Heating and cooling equipment uses more energy and drains more energy dollars than any other system in your home or business. Typically, 43% of your utility bill goes to heating and cooling. What’s more, heating and cooling systems in the United States emit 150 million tons of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere each year, adding to global climate change. They also generate about 12% of the nation’s sulfur dioxide and 4% of the nitrogen oxides, the chief ingredients in acid rain.
No matter what kind of heating, ventilation, and air-conditioning system you have in your house, you can save money and increase your comfort by properly maintaining and upgrading your equipment. But remember, an energy-efficient furnace alone will not have as great of an impact on your energy bills as using the whole-house approach. 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%.
Heating & Cooling Tips
- Do regular maintenance to ensure your system is clean and running at peak performance. BDL Heating & Cooling recommends you tune-up your heating systems every Fall and your air conditioning systems every Spring.
- Replace Mercury Thermostats with Digital Programmable Thermostats- A programmable thermostat is ideal for people who are away from their home or business during set periods of time throughout the week. Through proper use, a programmable thermostat can save you up to $180 every year in energy costs!
- Replace filters frequently and no less than twice per/year. BDL Heating & Cooling recommends replacing filters four times per/year or more, depending on the amount of dirt and dust in the air at your home or business. If you have pets or allergies, changing your filters more frequently may be necessary.
- Make sure your air registers are not blocked by furniture, carpets or drapes.
- Turn off kitchen, bath and other exhaust fans within 20 minutes after you are done cooking or bathing
- During the heating season, keep the draperies and shades on your south-facing windows open during the day to allow the sunlight to enter your home 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 prevent solar gain.
- Select energy-efficient products when you buy new heating and cooling equipment. For furnaces, look for high Annual Fuel Utilization (AFUE) ratings. The national minimum is 80% AFUE, but there are models on the market up to 97% AFUE. For central air conditioning systems and heat pumps, look for a high Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio (SEER). The current minimum is 13 SEER for central air conditioning and 14 SEER for heat pumps.
- Make sure your ductwork is sealed and all ducts are properly insulated.
- Turn on your ceiling fan- in the summer the fan should spin counter-clockwise to pull hot air up, while in the winter the fan should spin clockwise to push warmer air down.
- Make sure the flue of your fireplace is closed so that warm air is not escaping.