Do-It-Yourself Tips Heating and Cooling Tips

Heating and cooling your home uses more energy and drains more energy dollars than any other system in your home. On average, 44 percent of your utility bill goes for heating and cooling. No matter what kind of heating and air conditioning system you have in your house, you can save money and increase comfort with a few simple tips and properly maintaining. Remember, the best approach combines equipment maintenance with appropriate insulation, weather-proofing, and thermostat settings. Combined, you can cut your energy bills in half.

In the winter, set your thermostat as low as is comfortable (as high as is comfortable in summer)

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

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

Make sure areas with windows and doors are completely sealed at all times. Although they are closed, windows and doors tend to lose heat.

Caulk windows to seal air in preventing heat loss, and resulting in huge money savings.

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

Be conservative when using kitchen, bath, and other ventilating fans (in just 1 hour, these fans can pull out a houseful of warmed or cooled air). Turn fans off as soon as they have done the job.

Keep draperies and shades open on south-facing windows during the heating season to allow sunlight to enter your home; close them during the summer to keep cool.

Close an unoccupied room that is isolated from the rest of the house, such as in a corner, and close the register (or turn down the thermostat for that room or zone). Note: closing on a heat pump (vs. furnace) can harm the pump (see owners manual for details about your system).

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