A winter in San Diego is anything but brutal, although our “cold” season is from December through February. Here are our top 7 DIY tips to winterize your San Diego home to reduce energy usage and keep your family safe.
1. Run Ceiling Fans in Reverse
Ceiling fans do more than cool a room on a hot sunny day. When switched to a clockwise direction, the reserve air flow creates warmth. Warm air near the ceiling is circulated back down into the room creating warm temperatures and even dropping the heating costs!
2. Close Your Fireplace
Here is an easy but useful trick that is often forgotten! Although fireplaces aren’t used abundantly in San Diego, ensure to close the flue in your fireplace to prevent cold air from circulating back into the house. Enclosed fireplaces with glass doors or glass walls are meant to keep the warm air in the house and the cold air out.
3. Change Your Furnace Filters
If your furnace filters are dirty and not well maintained, it causes your furnace to work harder and ultimately, costs you more money. This is an easy thing to forget, but in the winter season, it’s especially important to change your filter in order to prevent restricted airflow and unnecessary energy usage. For an easy and eco-friendly change, consider switching to a permanent filter. We recommend a genuine HEPA filter, it will cost more upfront, but the permanent filter catches 80-90% more bacteria, mold, and airborne particles than replaceable filters. When purchasing a HEPA filter, ensure you buy name brand for better results.
4. Tune Up Your Heating System
As with any appliance, your heating system needs regular tune-ups to function properly. Keeping your furnace clean and well maintained creates long-lasting function and can help save on heating costs. Check the manufacturer or dealer of your heating system for free annual check-ups by licensed professionals. Be sure to plan ahead as many of these HVAC crews get backed up during the winter season.
Without correct tune-ups, you may be in for a hefty fee if the entire furnace needs to be replaced. Do the work ahead of time to prevent future problems.
If you’re stuck in the situation of replacing your entire unit, consider an energy efficient furnace. Making this change can save a lot of money in the long run.
5. Pay Attention to Your Thermostat
When you leave for work or go to sleep at night, it’s a good idea to lower your thermostat. This small change can have a major impact on cutting down on your energy bill! Utilize your programmable thermostat to set various temperatures throughout the day. Dropping your thermostat even one degree can save you between 1-3% on your next heating bill.
6. Check Your Insulation
Insulation may not be the first thing that comes to mind when considering winterization in your San Diego home, but it is an important factor when it comes to saving money and energy in your home. Factor in the age of your home, as insulation deteriorates over time, in addition to the type of insulation used in your home.
Add additional insulation material to your attic, crawl spaces, and exposed areas of decks to help trap heat.
7. Turn Down Your Water Heater
Most water heaters are automatically set to an unnecessarily high temperature of 140 degrees Fahrenheit that can cost you money overtime. To reduce your heating costs and energy use, lower your water heater to 120 degree Fahrenheit as recommended by the Consumer Product Safety Commission. This small change will save you from any scalding burns and can lower your water heating costs by 6-10%!
Even though our winters here in San Diego tend to be pleasantly mild, taking steps to properly winterize your home (particularly if you live in an older home) will surely pay off when it comes to saving energy and money during the winter.