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10 Quick Tips About Saving Money on Big Bear Heating

Bear Valley Plumbing & Heating


Big Bear winters can be chilly, with lows often dipping below freezing. Throughout the area, homeowners spend the coldest months of the year huddled in front of their fireplaces, depending on their furnaces to keep them warm at night.

But these cold winters can also lead to high utility costs, as furnaces pump warm air into homes 24 hours a day. It’s important to look at ways to heat your home more efficiently, both for the environment and your own household budget. Here are ten quick Big Bear Heating tips to cut your costs this winter.

1. Seal Leaks

The U.S. Department of Energy recommends air sealing as a great way to reduce energy use in your home. Look for leaks around doorways and windows and seal with caulk or weatherstripping.

Identifying Air Leaks: Conduct a thorough inspection of your home to identify potential air leaks, paying close attention to areas around windows, doors, electrical outlets, and plumbing fixtures. Use a candle or an incense stick on a windy day to detect drafts and pinpoint leak locations.

Sealing Air Leaks: Seal gaps and cracks with weatherstripping, caulking, or foam sealants to prevent warm air from escaping and cold air from infiltrating your home. Focus on sealing gaps around window frames, door jambs, and other vulnerable areas to improve energy efficiency and reduce heating costs.

2. Clean Your Vents

Over time, vents can become clogged, creating excessive dust build-up and reducing your air quality. It can also obstruct airflow. Using a vacuum cleaner with an accessories hose and microfiber cleaning cloths, conduct a thorough cleaning of all your vents each year.

Regular Vent Maintenance: Schedule routine cleaning and maintenance of your HVAC vents to remove dust, debris, and allergens that accumulate over time. Use a vacuum cleaner with a soft brush attachment or microfiber cloth to gently clean vent covers and grilles, ensuring optimal airflow and indoor air quality.

Professional Duct Cleaning: Consider hiring a professional duct cleaning service to perform a comprehensive cleaning of your HVAC ductwork. Professional technicians use specialized equipment to remove built-up debris, mold, and contaminants from ducts, improving system efficiency and air quality.

3. Replace Filters

At least once every three months, you should change the air filter in your home to keep your Big Bear Heating system running at peak efficiency. If you have one or more pets, you should increase the frequency of air filter changes to at least every 60 days.

Filter Replacement Schedule: Establish a regular schedule for replacing air filters in your HVAC system to ensure optimal performance and energy efficiency. Check the manufacturer’s recommendations for filter replacement intervals based on your system’s specifications and household conditions.

High-Efficiency Filters: Invest in high-efficiency air filters with a MERV (Minimum Efficiency Reporting Value) rating appropriate for your HVAC system. These filters effectively capture airborne particles, including dust, pollen, pet dander, and mold spores, improving indoor air quality and extending the lifespan of your HVAC equipment.

4. Use the Sun

If you open your blinds each morning, you’re on the right track. The sun’s warm rays can make it easier for your furnace to do its job, especially in the wintertime, when the sun is lower than the brightest summer months.

Passive Solar Heating: Take advantage of natural sunlight to supplement your home heating during the winter months. Open curtains and blinds during the day to allow sunlight to enter your home and warm interior spaces, reducing the workload on your heating system and lowering energy consumption.

Window Treatments: Install energy-efficient window treatments such as thermal curtains or blinds to enhance insulation and minimize heat loss during colder months. These window coverings help retain heat indoors while blocking drafts and reducing energy costs associated with heating.

5. Invest in a Tune-Up

Like most systems in a house, your HVAC setup needs regular maintenance. Schedule an annual tune-up to pinpoint any issues before they become more serious.

Professional Maintenance Services: Schedule annual HVAC tune-ups with a qualified heating and cooling technician to ensure your system operates at peak efficiency and reliability. During a tune-up, the technician will inspect, clean, and tune your HVAC equipment, identifying any potential issues and optimizing performance for improved energy efficiency.

System Inspection and Calibration: A comprehensive HVAC tune-up includes inspecting and calibrating system components such as thermostats, sensors, and controls to ensure accurate temperature settings and efficient operation. The technician will also check electrical connections, lubricate moving parts, and assess overall system performance.

6. Consider High-Efficiency

Today’s furnaces are built to operate more efficiently than previous generations. If you’re in the market for a New Furnace Installation, consider making the switch to one that offers features like two-stage heating and a variable-speed blower.

Upgrade to High-Efficiency Furnace Models: When upgrading your furnace, opt for a high-efficiency model that meets ENERGY STAR® certification standards. These advanced furnaces utilize innovative technology to maximize heat output while minimizing energy consumption, resulting in significant savings on your heating bills.

