Heating and Cooling
Learn different ways to save energy and keep your home comfortable.
Clean or change your HVAC filters regularly for proper performance. Doing this can save you 5-15 percent in energy costs. Dirty air filters make your AC work harder than it should and reduces air flow. Take note of when to change your air filter along with the size, so you are ready to purchase new ones when the time comes.
Change air filters more frequently if you have pets.
Turn off ceiling fans when you leave a room to cut back unnecessary energy usage.
Set the thermostat and then forget it. If you change the temperature often during the day, you are more likely to waste energy.
Have your equipment checked by a qualified dealer each year before the heating or cooling season begins. Even the best insulated home will waste energy unless special attention is given to the efficiency of its mechanical equipment.
Get your duct system inspected and repaired if necessary.
Vacuum refrigerator condenser coils to improve efficiency.
Choose to buy new equipment instead of repairing it if it’s more than 15 years old and has had continuing major repairs. Today's energy-efficient equipment can save enough in operating costs to make up quickly for the initial expense. Consider a heat pump, the most advanced and efficient heating and cooling system available today.
Program your thermostat to a temperature setting of 68 degrees or lower during the day and even cooler at night while you’re sleeping and snuggled under the covers.
If you’ve got a programmable thermostat, set it to automatically increase about 10 or 15 minutes before your alarm goes off in the winter, so you can start your day without shivering.
Make sure your heating outlets and return air registers are free from obstructions like furniture or draperies. Vents should be cleaned regularly with a vacuum cleaner or broom.
Open your drapes or blinds to take advantage of the sun’s rays during the day to help heat your home. Close them on the shaded side of the house and at night.
Set your ceiling fans to the clockwise direction in colder months to help pull the heated air down to the living areas of your home and keep drafts at bay.
Rethink your fireplace. Although a crackling fire in the fireplace can make a room appear to be warm and cozy, fireplaces are often a deterrent to energy efficiency because a lot of the heated air escapes up the chimney. A fireplace designed for providing heat eliminates this problem through a draft which supplies the fire with outside air rather than air from the room.
If you have a fireplace, keep the flue closed when the fireplace is not in use.
Keep cold wind outside by closing garage doors.
Close all louvers and vents in the attic or foundation walls during the winter.
Zone heat — only use portable electric space heaters in the room or area you are in. Buy models that are thermostatically controlled.
Buy the right size of heater for the room or area you plan to heat.
Use a space heater that is thermostat-controlled to prevent wasted energy.
Turn the space heater off when no one is around. Unattended, the space heater wastes energy and is a potential fire hazard.
Ensure air conditioning vents are unobstructed and opened to full capacity.
Get your air conditioning unit serviced to ensure it’s working efficiently.
Ensure outdoor unit for air conditioner is free of leaves and other debris.
Open all louvers and vents in the attic or foundation walls when the weather turns warm.
Close blinds and shades during the day to prevent heat buildup and consider applying window film to minimize heat from the sun.
Use ventilated awnings and other shading devices to prevent heat from entering windows exposed to direct sunlight.
Try to keep in-and-out traffic from overworking your cooling system. Each time the door is opened, hot air enters your home.
Remember that dark colors absorb heat. You can repel excess heat by using light-colored blinds, shades and draperies on the sunny sides of the house. Make sure the draperies are insulated or lined.
Open crawl space and attic vents during summer months to promote ventilation and reduce humidity, decreasing moisture load on your cooling system.
During the summer, try setting the thermostat at 78° or above. If you have a ceiling fan, you may be able to raise the temperature to 80° or higher.
Set your AC fan to the "auto" rather than the "on" setting. Using the "on" setting can increase energy costs and make the AC work harder to maintain your desired temperature.
Try to use natural ventilation when the weather is nice rather than turning on the AC.
Install ceiling fans in all rooms that need cooling or use portable fans.
Set ceiling fans to run counterclockwise in warmer months to help cool rooms.