Heating and cooling your home uses more energy and costs more money than any other system in your home — typically making up about 48% of your utility bill. Hopefully these home heating tips will help you save money. No matter what kind of heating and cooling 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 boiler alone will not have as great an impact on your energy bills as using the whole-house approach. By combining proper equipment maintenance and upgrades with recommended insulation, air sealing, and thermostat settings, you can save about 30% on your energy bill while reducing environmental emissions.
Home Heating Tips
- Set your programmable thermostat as low as is comfortable in the winter and as high as is comfortable in the summer, and — depending on the season — raise or lower the setpoint when you’re sleeping or away from home.
- Clean or replace filters on boilers and air conditioners once a month or as recommended.
- Clean warm-air registers, baseboard heaters, and radiators as needed; make sure they’re not blocked by furniture, carpeting, or curtains.
- Eliminate trapped air from hot-water radiators once or twice a season; if unsure about how to perform this task, contact a professional.
- Place heat-resistant radiator reflectors between exterior walls and the radiators.
- Turn off kitchen, bath, and other exhaust fans within 20 minutes after you are done cooking or bathing; when replacing exhaust fans, consider installing high-efficiency, low-noise models.
- During winter, keep the curtains 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 summer, keep the window coverings closed during the day to block the sun’s heat.
Long-Term Savings Tips
- Select energy-efficient products when you buy new heating and cooling equipment. Check energy fact sheets for different types, models, and designs to help you compare energy usage.
- For boilers, 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 14.5 SEER or more.