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Home Energy Savings - 8 Ways To Make Your Heating And Cooling Systems Work Better

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Part 4

Heating and Cooling

Heating and cooling your home uses more energy and drains more energy dollars than any other system in your home. Typically, 65% of your utility bill goes for heating and cooling. What’s more, heating and cooling systems in the United States together emit over a half billion tons of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere each year, adding to global
warming. They also generate about 24% of the nation’s sulfur dioxide and 12% of the nitrogen oxides, the chief ingredients in acid rain.

No matter what kind of heating, ventilation, and air-conditioning system you have in your house, you can save money and increase your comfort by properly maintaining and upgrading your equipment.

But remember, an energy-efficient furnace or boiler alone will not have as greatan impact on your energy bills as using the whole-house approach.  By combining proper equipment maintenance and upgrades with
appropriate insulation, air sealing, and thermostat settings, you can cut your energy bills and your pollution output in half.

Heating and Cooling Tips

1.- Set your thermostat as low as is comfortable in the winter and  as high as is comfortable in the summer.

2.- Clean or replace filters on furnaces once a month or as needed.

3.- Clean warm-air registers, baseboard heaters, and radiators as needed; make sure they’re not blocked by furniture, carpeting, or drapes.

4.- Bleed trapped air from hot-water radiators once or twice a season; if in doubt about how to perform this task, call a professional.

5.- Place heat-resistant radiator reflectors between exterior walls and the radiators.

6.- Turn off kitchen, bath, and other exhaust fans within 20 minutes after you are done cooking or bathing; when replacing exhaust fans, consider installing high-efficiency, low-noise models.

7.- During the heating season, 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.

8. – During the cooling season, keep the window coverings closed during the day to prevent solar gain.

Long-Term Savings Tips

Select energy-efficient products when you buy new heating and cooling equipment. Your contractor should be able to give you energy fact sheets for different types, models, and designs to help you.

Install a new energy-efficient furnace to save money over the long  term. Look for the ENERGY STAR and EnergyGuide labels.

Installing a geo-thermal heat pump will probably save you the most of all in the long term, and the carbon footprint is nearly zero.

Programmable Thermostats

You can save as much as 10% a year on your heating and cooling bills by simply turning your thermostat back 10% to 15% for 8 hours. You can do this automatically without sacrificing comfort by installing an automatic setback or programmable thermostat.

Using a programmable thermostat, you can adjust the times you turn on the heating or air-conditioning according to a pre-set schedule. As a result, the equipment doesn’t operate as much when you are asleep or when the house or part of the house is not occupied.

Programmable thermostats can store and repeat multiple daily settings (six or more temperature settings a day) that you can manually override without affecting the rest of the daily or weekly program.

 These 8 easy tips on making your heating and cooling in your home work better and more efficiently, and will make your Home Energy Savings go farther.

This is part 4 of a 7 part series on Home Energy Savings. Click on the link at the top right of this page to get our feed, either from RSS or e-mail, so you don’t miss an installment.

Peace and Prosperity,
Rich @ NY Homesteader

2 comments to Home Energy Savings – 8 Ways To Make Your Heating And Cooling Systems Work Better

  • I’m curious, do you have any idea how much more energy is spent when you have unclean filters for your furnace? I didn’t know it really had an impact.

  • Sure it matters Andy, If the air can’t get through, the efficiency is going to be significantly lower , as for how much more energy is spent per btu or something like that, I am not sure of the technical specs. but , hopefully you can fill me in. Thanks for the comment, Regards Rich @ NY Homesteader

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