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7 Tips for Better Heating & Cooling

September, 12th, 2011

  1. Change your filters every month. A dirty air filter will make the system work harder and will shorten the life of your system. A dirty filter will also produce lower indoor air quality.
  2. Clean air registers, baseboard heaters, and vents as needed. Make sure they are not blocked by furniture, carpeting, or drapes and limiting the air flow in the room.
  3. During the winter, keep the draperies and shades on your south-facing windows open during the day to allow the sunlight to enter your home and closed at night to reduce the chill you may feel from cold windows. In the summer, drawn shades will keep the heat of the sun away and help lower temperatures.
  4. Install a programmable thermostat. It is more inefficient and expensive to leave the A/C on all day than it is to turn it off or at least raise the thermostat. You will also make your air conditioner compressor work constantly and this is the biggest user of energy. By installing a programmable thermostat, you can have the air set to turn on thirty minutes to an hour before your return home and thus return to a comfortable temperature.
  5. Use ceiling fans. They will make you feel cooler and use less air conditioning. For every degree that you raise your thermostat by, you will save 3% on your cooling costs. However, leaving your ceiling fan on when you’re not in the room is a waste of energy and money because fans cool people and do not lower the temperature of the room.
  6. Make sure your clothes dryer is vented to the outside, but away from the condensing unit or heat pump. Outdoor coils that are impacted with lint or dirt can result in a large increase in your utility bills.
  7. Add insulation to increase your energy savings. Do not overlook important areas in your home where energy can be saved, including the ductwork of the heating and air conditioning system. Check the label on the insulation that you are purchasing. You want to make sure you are getting that which is best suited for your needs and application. A good insulation label will include a clearly stated R-value, which will tell you the resistance to heat flow. The higher the value is, the greater the effectiveness. This label will also include information about health and safety issues.