Energy Saving and Maintenance Tips

20 steps you can take to cut your heating and cooling bills and help conserve energy


1. Discover your ideal indoor temperature during heating (typically 68-70 degrees). Set your thermostat for this temperature and avoid thermostat juggling.

2. Apply the same principle to the cooling season. You can calculate the ideal indoor temperature by subtracting 15 degrees from the outdoor temperature. If its 90 degrees outside, the indoor temperature should be 75 degrees.

3. Dress to the season, even indoors. This will especially make a difference in the colder months.

4. Maintain the moisture in your home during heating season through proper humidification. Since moist air retains heat; a moist room will feel warmer. Add a humidifier to improve your comfort.

5. Check into a programmable thermostat. You can set the thermostat to perform precise temperatures throughout the day. For example, you can program your system to work less during the day while you’re away at work.

6. Clean or replace your furnace filters regularly. Dirty filters make your system work harder. Adding a high-efficiency air cleaner can cut down on the dust in your home and extend the life of your system.

7. Close the damper on your fireplace when it’s not in use. Fireplaces can create draft and draw valuable heat up the flu.

8. Check the seals around your windows and doors. Apply caulk wherever necessary to prevent unwanted air infiltration.

9. Leave your storm windows up all year long. They provide valuable year long insulation. According to the U.S. government figures, storm windows can create a minimum 13% fuel savings annually.

10. Apply weather stripping to all exterior doors. As with windows, this will prevent draft and energy loss.

11. Check the insulation in your ceilings and walls. Homes without proper insulation can use as much as twice the amount of energy.

12. If your crawl space or basement is heated, cover any opening with polyethylene film or use storm windows and doors.

13. Windows should have ample covering to provide shade from sunlight in the summer months. Draperies can provide added insulation in the winter.

14. Avoid placing furniture over or in front of registers or cold air returns. This can affect your systems efficiency.

15. Keep your garage door closed in the winter and summer months.

16. In the summer, avoid activities such as cooking or laundry during the warmest periods of the day. Your system will work harder to keep your house cool.

17. Look into a zoning system for your home. A zoning system directs processed air to where it is needed most so you can prevent heating and cooling unnecessarily. If you don’t have a home zoning system, closing off registers in rooms that you rarely use will help.

18. When purchasing or replacing a condensing unit, insist that it is placed on the shaded side of your house if possible. This protects the unit from the damaging heat of the sun.

19. When buying new home comfort equipment, rely on a specialist for the appropriate sized equipment for your home. Don’t buy equipment that is larger than you need.

20. Routine maintenance makes a system work more effectively and adds an ounce of prevention to your comfort. Call for service at least once every season for a routine clean and check.



Care and Maintenance of your Furnace



maintenance

Check and/or change your filter. Change your filter! Change your filter!! We can’t stress that enough.

Your furnace in a gas fired unit. In order for the unit to operate properly, it must burn gas mixed with clean air. The filter helps clean the air before it goes into the combustion chamber.

Familiarize yourself with the furnace. Locate the filter and how it is removed.

The average furnace has a 1” filter. The side of the filter says the size such as 16x25x1. This means the filter size is 16” tall by 20” long by 1” thick. This is the size of the replacement filter needed.

If you purchased a filter instead of the factory filter, your filter may be larger or smaller. Check the side for its type and size.

The air goes into the furnace through the ductwork, out the registers, and back into the furnace through the cold air returns. The filter usually fits between the furnace and the return air. You must watch which way the air flow goes through the filter. Most filters must be put in correctly and are marked which way to install them.





Care and Maintenance of your Humidifier



If you had a humidifier installed, there are a few things to check for. Familiarize yourself with the water supply line. You may find a small shut off valve on the water line. This should be shut off for the summer months when you will not be using your humidifier. There is also a damper on the humidifier that should be closed for the summer. In the fall or summer when the furnace is running, these two should be switched back for proper humidifier operation.

The humidifier has a control called a humidistat. This controls the level of humidity your request in your home. It operates the same as a thermostat does. Once it reaches the level you want, it will not operate until the humidity level drops below the requested setting. It will turn itself on and off. Check the humidistat for suggested levels according to the outside temperature. Your may have to rest the levels as the weather changes in the winter.

Your humidifier also has water filtration pad. This pad acts as a filter for your humidifier. Just like the filter for your furnace, it needs to be checked regularly and changed when necessary.