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Heating and Cooling Tips

If you are thinking about purchasing a new heating system, central air conditioning system, or room air conditioner, look for ENERGY STAR models.These are the most energy efficient models on the market and will save energy, save money, and help the environment.

Your house won't warm up any faster if you raise the thermostat setting. When your heating system is on it runs at the same rate regardless of the temperature setting.

Shut the door or at least try to minimize the number of times that doors to the outside are opened and closed. Each time you open the door cold air enters the house.

Closing the heating vents or radiators in an unoccupied room can save 5-10% on your heating costs.

Leaks develop in all air ducts over time. Sealing these leaks in ducts can reduce heating costs by up to 20% with reductions of 10% extremely common!

Take advantage of the heat from the sun. Open shades on the southern and eastern windows during the day. Close these shades when the sun goes down to keep the heat from escaping.

Don't let heat go up the chimney. Make sure the fireplace flue is closed when you are not using it.

Ceiling fans set at slow speed push warm air away from the ceiling and move it around the room without creating a chilling breeze. This spreads the heat more evenly and will make you feel more comfortable.

If your heating system has a pilot light turn it off during the summer. A pilot light typically costs $3-$5 per month to keep lit so why not turn it off when you aren't using it.

Have your heating system tuned and inspected by a service professional. Losses from a poorly maintained system accumulate over time - sometimes at a rate of 1-2% each year.

Make sure that your wall and attic are properly insulated. Adding batts of fiberglass insulation in your attic is one of the most cost effective savings measures and one that you can do yourself.

Lowering the thermostat by as little as 1° F typically reduces your heating bill 1-3%. Most energy experts recommend setting the thermostat to 68° F or less, and several degrees cooler overnight. Make sure you lower you thermostat if you are leaving the house for any period of time; you use much less energy to heat the house up when you return than to keep it heated while you are away.

A programmable thermostat lets you easily lower the thermostat during periods when no one is home, as well as lower the temperature overnight without having to freeze in the morningwhile waiting for the heat to rise. You might save as much as 20% on your heating costs and recover your investment in the first year.

Open drapes and shades during the day to let in the heat from the sun.

Hot water heating systems use a network of pipes to distribute heat through your house. Uninsulated pipes waste energy. Wrapping pipes that are readily accessible with insulationis easy to do and fairly inexpensive. Pipe insulation made of fiberglass or foam can be found in all building supply stores. Use insulation with a wall thickness of 3/4 in for fiberglass and 1/2 in for foam.

Single pane windows can be a real pain. Not only are they inefficient, but worn and dirty windows can be unsightly as well. Replacing them with energy efficient windows is amajor investment, but in colder climates the heating savings can be considerable.

Caulk windows and doors to prevent drafts.

Electric outlets let cold air into the house. Remove the outlet covers and insert special insulation underneath. Use special insulating plugs in all outlets that are not being used.

Insulate air ducts or pipes. Up to 10% of the heat can be lost through uninsulated ducts and pipes.

Your house won't cool down any faster if you lower the thermostat setting. When your air conditioner is on it cools at the same rate regardless of the temperature setting.

Use an exhaust fan to blow hot air out of you kitchen while cooking. The savings in your cooling costs far outweigh the electricity use of the fan.

Shut the doorąor at least try to minimize the number of times that doors to the outside are opened and closed. Each time you open the door heat enters the house.

A breeze on a summer day can be enough to keep you cool. Instead of turning the air conditioner on, open doors and windows on opposite sides of the house for cross ventilation.

Avoid activities that add heat or humidity to your home, particularly during the hottest parts of the day or limit them to times when nobody is home. For example, turn on your dishwasheras you leave the house or let dishes air dry rather than use the dishwasher's heater.

Plant shade trees to block the heat from the sun. As the trees grow, they can dramatically cut your cooling bills.

Closing the air conditioning vents in an unoccupied room can save 5-10% on your cooling costs.

Each degree that you raise the thermostat on your cooling system typically saves 2% on your cooling bill. Energy experts recommend setting your thermostat at 78° F or higher.

Close drapes and shades on windows during the day to keep heat from the sun out of your house. In the evening opening drapes and shades lets heat escape through the windows.

The breeze created by a ceiling fan or portable fan typically makes you feel just as comfortable at a temperature 6° F warmer. Raising the thermostat 6° F cansave 10% on your cooling bill.

Consider using a dehumidifier instead of turning on the air conditioning. You will be comfortable at much higher temperatures if you reduce the humidity.

Whole house fans can often be used in the evening instead of the air conditioner. The electricity consumption of the fan is much less than that of the air conditioner.

Use an attic fan to get rid of the heat build-up in your attic. Heat from your attic eventually finds its way into your home.

Don't let a room air conditioner bake in the sun. Room air conditioners work best when kept cool. Installing the unit in a north-facing wall is ideal. Another option is to take advantage ofshade from trees.

Seal any gaps along the sides of your room air conditioners with foam insulation. Your air conditioner needs to work much harder if the cool air is escaping.

Closing off air conditioning vents in an unoccupied room can save 5-10% on your cooling costs.

Close drapes and shades during the day to keep out the heat from the sun (particularly on windows with an eastern and western exposure).


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