thermostat seven to 10 degrees while you are at work, you can save significantly on your heating costs.
  • Avoid overcompensating – If you need to adjust the temperature because you come home unexpectedly, set it to your comfort point, not higher. A higher temperature will not warm the home more quickly, but it will drive up energy bills.

As you consider options to drop your energy bills this fall in your San Diego home, consider getting the help of a professional HVAC company. Sherlock Heating & Air Conditioning has a team of HVAC contractors who can help you maximize your home’s energy efficiency this fall.

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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Tips for Getting the Most Energy Savings From Your Programmable Thermostat

Tips for Getting the Most Energy Savings From Your Programmable ThermostatA programmable thermostat gives you the power to establish consistent temperature changeovers for energy savings and carefree comfort. By programming temperatures to serve your lifestyle, you can maximize the function of that simple device.

Programming Tips

With a programmable thermostat, you don’t have to remember to turn the temperature up or down when you leave for the day, arrive home, go to bed and wake up. Instead, program temperature changeover times to take place about 10 minutes before each event change.

For maximum energy savings, set your comfort temperature to 78 degrees during the cooling months and 68 degrees during the heating months. Turn up/down the temperature 10 to 15 degrees when away from home and four to eight degrees during sleep time.

“Hold” Off and Save

Programmable thermostats include a “hold” button, which temporarily overrides the current program. The thermostat will stay at your new temperature set point until the next program setting kicks in. If you’re using the “hold” feature too much, adjust your programs to better serve your preferences. It pays to save a little energy rather than lose a lot.

System Alerts

Keep an eye on system alerts. Most programmable thermostats will alert you when it’s time to change the air filter or when there’s a system malfunction. If the display says something like “filter change,” do it right away. A clogged air filter can increase cooling and heating energy consumption by up to 15 percent.

System malfunctions may be accompanied with a reference number to identify the problem. Keep your thermostat’s user manual handy so you can quickly look up troubleshooting information.

HVAC Compatibility

Many homeowners in the San Diego and San Marcos areas use a heat pump for heating and cooling. If you do, make sure your programmable thermostat is designed for a heat pump, otherwise expensive electric resistance heating will turn on following a turn-back period.

For more programmable thermostat tips or tips to reduce energy costs, contact us at Sherlock Heating & Air Conditioning, Inc. We serve residents of the San Diego, San Marcos and Vista areas.

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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Summer Energy Conservation Tips Any Business Can Benefit From

Summer Energy Conservation Tips Any Business Can Benefit FromEnergy conservation tips for businesses in San Diego pay off bigger in summer than any time of year. During the hottest months of the year, utility costs soar as air conditioning expenses take center stage, often tipping the 50 percent balance point in your total electrical consumption.

Meaningful reductions in energy use are typically achieved by addressing a myriad of smaller issues that impact the larger picture. Not all strategies are applicable to every commercial enterprise, however, most San Diego companies can find at least a few helpful starting points in these energy conservation tips for businesses.

  • If your company utilizes heavy equipment that draws high wattage, try to schedule usage earlier in the day and taper off by 3 p.m. when peak hours begin and utility rates typically rise.
  • Adjust any timer-controlled outdoor lighting to accommodate the longer hours of daylight during summer. Alternatively, put all outdoor lights on photocell controls that turn them on as darkness falls. Indoors, utilize timers or motion sensors to automatically cut off lights in unoccupied parts of the building.
  • Electronics like computers, printers and photocopy machines should all have an energy-saving sleep option. Make sure that the sleep option is enabled in the settings.
  • If you don’t have a programmable thermostat controlling cooling and heating in your facility, install one. If you do have one, make sure it’s being utilized properly and that programmed temperature settings are updated to reflect the change of seasons. Also, utilizing a model that requires a password to alter temperature settings, or one that can be placed in a locked enclosure, helps prevent unauthorized overcooling.
  • Sunlight streaming in through windows carries radiant heat energy. Block it by closing blinds or curtains on sun-facing parts of the building or applying solar film to the glass to reject the heat energy wavelengths in sunlight.
  • Have your air conditioning equipment inspected and tuned up by an HVAC service professional annually. Also, make sure your maintenance staff stays on top of regular upkeep like A/C air filter changes.

In northern San Diego county, contact Sherlock Heating & Air for more energy conservation tips for businesses.

