Heating & Cooling
Get Comfortable With Lower Energy Bills
Take Your Temperature: Heating & Cooling
Ready to save but not sure where to start? Check your home’s insulation, weatherization, windows, and doors—along with other passive cooling and heating strategies—to reduce heating and cooling energy use by up to 50%. After taking these measures, if you need a new AC or heater, look for the most efficient model and get comfortable with your options.
Guide for Heating Ventilating and Air Conditioning (HVAC) Systems
Step 1: Quality Installation
Your Heating, Ventilating, and Air Conditioning (HVAC) system’s performance and operating costs depend in part on the proper installation of the system. Be sure to have your system installed by a qualified professional—it’s worth it.
Improper HVAC installation may cost more money in the long run by using more electricity, running up your bill, and making your air conditioning work harder—which can shorten equipment life. Common installation problems such as low air flow, improper charge, or duct leakage can reduce the efficiency and effectiveness of your air conditioner.
Step 2: Contractor Selection
Hiring a licensed contractor who obtains the required building permit and has knowledge of, and complies with, local codes, ordinances and the requirements of the Building Energy-Efficiency Standards (State Administrative Code, Title 24, Part 6) increases the likelihood that your system will be properly installed and work efficiently, quietly, and safely.
Licensed contractors are regulated by the Contractors State License Board and, in general, should have:
- A minimum of 4 full years of experience
- Taken a law and trade exam
- A contractor’s bond (required)
- Been the subject of a background check
Installers who perform contracting work without a license have avoided these quality assurance requirements and may even be in violation of the law.
Step 3: Quality Assurance
A building permit issued by a local authority may be required for certain installations and modifications including, but not limited to, the following:
- New Heating Ventilations and Air Conditional (HVAC) installation
- HVAC change out/remodel/replacement including the air handler, coil, furnace or condenser
- Relocation of an existing HVAC unit
- Removal of an HVAC unit or system
- Adding ducting
Depending where you live the installation of the equipment may be inspected by a Building Inspector who will perform a quality assurance check and ensure that:
- The system is installed to comply with all applicable state and county or city codes
- The work specified under the permit has been performed properly
- Required compliance documents have been submitted
This program is funded by California utility customers and administered by Southern California Edison under the auspices of the California Public Utilities Commission.
Heating and Cooling
From furnaces to air conditioners, optimizing your home’s temperature controls will keep you (and your bill) in the comfort zone.
Opening your windows helps capture natural breezes that keep you comfortable in hot weather—it’s effective for most of the year in California, and it’s free!
Adding window treatments like shades or blinds helps minimize how much heat from the sun gets into your house; you can also add glazing, which lets sunlight in, but not heat.
Another effective way to beat the heat is by running your clothes dryer, stove and oven, or lights when it’s cooler—usually in the early morning or evening.
Making the investment to insulate your ceiling or roof will slow and reduce heat entering from above now—and you’ll enjoy a lifetime of savings.
Install a ceiling fan or buy a portable fan. Fans cool you by moving air around you, bring fresh air into the room and remove pollutants. Did we mention they’re far more efficient than AC?
Weatherize and insulate to keep heated air from leaking outside or escaping through thin walls—it’s like a blanket for your home.
Tune up your furnace or boiler once a year. You’ll pay a nominal fee, but making sure your heating system is working properly and efficiently will not only keep you cozy—it can help you save energy.
Got a radiator? Installing a reflector between your radiator and exterior wall to reflect heat into the room is a simple and inexpensive way to capture and keep warmth.
Portable heaters have more focus than your furnace. They work on warming you where you are, instead of heating other empty rooms in the home.