Benefits of High-Efficiency Furnaces: High-efficiency furnaces not only deliver superior performance but also contribute to environmental sustainability by reducing greenhouse gas emissions. With features such as modulating gas valves and variable-speed blowers, these furnaces provide precise temperature control and consistent warmth throughout your home, ensuring optimal comfort and energy efficiency.

7. Buy a Programmable Thermostat

Unless you’re home 24 hours a day, 365 days a year, your home doesn’t need to be kept at a comfortable temperature around the clock. A programmable thermostat can be set to reduce its temperature when everyone’s away, then warm back up an hour or so before the first person returns each day.

Upgrade to a Smart Thermostat: Enhance your home’s heating efficiency with a programmable or smart thermostat that offers customizable heating schedules and remote temperature control. Smart thermostats utilize advanced algorithms and sensors to optimize heating settings based on your lifestyle and preferences, allowing you to save energy without sacrificing comfort.

Energy-Saving Features: Programmable thermostats allow you to create heating schedules that align with your daily routine, automatically adjusting temperatures to conserve energy when you’re asleep or away from home. With Wi-Fi connectivity, you can remotely monitor and control your home’s heating system from your smartphone or tablet, ensuring efficient operation and personalized comfort.

8. Close Your Fireplace Damper

Even if you’re using your fireplace every day, make sure you close the damper when you extinguish the fire. A great deal of heat can escape through an open chimney.

Install a Fireplace Damper Clamp: Prevent heat loss and improve energy efficiency by installing a fireplace damper clamp or lock to keep the damper securely closed when the fireplace is not in use. This simple yet effective solution prevents warm air from escaping through the chimney, helping you maximize heating efficiency and reduce energy waste.

Regular Maintenance and Inspection: Ensure proper functioning of your fireplace damper by scheduling regular maintenance and inspections with a qualified technician. A thorough inspection will identify any issues or leaks in the damper mechanism, allowing for timely repairs and optimal performance.

9. Close Off Unused Rooms

If you have rooms in your home that are rarely used, some find heat savings by closing the vents and doors to those rooms. However, before going this route, check with a heating and air technician, since blocking airflow in this way can damage some types of Big Bear HVAC systems.

Strategic Room Ventilation: Optimize heating efficiency by strategically closing vents and doors in unused or seldom-used rooms to redirect warm air to frequently occupied areas of your home. By focusing heating efforts on high-traffic areas, you can maintain comfortable temperatures while minimizing energy consumption and heating costs.

Consultation with HVAC Professional: Before closing off vents and doors in unused rooms, consult with a qualified HVAC technician to assess your home’s heating system and airflow dynamics. They can provide personalized recommendations and ensure that airflow adjustments do not compromise the efficiency or performance of your HVAC system.

10. Limit Exhaust Fan Use

If you’ve ever forgotten to turn off the exhaust fan in your bathroom, you aren’t alone. In fact, it’s a very common mistake. But exhaust fans can consume energy, especially if you’re leaving them on for hours each day. Set a timer on your phone or invest in a bathroom fan timer to make it automatic.

Install Timer Switches: Improve energy efficiency and reduce unnecessary energy consumption by installing timer switches or motion sensor switches for bathroom exhaust fans. These automated controls allow you to set specific operating durations for exhaust fans, ensuring they are only activated when needed and automatically turning off to conserve energy when not in use.

Energy-Efficient Exhaust Fans: Upgrade to energy-efficient exhaust fans with low-power consumption and high-performance ventilation capabilities. Look for ENERGY STAR® certified models that meet stringent energy efficiency standards and provide optimal airflow while minimizing electricity usage. By investing in energy-efficient exhaust fans, you can enhance indoor air quality and ventilation while reducing energy costs associated with fan operation.

Taking Action to Save on Big Bear Heating Costs

With Big Bear winters bringing chilly temperatures and increased heating demands, implementing energy-saving tips is essential for reducing heating costs and optimizing home comfort. From sealing leaks and cleaning vents to upgrading to high-efficiency furnaces and utilizing programmable thermostats, each tip offers practical solutions to enhance heating efficiency and lower utility expenses. By incorporating these quick and easy strategies into your winter heating routine, you can enjoy significant savings on your heating bills while maintaining a warm and cozy home environment. Take proactive steps today to save money on your Big Bear heating costs and enjoy a more energy-efficient home this winter season.

If you’re hoping to save money on your heating bills this winter, we can help. Contact us to schedule an appointment today!

If you are looking for a Big Bear plumbing, heating & air conditioning contractor, please call (909) 584-4376 or complete our online request form.