Heating and Cooling Tips

  • Maintain your home’s heating and air conditioning systems in clean and good working order to prevent inconvenience and maximize efficiency. Arrange for a professional to service heat and air conditioning systems a minimum of once every two years.
  • Keep filters clean or replace them at least every 90 days.  Replacing them monthly is even better.
  • Learn how to use your programmable day/night thermostat for comfort and efficient energy use. Use the fan setting at night when the air outside is cool, or open a window and leave the air conditioner off. Keep windows closed whenever the air conditioner is on.
  • Use the air conditioner’s timer and set it to turn on no more than 30 minutes before you expect to return home.
  • The lower you set your temperature, the more it will cost. For example, a 75° setting will cost about 18 percent more than a 78° setting.
  • If you have a zoned system, or more than one furnace on separate controls, think through operating schedules and temperature settings to maximize comfort and minimize energy consumption.
  • During cold days, open window coverings to allow the sun to warm your home. Close them when the sun begins to set.
  • Limit use of wood burning fireplaces in extremely cold or windy weather when the chimney draft will draw room air out at an extreme rate.
  • Ceiling fans cost little to operate and the moving air allows you to feel comfortable at temperatures several degrees higher.
  • On hot days, close all windows and the window coverings on windows facing the sun to minimize solar heating and reduce demands on your air conditioner.
  • Plan landscaping elements that support efficient energy use:
    • deciduous trees provide shade during the summer and permit solar warming in winter.
    • Evergreen trees and shrubs can create a windbreak and reduce heating costs.
    • Position trees to shade the roof and still allow good air flow around the home.
    • Plant shrubs and trees to shade the air conditioner without obstructing air flow around the unit.
    • Keep the garage overhead doors closed.


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