A few good things may come out of the difficult year of 2020, and one that we expect to see is more homeowners taking extra steps to save money with everything from their electricity to their plumbing. People are just more aware of being at home and how to cut down on those extra expenses—as well as dodge possible repair problems.
You may be considering ways to save money as the calendar flips over to a new (and we hope better) year. You can start right away by concentrating on how to cut down on the cost to heat your house. Heating in Encino, CA and elsewhere in Southern California is less intense than many other parts of the country, so it’s not too difficult to find ways to lower costs without suffering from discomfort. We’re long-time specialists with Southern California weather, and we have advice for how you can save money with your heating in 2021.
Steady thermostat settings
We don’t often deal with radical temperature swings in Southern California winters, but people sometimes handle their thermostats as if we did. The best way to save energy with a thermostat is not to keep adjusting it up and down, causing the heater to turn on and off multiple times. A heater draws on the most power when it turns on, so keeping it operating at a steady, lower temperature is more energy-conscious. We recommend keeping it set to 68°F when you’re at home during the day, then dropping it to around 60°F at night.
Never forget to change the HVAC system’s air filter
The air filter in your forced-air heating system, which it probably shares with the AC, needs to be changed regularly so it won’t become congested and begin to place extra strain on the blower fan. We recommend making a monthly check on the filter, and you’ll probably end up needing to put in a new one every three months.
Turn down the water heater’s temperature
The water heater uses more heat than any system in your house, and unlike the HVAC system, it runs every day during the winter. Lowering the temperature setting on the aquastat of the water heater to 120°F can reduce energy costs without making your showers too cold. Be cautious about fiddling with the aquastat: you don’t want it higher than 140°F, which can create scalding danger.
Improve attic insulation
This is especially helpful for older homes, although we’ve found many homes in the Los Angeles area that never had effective attic insulation in the first place. Heat escapes rapidly through the attic, and insulation slows down this heat loss to keep the house warm. Plus, it’s a huge benefit in the summer when it keeps the heat in the attic from entering the rest of the house.
Have the ducts sealed
You may have a leaky ventilation system that drains money and heat each time the HVAC system comes on. If you’ve noticed higher heating bills than normal, start 2021 with duct testing from our team to see if your ductwork needs sealing.
Kilowatt Heating, Air Conditioning and Electrical serves Los Angeles and the San Fernando Valley. Call our friendly technicians 24/7 for exceptional customer service!