ENERGY SAVERS - Pat Wattam

abor.com

ENERGY SAVERS - Pat Wattam

Heating and Cooling10Heating and CoolingHeating and cooling your homeuses more energy and drainsmore energy dollars than any othersystem in your home. Typically, 46%of your utility bill goes for heatingand cooling. What’s more, heatingand cooling systems in the UnitedStates together emit 150 million tonsof carbon dioxide into the atmosphereeach year, adding to global climatechange. They also generate about12% of the nation’s sulfur dioxide and4% of the nitrogen oxides, the chiefingredients in acid rain.No matter what kind of heating,ventilation, and air-conditioningsystem you have in your house, youcan save money and increase yourcomfort by properly maintainingand upgrading your equipment. Butremember, an energy-efficient furnacealone will not have as great an impacton your energy bills as using thewhole-house approach. By combiningproper equipment maintenance andupgrades with appropriate insulation,air sealing, and thermostat settings,you can cut your energy use forheating and cooling, and reduceenvironmental emissions, from 20%to 50%.Heating and Cooling Tips• Set your thermostat as low as iscomfortable in the winter andas high as is comfortable in thesummer.• Clean or replace filters on furnacesonce a month or as needed.• Clean warm-air registers, baseboardheaters, and radiators as needed;make sure they’re not blocked byfurniture, carpeting, or drapes.• Bleed trapped air from hot-waterradiators once or twice a season;if in doubt about how to performthis task, call a professional.• Place heat-resistant radiatorreflectors between exterior wallsand the radiators.• Turn off kitchen, bath, and otherexhaust fans within 20 minutes afteryou are done cooking or bathing;when replacing exhaust fans,consider installing high-efficiency,low-noise models.• During the heating season, keep thedraperies and shades on your southfacingwindows open during the dayto allow the sunlight to enter yourhome and closed at night to reducethe chill you may feel from coldwindows.• During the cooling season, keep thewindow coverings closed during theday to prevent solar gain.$ Long-Term Savings Tips• Select energy-efficient productswhen you buy new heating andcooling equipment. Your contractorshould be able to give you energyfact sheets for different types,models, and designs to help youOther9%Electricity30%FuelOil7%No Heating System1%Natural Gas53%Household Heating SystemsAlthough several different types of fuels areavailable to heat our homes, more than half of ususe natural gas.17736_bklet 10 10/23/08 7:37:11 PM