San Bernadino can get pretty cold during the winter. Here at Turner Heating and A/C repair in Hesperia we service San Bernadino area for all their heating needs. We decided to share a few ways to help keep that heating bill down this winter with 5 tips.
1. Use blinds or curtains for strategic window insulation
Maximize solar gain by leaving your south-facing windows uncovered during any sunny days – even the winter sun makes a real difference. Consider pruning any foliage that blocks the sun on the south wall. Cover all windows after dark to create a simple but effective insulating layer. The thicker the coverings, the more effective the insulation. Window treatments can also reduce heat gain in summer by up to 45%, slashing air conditioning costs. If you buy dual shades (reflective white on one side, heat-absorbing dark on the other) they can be reversed seasonally to soak up that winter sun and repel summer heat.
2. Stop heating an empty or sleeping house
Install a programmable thermostat. If you’re still adjusting your heat by hand and trying to remember to turn it down when you go to work every day — who needs another task to remember when you’re rushing out the door? Your new thermostat should last for decades, saving you money every day. If you program your thermostat down 10 degrees during the time you’re sleeping or not home, you will save up to 15%. Yes, the furnace has to briefly work hard to return to the target “comfort zone”, but the down-time while you’re sleeping or absent more than offsets those short bursts.
3. Reduce ventilator fan use
In our modern kitchens and bathrooms, we have grown to appreciate the efficient action of built-in fans. They provide crucial air circulation to remove fumes from cooking and excess humidity from showering. In winter, though, these fans can act as silent heat thieves. You’d be surprised how much of your warm indoor air these fans will quickly transfer to your backyard: a whole houseful of expensive heat can be whisked away in as little as an hour. Teach all members of your household to use fans only as needed, and turn them off religiously. If this seems difficult to accomplish, you can add an automatic timer to fans controlled by wall switches.
4. Raise your humidity
Here’s a surprising tip. Winter air is often parched, especially indoors. The seasonal increase in chapped lips and dry skin reveals that our home heating is sucking all the moisture out of our bodies — surprisingly, dryness makes the air feel colder, too. Not only do we feel colder in dry air, but adding some moisture will actually allow your indoor air to retain the heat longer.
Do you get a little shock of static electricity every time you pet the cat? By increasing your home’s humidity to a comfortable level, you can make 68F feel as comfortable as 75F. You’ll also be decreasing your susceptibility to winter colds and sinus infections: dry air makes your mucus membranes more vulnerable.
Easy non-technological ways to increase humidity include adding (well-watered) houseplants, using indoor drying racks for laundry (adding to your savings by reducing dryer use), and placing shallow containers of water on heating elements such as radiators and wood stoves. Even leaving a water-filled baking dish in an unobtrusive spot such as on top of the refrigerator will help — you might be surprised how quickly evaporation empties the vessel.
Run kitchen and bath fans only as needed to prevent window condensation: if the moisture buildup is not visible on glass surfaces, it’s being absorbed into the air to enhance your home humidity. If you start seeing visible window condensation (not immediately explicable by a recent shower or dishwashing), you’ve raised the humidity too high and should reduce your efforts. The target zone is between 30-50% humidity: you can test it yourself with a home hygrometer if you’re not sure.
5. Eliminate drafts
A bottle of insulating foam sealant is another great way to make a few dollars go a long way toward saving fuel. Combined with your handy tube of weatherizing silicone caulking (you’ll need one of these too), you have an approachable home improvement project that needs few tools or expertise, only a little patience and enthusiasm for energy conservation. Time to start hunting for cracks and heat leaks! Use your senses, feeling for tell-tale cool spots as well as looking for visible gaps. Here are a few good places to start
Have your heater, furnace or HVAC system inspected to make sure you have everything up and running with our free heater repair estimate. We will diagnose your system and give you the best value available. To schedule an appointment call (760) 949-4535