Energy Efficiency Tips
Did you know that heating, cooling and ventilation can make up to 50 percent of your home energy use? Here are some ideas to help keep that percentage as low as possible.
- Keep your thermostat at a reasonable temperature, 68 degrees F or lower in the winter, and 78 degrees F or higher in the summer.
- Open the windows at night. Open selective windows so that cooler night air is blowing in throughout the evening. Leaving all interior doors open helps, too. If you leave them closed, they store the daytime heat and your house won't cool off as much at night. Be sure to get up and close the windows and blinds as soon as the sunlight hits your house.
- Alternatively, keep doors and windows closed while using air conditioning and in the winter to keep the heat indoors.
- When adjusting a thermostat by hand, remember that your home will not heat or cool faster by cranking up the thermostat. When your air conditioning/heating system is on, it cools/heat at the same rate regardless of the temperature setting.
- Use more clothes and blankets in the winter and turn the thermostat down at night.
- Change furnace filters frequently. Dirty filters make your HVAC equipment work harder. Regular maintenance in general will make your air conditioner and furnace run more efficiently and cost you less.
- During the hot part of the day in the summer, close the drapes and blinds on the windows where the sun beats in to minimize heat gain.
- During cold weather, keep your fireplace damper closed to prevent warm air from exiting through the chimney. Remember to open the damper when starting a fire!
- During warm weather, keep your fireplace damper open to create a cooling draft through the chimney.
- Install a solar powered attic fan to draw hot air out of the attic. Improving the ventilation in your attic will lower the temperature of the entire house and make your air conditioner’s job much easier.
- Fans can make your air conditioner’s job easier. Pedestal and ceiling fans improve the circulation in your home, allowing you to raise the air conditioner’s thermostat. Ceiling fans use only about 1/10th the electricity of a typical air home conditioner, and therefore cost only 1/10th as much to operate.
- Keep heat producing devices away from your thermostat. Don’t position heat producing devices such as lamps or audio/visual equipment beneath a wall mounted thermostat for a central cooling system. Heat rising from the equipment could cause the thermostat to read a temperature higher than the true room temperature and lead to over cooling.
- Insulate outlets. Electrical outlets let cold air into the house. Remove the outlet covers and insert special insulation underneath. Use special insulating plugs in all outlets that are not being used.
- Turn off kitchen, bath, and ventilating fans as soon as they’ve done the job.
- Be sure to test your heating system before the first cold day of the year as well as test your cooling system before the first warm day of the year. If there is a problem, it can be taken care of when Burlingame Heating & Ventilation isn’t too busy to get to you in a timely manner.