As the temperature cools outside, the temptation to blast your heater rises. However, as with air conditioning in summer, it’s best to be mindful of your energy consumption indoors.
Watching your energy consumption is important because the energy used for heating homes is mostly generated through the burning of fossil fuels, which releases harmful greenhouse gases (GHG) into the atmosphere. The City of Encinitas’ Climate Action Plan outlines building efficiency as a method of reducing local GHG emissions. Not only will improving your home’s energy efficiency decrease emissions, but lowering your energy usage also saves you money on your monthly utility bills.
Do your part by maximizing your home’s energy efficiency this fall and winter by following these easy tips:
- Program your thermostat.
- In general, the best practice is to set your thermostat as low as is comfortable. The U.S. Department of Energy suggests setting the thermostat at 68°F when awake and lower when asleep or away from home.
- Not only will you be saving money, but having a lower interior temperature slows heat loss—reducing energy waste.
- With heat pumps heaters, maintain your home at a moderate temperature. If you set the thermostat too low, this can cause the unit to run inefficiently. Invest in a thermostat specifically for heat pumps.
- Weatherize your doors and windows.
- Seal any air leaks or drafty windows/doors with caulk or weatherizing strips. This will reduce the likelihood of heat loss.
- Utilize natural heat from the sun.
- Open any south-facing windows during the day for natural heating and close them during the night to reduce cooling.
- Maintain your heating systems.
- Schedule routine services to ensure your heat system is working efficiently.
- Replace furnace or heat pump filters monthly or as needed.
- Reduce heat loss from fireplaces.
- When you aren’t using your fireplace, make sure the damper is closed. Warm air can escape through the chimney if not properly shut.
- If you plan to use a gas fireplace, lower your thermostat or turn if off completely when residing mainly in the room the fireplace is located.
- If you plan to use a wood-burning fireplace, open all dampers or open nearest window slightly and close doors leading into the room while lowering your thermostat to between 50° and 55°F or turning it off.
Incorporating these suggestions into your home are a simple way of lowering the cost of your energy bill while helping the City address climate change. For more information about how you can increase your home’s energy efficiency, read about Encinitas’ Green Building Ordinance. For more information about what the City is doing to reduce overall greenhouse gas emissions, check out the City’s Climate Dashboard.