Home Energy Savings

Heating and Cooling

More than half of the energy consumed in the average home goes to heating and cooling, making it the largest energy expense for most homeowners - and the easiest place for home energy savings. There are many newer and much more efficient technologies available today that will save you a great deal of money heating and cooling your home, and also put less demand on our earth’s natural resources.

As you look for home energy savings, make sure you include your heating and cooling system in your plans.  And as you research this, you may find that it is actually more economical – and better for the environment – to replace the entire system, heat, hot water, and cooling rather than just put small fixes on your existing system.
Energy Saving Tip # 23

As you research new technologies, compare the Energy Fact Sheets for different types, models, and designs to help you compare energy usage. For instance, for boilers and furnaces, you will want high Annual Fuel Utilization Efficiency (AFUE) ratings. The national minimum standard is about 78% AFUE.  However, ENERGY STAR® models on the market may exceed 90% AFUE.  Make sure that units are being compared equally.

Energy Saving Tip # 24

Heat-resistant reflectors between exterior walls and the radiators will put more heat into the house and less through the walls.

Energy Saving Tip # 25

Several times during the heating season you want to bleed trapped air from your hot-water radiators.  If you are not sure how this works for your home, definitely ask a professional.

Energy Saving Tip # 26

Warm-air registers, baseboard heaters, and radiators should be kept clean of accumulated dust and clear of furniture, carpeting or drapes to ensure maximum air flow – it will save you money.

Energy Saving Tip # 27

The filters on forced air heating and cooling systems should be cleaned or replaced frequently, many times as often as once a month, to insure maximum air flow for the most efficient heating and cooling.  You’ll be surprised how much money this can save.

Energy Saving Tip # 28

During warmer weather, local area fans or ceiling fans, by moving the air through you home, will create a “wind chill” effect to make your home more comfortable. Ceiling fans may allow you to raise the thermostat setting as much as 4°F, but you still will be very comfortable.

Energy Saving Tip # 29

Kitchen, bath, and other ventilating fans will pull heated or cooled air out of the home quickly, so turn them off within 20 minutes after you are don.

Energy Saving Tip # 30

Add “double setback” programmable thermostats to automatically reduce heating and cooling settings both at night and while you are away during the day.

Energy Saving Tip # 31

Look for ENERGY STAR® labeled products when you buy.  They can save on your energy bills by as much as 30 percent. Look at http://www.energystar.gov/ to find dealers and installers near you when you want to upgrade your heating and cooling systems – as well as lighting, appliances, windows, home electronics, and office equipment.

Energy Saving Tip # 32

Your hot water heat and domestic hot water pipes deserve insulation also.  Preventing heat loss here can save you a lot of money.

Energy Saving Tip # 33

Some heating ducts pass through unheated areas like attics, garages, and crawlspaces. Keep them in good repair and you will deliver more heat to the interior spaces of your home.

Energy Saving Tip # 34

Many appliances and electronic devices in your home today, both small and large, draw a small amount of power even while they are switched off. This "phantom" power drain comes from devices, like VCRs, televisions, stereos, computers, printers, kitchen appliances, clocks and clock radios, cell phone and portable music player chargers, etc. You may find that as much as three quarters of the electricity used to power these devices is consumed while the products are turned off. This can be avoided by unplugging the device when not in use.  Plug home electronics, such as TVs and DVD players, into power strips; turn the power strips off when the equipment is not in use – like at night (TVs and DVDs in standby mode still use several watts of power).

Energy Saving Tip # 35

Always look for easy additional ways that you can save energy (and your money) and improve our environment every day.

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