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Energy Saving Tips

Energy Saving Tips No matter what type of heating or cooling system you have, everyone is feeling the heat with rising energy costs. Typically, 45% of your utility bill goes for heating and cooling with more than half of homeowners in the U.S. using natural gas to heat their homes.

The good news is, no matter what kind of heating, ventilation, and air-conditioning system you have in your home, you can save money and increase your comfort by properly maintaining and purchasing the right energy efficient equipment.

Remember, an energy-efficient system alone will not have as great an impact on your energy bills as using the whole-house approach. By combining your system with appropriate insulation, air sealing, thermostat settings and common sense, you can cut your energy use for heating and cooling by up to 50%.

Here are some great 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 and air conditioners once a month or as needed.
  • Clean and keep clear warm-air registers, baseboard heaters, and radiators.
  • Don't just use your drapes and windows coverings for decoration. In the warmer months keep your window coverings closed on the south, east and west to prevent solar gain and in the colder months keep them open to allow the warmth of sunlight in.
  • If you purchase a furnace, look for high Annual Fuel Utilization Efficiency (AFUE) ratings. The national minimum is 78% AFUE, but there are ENERGY STAR® models on the market that exceed 90% AFUE.
  • For air conditioners, look for a high Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio (SEER). The current minimum is 13 SEER for central air conditioners. ENERGY STAR® models are 13 SEER or more.
  • Glass fireplace doors help heat from being lost up the chimney. Keep the damper closed when not in use so air can't escape or come in.
  • Try installing ceiling fans to cut down on the cost of running an AC in the hot summer months.
  • About 15 percent of an average home energy bill goes to heating water. To save hot water, take five-minute showers instead of baths. Do only full loads when using the clothes washer or dishwasher. Also, lower the temperature on your water heater. If you hold a thermometer under hot running water it shouldn't read more than 130 degrees.
The best tip to save energy when you move into your new home is to use common sense and take a "green" approach to your home and environment.