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Saturday, October 11, 2014

Simple Tips for Energy Efficient Home Heating and Cooling

Whether it's summer or winter, spring or fall, home heating and cooling is crucial to staying comfortable in every season. However, with climate change and energy bills on the rise, how can you do this while minimizing the effects of both? It's easier than you may think. Just follow these simple tips and you'll be well on your way to a fuller wallet and a happier planet.

Remember to change your air filter 

At most, check on it once a month, especially during the hottest and coldest times of the year. If it looks dirty, it's best to change it. At the very least, heating and cooling systems run best when their air filter is changed at least every three months. Not changing the filter makes your system work harder than it has to to keep you comfortable, which can also shorten the life of your system, and waste considerable amounts of energy in the process. So, while it may be inconvenient to change the filter, think of what you'll be saving on energy and maintenance costs in the process.

Seal your accessible ducts 
Air ducts can waste substantial amounts of energy, especially in low-usage months. Sealing or insulating these ducts can greatly improve the efficiency of your home heating and cooling system by as much as 20 percent!

Sealing ducts is actually a rather quick and easy process. First, target ducts in easy-to-access spaces like attics and basements and use a duct sealant or metal-backed taping to close the seams. Once that's done, carefully wrap these ducts with insulation. In doing so, they won't overheat during the summer or get too cold in the wintertime.

Use a programmable thermostat

This is especially useful if you're away from home often for work, school, or travel. A programmable thermostat lets you control when the heat or air conditioning is needed even when you're out of the house, and they often have pre-programmed settings to streamline the process. Not only does this save you time, it saves you energy--and money otherwise spent on needlessly inflated energy bills.

Don't let rising energy costs get you down--with just a couple of simple tips and a few minutes' spare time, you'll be saving considerably on energy costs while keeping your home comfortable year-round.

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