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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How a Programmable Thermostat Enhances Your Heating Regimen

How a Programmable Thermostat Enhances Your Heating RegimenSetting your thermostat to one temperature and never making adjustments may be costing you money. Most people don’t change the setting multiple times each day. The result is your heating and cooling system is working hard to reach your set temperature at times when a lower degree of comfort would make more sense. This is not very energy efficient. There may be certain periods of the day when you would like a more comfortable setting, but you don’t want to change the temperature because of increasing your monthly energy expenses.

There is a way to have the best of both worlds. A programmable thermostat can enable you to program a lower comfort setting at sleep and away times and a higher degree of comfort during busy times in your home. Savings in energy costs can result without living in an uncomfortable home. There are programmable thermostats with various options available to meet the individual needs of every homeowner.

Programmable thermostats

  • 7-Day thermostats – Everyday of the week can have separate programming with four periods available for each day.
  • 5+1+1 thermostats – Saturday can be programmed differently than Sunday and weekdays can have another set of programs. Four separate periods are available each day.
  • 5+2 thermostats – Weekdays can have one set of programs and weekends another. This is the least flexible thermostat, but still very useful for many families and capable of helping reduce monthly utility costs.

Modern thermostats have many additional features beside just controlling the temperature. A popular option on several thermostats is wireless control. You can adjust your programming from anywhere with a smartphone or other communications device. Other features include low battery indicator, a warning to change the air filter in you HVAC system, and the latest thermostats can use sensors throughout your home to allow separate settings from room to room. Another option is a signal to alert you when it is time for a professional inspection and cleaning.

Please contact Sherlock Heating and Air Conditioning with any concerns regarding a programmable thermostat. We are proudly serving San Diego and the surrounding areas.

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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If You’re at Work, What is Your Thermostat Set To?

If You're at Work, What is Your Thermostat Set To?If you’re at work, you may be wondering if you should have your thermostat set differently than when you’re at home. After all, you’re away from home for eight hours, so does it make a difference in your energy savings?

Eight Hours of Savings

It may surprise you to learn that you can save 5 to 15 percent of your energy bill just by decreasing your thermostat 10 to 15 degrees when you go to work or when you go to sleep. The time it takes for your HVAC system to return to the proper temperature, whether cooling or heating, is minimal compared to when your system has been turned off.

Try a Programmable or a Smart Thermostat

Rather than trying to remember when to set your thermostat down or up, you can have your programmable thermostat do it for you. In fact, you might want to consider a Smart Thermostat that can actually sense what’s going on in the house and making sure that the temperature is set perfectly for the conditions. By having your thermostat set at 78 degrees in the summer and 68 degrees in the winter with the times when you’re asleep or away being 15 degrees higher in summer and lower in winter, you will definitely save money and stay comfortable year round.

In this day and age, you may consider a WiFi thermostat which has Internet connectivity that allows you to reprogram your thermostat away from home. This is good for those times when you’re planning on leaving late or coming home early. Now if it could only get dinner ready!

If you want to learn more about heating and cooling in the San Marcos area, contact us at Sherlock Heating & Air Conditioning for all your indoor 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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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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Make Those Energy-Efficiency Upgrades Now, and They Could Help You Sell Your Home in the Future

Make Those Energy-Efficiency Upgrades Now, and They Could Help You Sell Your Home in the FutureIf you’re planning to sell your home in the near future, now’s the time to invest in energy-efficiency upgrades to help you unlock its full value. Today’s homebuyers are seeking out properties that offer energy savings, and they’ll pay more if these improvements are already completed. The following suggestions can make your home more attractive to buyers, and let you enjoy increased comfort and lower operating costs while you’re living there: Continue reading “Make Those Energy-Efficiency Upgrades Now, and They Could Help You Sell Your Home in the Future” »

Safeguard Your Home With These Security Tips

Safeguard Your Home With These Security TipsTaking a vacation this summer? An empty home can be a red flag for burglars, plus it means nobody is there to take action if a problem arises. These tips can help safeguard your home while you’re enjoying a change of scenery. Continue reading “Safeguard Your Home With These Security Tips” »

Want To Save Money This Winter? Cut Your Energy Consumption

Want To Save Money This Winter? Cut Your Energy ConsumptionThere are a number of creative solutions homeowners can implement to combat high energy consumption throughout a home. Consider the following measures to cut energy consumption, leaving your energy bills a bit lighter. Many of them also improve home comfort. Continue reading “Want To Save Money This Winter? Cut Your Energy Consumption” »