Energy Saving Tips
Since heating and cooling your home accounts for more than half of your energy use, it’s only smart to reduce waste. No matter what type of heating and cooling system you have in your home, some simple steps will increase efficiency and reduce environmental emissions from 20 to 50 percent. You can start by combining upgrades and professional equipment maintenance with recommended insulation, air sealing, and thermostat settings.
Install a programmable thermostat to easily raise and lower settings depending on your needs. In the cold season, set your thermostat to the lowest possible setting while still maintaining comfort, and vice versa in the warm season. Raise or lower the setpoint, depending on the season, when you are sleeping or away from home.
Perform some heating and cooling house cleaning. Clean air filters on air conditioners and furnaces once a month and replace them as needed. Whenever necessary, clean radiators, baseboard heaters, and warm-air registers. Avoid blocking equipment with drapes, furniture, or carpeting.
Once or twice a season, eliminate trapped air from hot-water radiators. Keep in mind it’s often better to let the professionals handle this task.
Make sure to turn off exhaust fans in the kitchen and bath within twenty minutes after you are finished cooking or bathing. When replacing exhaust fans, look for high-efficiency, low-noise models.
In summer, lower the air conditioner’s fan settings in order to remove more humidity and boost comfort while saving energy.
Sealing and insulating ducts that move air to-and-from a forced air furnace, central air conditioner, or heat pump can improve the efficiency of your HVAC system by as much as 20 percent. Concentrate on sealing ducts that run through the attic, unheated basement, or garage. Seal the seams and connections with duct sealant (mastic) or metal-backed (foil) tape, then wrap them in insulation to keep them from getting hot in the summer or cold in the winter.
You can also lessen the workload of your heating system by keeping curtains and shades on south-facing windows open during the day to let sunlight in and closed at night to keep the cool chill out. During summer, help out your air conditioning by closing window coverings during the day to block the sun’s heat.