If you’re like many Lake County homeowners, you may have already discovered the many benefits of having solar panels installed. You’ll already have been saving energy, and thereby saving money. However, did you know you can do even more in order to achieve high electrical energy efficiency? Going solar is a great first step! You can take it even further.
What homeowners often don’t realize is that, even with solar panels, HVAC systems use up about half of an entire home’s energy use. That’s a log! Most of this energy is utilized when the systems cycle on. Considering our weather, this means a lot of energy is getting used. We’ll cover some relatively simple steps below on how you can help boost your home’s efficiency even further.
Address Air Leaks
Were you aware that you might actually be losing energy in your home due to drafty doors and windows? These drafts have to be sealed up properly in order for conditioned air to stay in, and outside air to stay out.
Air leaks can negatively impact your energy efficiency, as your heating and cooling systems will both need to run longer in order to compensate and try to reach the desired temperature setting on your thermostat.
Use Your Blinds and Curtains!
Sunlight is pretty universally enjoyable, and we get plenty of that in California! The only time it’s not enjoyable, however, is at the peak of summer, particularly if your home has south-facing windows where the sun shines right in during the hottest part of the day.
Not only is this uncomfortable, but it’s going to signal your air conditioner to cycle on a lot sooner than you may like. But you can actually bring down the temperature in your home simply by closing your blinds and curtains from about 10:30 AM to 3:00 PM. This saves energy as your air conditioner won’t cycle on so soon.
This same concept applies in reverse in the wintertime. Given how cold it’s been lately, your heater has probably gotten a lot of use. Well, you could open your blinds and curtains to south-facing windows, and bring in some ambient warmth to increase your comfort and to keep the heater from cycling on far earlier than it actually needs to.
Adjust Your Temperature Settings
We understand, it can be really tempting to make your home as warm as possible in the winter, and as chilly as possible in the warmer months. However, if you really want to make a difference with your energy use and subsequent utility bills, then you should follow the guidelines that energy.gov recommends.
That is that during the winter, your temperature should be set no higher than 68°F, and during the summer no lower than 78°F.
By following this guideline and by staying on top of your regular preventative maintenance appointments for both your heating and cooling systems, you’ll ensure these systems are operating as effectively and efficiently as possible, and you’ll ensure you have an energy-efficient home.