Energy usage can rise significantly over the winter months, thanks to cooler temperatures and fewer daylight hours. By taking a few simple steps to prepare your Santa Cruz home, however, you can enjoy lower energy bills without sacrificing your comfort or spending too much on upgrades.
HAVE THE HEATING SYSTEM INSPECTED
By keeping up with the routine maintenance on your heating system, you can ensure that it runs reliably and efficiently throughout the winter. Have an HVAC professional inspect your system at the beginning of the season and perform any required maintenance, such as cleaning the coils of a heat pump or the burners of a furnace, changing the air filters and cleaning the blower fan assembly. Keep your system running efficiently by checking the air filter yourself monthly, and consider installing a programmable thermostat to reduce the temperature automatically while you are away or asleep, which could reduce your heating costs by 10 to 20 percent.
SEAL DRAFTY WINDOWS AND DOORS
Install storm windows or plastic sheeting over extremely drafty windows, and use weatherstripping, caulk or expanding foam insulation to seal around all your windows and doors. Install insulated curtains and close them at night to keep the heat in, then open them during the day to capture heat from the sun.
SEAL AIR LEAKS
Use caulk or expanding foam insulation to seal holes in your exterior walls, basement and attic, especially around pluming penetrations, holes drilled for wiring, fan vents, flues and lighting fixtures.
REDUCE ELECTRICITY USAGE
Replace older incandescent light bulbs with CFLs or LEDs, and replace holiday lights with LED versions to save electricity and help lower energy bills. Use outlet strips to turn off devices like televisions, cable boxes and computers when they are not being used to avoid parasitic draws.
For other tips that can help you achieve lower energy bills, talk to our team at Valley Heating, Cooling, Electrical today. Visit our website for in-depth information on most HVAC topics, or just give us a call at (408) 868-5500. We serve the communities of Santa Cruz and the South Bay Peninsula.
Our goal is to help educate our customers in the South Bay Peninsula and Santa Cruz areas of California about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems).