Increase Your Heating and Air Conditioning Efficiency
- To cool your house efficiently, your air conditioner needs to be cool itself. Spring cleaning and tune-ups are highly recommended.
- Cool only the rooms you use. However, don't close all your vents. Closing too many vents actually reduces operating efficiency.
- Turn the air conditioner thermostat up when you leave the house for several days.
- Don't switch your air conditioner to a colder setting when you turn it on. Constantly moving the thermostat up and down throughout the day wastes energy and money.
- Placing the thermostat at extremes won't cool your home any faster, it only makes your system work harder.
- Set the thermostat as high as possible. For every degree you raise the thermostat setting on your air conditioner, your energy use will be reduced by 3-5%.
- The recommended energy efficient summer temperature is 78 degrees Fahrenheit.
- You can save energy by taking care of air conditioner coils. They won't work efficiently unless they are clean, so check them out every spring.
- Don't forget to check your filter at the beginning of the cooling season. A clogged filter will use up to 5% more energy than a clean one.
- Consider placing a timer on your room air conditioner or using a programmable thermostat on your central air conditioner.
- Attic insulation is a good investment. It lowers the cost of both heating and cooling.
- Be sure to keep your fireplace damper closed when the fireplace is not in use.
- Service the central heating system before the heating season begins to ensure that the flues are not blocked and the burners are working. Regular checkups will keep your furnace operating safely and efficiently.
- Start the heating season with a clean furnace filter and each month inspect, clean and replace it as necessary to improve efficiency during both the heating and the cooling seasons.
- Install storm doors and windows to help prevent heat loss. Weather stripping and caulking help block cold outside air.
- Seal off unused rooms by closing the registers and keeping the doors shut tightly. Do not, however, seal off more than one-fifth, or 20%, of your total living space because your furnace may not operate properly.
- Keep your thermostat low. Each extra degree adds about 4% to 5% to your heating bill. When you leave for the day or over the weekend, lower the setting about 5°. For longer absences, lower the thermostat to 55° (but don't set it lower because your pipes may freeze)
- A programmable thermostat is a wise investment because it helps keep the temperature lower automatically while you are sleeping or gone for the day.
- Don't place furniture in front of heating registers.
- If radiators are near cold walls, place aluminum or aluminum foil between walls and radiators to reflect heat back into the room.
- Open draperies on sunny days to allow sunlight to help heat your home. Close them at night to help keep out the cold.