Heating and cooling your home uses more energy and costs more (typically, 61% of your utility bill) than any other household energy use. Also, heating/cooling systems in the United States emit over a half billion tons of carbon dioxide each year into the atmosphere, adding to global warming.
You can save money and increase your comfort by properly maintaining and upgrading your heating, ventilation, and air conditioning equipment.
Heating and Cooling Tips
- Set your thermostat as low as is comfortable in the winter and as high as is comfortable in the 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.
- Bleed trapped air from hot-water radiators once or twice a season; if in doubt about how to perform this task, call a professional.
- Place heat-resistant radiator reflectors between exterior walls and the radiators.
- 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.
- During the heating season, keep the draperies and shades on your south-facing windows open during the day to let in the sunlight and closed at night to reduce the chill you may feel from cold windows.
- During the cooling season, keep the window coverings closed during the day to keep out the sun’s heat.
- Select energy-efficient products when you buy new heating and cooling equipment. Your contractor can give you energy fact sheets for different types, models, and designs.