Heating & Cooling

Energy Right

Kick it up a degree. When you are using your air conditioning, set your thermostat to 78. Anything lower will increase your cooling costs by approximately 5% for every degree below 78. And, if you're going to be away from home, try setting your thermostat even higher. In the winter, set the temperature at 68. Your heating cost will increase 3% for each degree about 68.

High Tech Thermostats. Programmable thermostats can save you money and energy any time of the year. For instance, in the winter you can program the thermostat to run cooler at night and warmer during the day. Interested? Talk to your heating and air conditioning contractor for a programmable thermostat designed specifically for your type of heating / cooling system.

Make sure the lights are off when the air conditioning is on. It's always a good idea to turn off unused lights - you'll save energy and money. But it's especially smart when it's hot outside. Lights, appliances, and tools generate heat and make your air conditioner work harder. That costs you extra money!

Keep it indoors. Whether you're heating or cooling, you don't want your energy going out the door. Caulk and weather-strip around doors and window frames. Closely check any area where pipes go from the outside of your home to the inside, especially plumbing pipes. And, if you have operable storm windows, make sure those are shut too.

Energy Wrong

Let the sun in. Those open curtains or drapes on the sunny side of the house can really heat things up in the summer. Shading the windows helps keep the sun out and your home cooler. In the winter, keep the curtains open to let the sun's warmth in. Close them at night to reduce heat loss.

Forget about those filters. But, only if you want to increase heating or cooling costs. Dirty filters make your unit work harder. For maximum efficiency, clean or replace your air filters every month. A good way to remember is to change out the filter when you receive your electric bill.

Hide those unsightly vents. You may not like the way they look, but your vents and return grill need to be out in the open. Adequate air flow is important, not only for your comfort, but also for the life and efficiency of the heating and cooling system.

Ignore your SEER rating. All heat pumps or central air conditioning units have a SEER or EER rating. A higher rating means your system will work more efficiently and use less energy to heat or cool your home. After a few years, the savings will help offset the added cost of higher efficiency equipment.