Fall is here in the San Francisco Bay Area, so now is a good time to share 7 energy-saving tips. Saving on your heating bill should be a priority. Conserving energy and creating a comfortable home is a must, especially with so many of us working from home. Temperatures in the Bay Area can drop down into the low 40’s, so these 7 tips are timely.
- Replace or Clean Air Filters
- Adjust Your Thermostat
- Get a Programmable Thermostat
- Invest in Energy Efficient Light Bulbs
- Dress For The Season
- Manage Appliances & Electronics
- Add Window Film to Your Home
Replace or Clean Air Filters
Cleaning or regularly replacing all of the air filters in your home is a great way to save energy. Did you know that dirty air filters make your heating and cooling system work harder? Dirty filters also cause your system to run much longer than needed. Homeowners should check their filters every month, especially during months of heavy use, like summer and winter. Ideally, you would change your filters every 3 months. However, when the filter looks dirty, be sure to change it. Clean filters will also help to prevent the build-up of dust and dirt from in the system. Not doing so can lead to a very expensive repair or replacement of your system.
Adjust Your Thermostat
Setting your thermostat to 78F in the summer months and 68F in the winter months can also have an effect on energy costs. In fact, it's been estimated that every degree of extra heating or cooling will increase energy consumption by 6% to 8%. Adjusting the thermostat to a lower or hight temperature will not cool or heat your home faster. By keeping a consistent temperature, you can definitely affect your energy costs.
Get a Programmable Thermostat
You can take your thermostat control to the next level by purchasing a programmable or 'smart' thermostat. A programmable thermostat can be automatically set to adjust the temperature according to your schedule. Additionally, you can set the thermostat to shut off when you are away from home. On average, using a smart thermostat can save you up to $180 per year. That's a great savings, isn't it? It's also good to remember that some smart thermostats can alert you to replace air filters when they need it. There are a ton of other reasons to get a smart or programmable thermostat. Learn about them here.
Invest in Energy Efficient Light Bulbs
Do energy-efficient light bulbs reduce energy costs? The answer is yes. Did you know that 8% of all energy usage in homes and offices is related to lighting? If you use traditional incandescent light bulbs, you'll find that they consume an incredible amount of electricity. They also need to be replaced more often than energy-efficient bulbs. What are the options for energy-efficient bulbs? LEDs are a popular choice, as are halogen incandescent bulbs, and compact fluorescent lights. You can use from 25-80 percent less electricity in your home by switching. These builds also last longer. In some cases, they last up to 25 times longer than traditional bulbs. These modern alternatives to incandescent bulbs may cost more initially, but the long term energy savings makes them worth the price.
Dress for the Season
This might not be a popular choice, but many of us do this in the summer months to save on energy. Why not do it in the cooler months as well? Wearing a sweater or other warmer clothing can mean that you can turn your thermostat down without losing out on overall comfort.
Manage Appliances & Electronics
Have you heard of 'phantom loads'? These are those sneaky energy users that say plugged in while not being used. This could include your computer, monitor, printers, and fax machines. These machines use energy even when they are turned off or are in sleep/standby mode, It's been estimated that 75% of the energy used consumed by electronics happens when they are not in use. One great way to get rid of phantom loads is to get a smart power strip. Some smart power strips can be set to shut off devices when they aren't in use. They can also be scheduled to cut power when you are away from home.
Install Energy-Efficient Window Tint
How can we talk about saving energy and not mention window tint? There are so many choices out there, but we definitely recommend the 3M Thinsulate Series. This innovative window film helps to insulate your windows, keeping the cool air out and warm air in. 3M window films also offer glare control, fade protection, and an added layer of security.
What do you think of these fall energy savings tips? Have a few of your own? Let us know in the comments. The ClimatePro team has been helping San Francisco Bay Area homeowners find the best window film for their homes. We're window film experts, installing in the homes of our neighbors for over 40 years. You can contact us today for a free consultation and we’ll help you get started. With offices in North Bay, San Francisco, and San Jose, we can be reached at 707-755-7337.