Try these low- or no-cost tips to boost your household’s energy efficiency:
Set thermostats at 65 to 70° during the winter and at 58° when away from home. Keep the thermostat higher if an infant, ill, or elderly person lives in your home.
Install programmable thermostats to turn down temperature automatically.
Have your heating and cooling systems inspected annually by a professional. Inefficient heating and cooling systems can increase fuel consumption.
Hire a qualified specialist to inspect your chimney, flues and vents to ensure they are clear and working properly.
Check for and eliminate leaks in duct work. Leaks can usually be repaired easily and inexpensively with duct tape available at most hardware stores.
Insulate ducts and pipes that run through unheated areas.
Replace or clean furnace and air conditioner filters when they get dirty or once every month.
Warm air rises, so use registers to direct warm air flow across the floor.
Consider using window fans.
If you buy an air conditioner, check energy efficiency ratios (EER) of models on the market. The higher the EER rating, the more efficient the unit and the less it costs to run.
Be sure your outside air conditioning condenser is shaded from the sun. If it’s not installed in a shady area, create shade with a tree or fence. Avoid using bushes that may block the flow of air around the cooling unit.
did you know?
By combining proper equipment maintenance and upgrades with appropriate insulation, air sealing, and thermostat settings, you can cut your energy use for heating and cooling, and reduce environmental emissions, from 20% to 50%.