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Simple Ways to Better the Heating and Cooling Efficiency in Your House

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If you are trying to live on a budget these days, you may have eliminated some of your favorite daily pleasures. Gone is the morning ritual of ordering a “double-skinny-marble-mocha-machiatto with a-dollop-of-whip-cream” from a favorite coffee shop. It can be downright depressing.

Wait! Never fear. Before giving up your favorite pleasures, why not take a closer examination of one of your other daily luxuries: your home heating and cooling system. You’d be amazed at the dollars that are – maybe literally – flying out the window on a daily basis.

Energy Efficiency $aves You Money

It may come as a surprise to you that on average, up to 54% of your utility bills are spent on heating and cooling your home. Unfortunately for your wallet, much of that waste is from neglecting the maintenance of your heating and cooling system. The good news is that a little time and attention on a regular basis will save hundreds, and possibly thousands, of dollars per year.

10 Simple Steps to Major Energy Savings

Step 1. Check your programmable thermostat. Now is the time to seriously evaluate your current settings. Do you really need your house to be 25° while you’re sleeping? That’s what blankets are for. Make sure it’s set to temperatures that are at the bottom of your comfort level, rather than the top, and adjust accordingly with layers. Also, check that your house isn’t being kept at unnecessarily warm/cool temps while you’re away.

Don’t have a programmable thermostat? It’s time to get one. They are very affordable and easy to install yourself.

Step 2. Clean/replace filters on furnaces/air-conditioners regularly depending on usage and the condition of the filters. Check your owner’s manual for factory recommendations.

Step 3. Make sure your warm-air return registers, radiators, and baseboard furnaces are clean. You may need to super-clean with a damp rag the first time if they haven’t been done in a while. After that, using a basic duster every week or so will do the trick.

Step 4. If you have a radiator on an exterior wall, place a heat-resistant radiator reflector behind it. This keeps hot air radiating into the room and prevents heat loss to the outside.

Step 5. Turn off your exhaust fans in the bathroom, kitchen, etc., within 20 minutes of taking a bath or using your stove top. If they aren’t Energy Star efficient, consider exchanging them for models that are.

Step 6. At least once or twice a season, release trapped air from your hot water radiators. If you aren’t sure how to, call a professional the first time and they’ll be happy to show you.

Step 7. Consider your home’s southern exposure. During wintertime, allow as much sunlight (radiant heat) to come into your home as possible by keeping drapes and blinds open during the day. Make sure you close them at night to prevent heat loss. Practice the reverse during the summer months.

Step 8. Check your house for air-leaks. Leaky windows, compromised or missing weather stripping, wall cracks, – these seemingly small things can push your heating and cooling bills through the roof (oops – that could also be poor insulation…)

Step 9. Always choose Energy Star products when purchasing heating and cooling equipment, appliances, or any household items that require energy. Compare energy consumption on product packaging to make wise purchasing decisions.

Step 10. Mind your SEER’s and AFUE’s:

-Annual Fuel Utilization Efficiency is used as a measure for radiator efficiency. While the national limit is 78%, Energy Star models can exceed 90%.

-Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio is used as a measure for AC efficiency. The national minimum is 13 but Energy Star models can exceed 14.5.

If you make it a practice to evaluate your heating and cooling system efficiency, you can say goodbye to waste and hello to life’s little pleasures.

Thank you for taking the time to read this article. Call us at 1.877.579.1994 or click here to price your windows and doors project. Come and see us for a Dan Good Deal at 199 Victoria Street South, Kitchener, ON N2G 2C1.