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Tips: Heating and Cooling

Tips: Heating and Cooling | Efficient Reliable Services Heating and Cooling News | Scoop.it
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.

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 furnace 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.
Heating and Cooling 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 furnaces 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 drapes.
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 draperies and shades 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. Your contractor should be able to give you energy fact sheets for different types, models, and designs to help you compare energy usage.
For furnaces, 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.
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Central Air Conditioning Units Review 2014 | Best AC Units - TopTenREVIEWS

Central Air Conditioning Units Review 2014 | Best AC Units - TopTenREVIEWS | Efficient Reliable Services Heating and Cooling News | Scoop.it
Central Air Conditioning Units Review

 

Keeping cool during the hot summer months can be as simple as installing an air conditioner. These AC units are designed to accomplish three specific tasks: lower your room temperature, filter the air and reduce or remove moisture in the air. The main air conditioner unit is located outside of your home. It uses electrical power and your home's ductwork to circulate the cool air throughout your living area.

Central air conditioning units use a lot of energy to keep your home cool and comfortable. They come in a variety of sizes, and size truly does matter with these devices. An air conditioner that is too small will not properly lower the room temperature. It will not remove all of the moisture in the air either. An AC unit that is too large will use an excess amount of power and waste energy. Additionally, you may see an increase in your electrical bill, which is not ideal. To find the right size unit for your home, you must factor in your home's square footage, the number of occupants, the type and amount of insulation and the home's orientation relative to the sun.

Central Air Conditioners: What to Look For

There are several factors you must consider when looking for the best central air conditioner. You must consider the size of the device and the amount of energy it uses. The noise level is a significant factor because the device is located directly outside your home. Additionally, the design of the air conditioner is critical because you don't want an eyesore next to your home. Also, you want a unit that features a protective design, since the weather's harsh elements may cause long-term damage to the device unless it is properly protected.

Below are the criteria we used to evaluate the best AC units on the market.

Energy Use
The more energy your device uses, the more money it will cost you to cool your home. Look for central air conditioning systems that provide energy-efficient features. AC units are rated according to their seasonal energy efficiency ratio, also known as SEER. The SEER number tells you how much energy is needed for cooling. A minimum SEER number is 13. Look for units with the highest SEER number available, such as an 18 or 21. Additionally, look for an air conditioning system that is Energy Star qualified.

Design
The best air conditioning systems are sturdy, heavy devices. These units sit outside all year long, so it is important that they are fit to handle all types of weather. Also, look for an AC unit that runs quietly. These units are placed outside of your home, so you want a product that won't bother you or your neighbors. AC units have a drastic range in noise levels, so look for one that will best fit your surroundings.

Maintenance
Maintenance is vital when you have an air conditioner. You must regularly check the filter and coils in the device to ensure that they are clean, and replace them if necessary. If you want to get the most out of your air conditioner, find a device with easy maintenance and make sure to keep on top of it. The best AC units allow you to easily access the air filters, coils and other areas of your cooling device.

An air conditioning system is a valuable tool in your home during those hot, humid months, but finding the right product can be tough. A combination of the above features will help you find the right unit for your home and keep yourself cool all summer long.

 

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4 Air Conditioning Terms That Could Save You Thousands - US News

4 Air Conditioning Terms That Could Save You Thousands - US News | Efficient Reliable Services Heating and Cooling News | Scoop.it

If you’re like most Americans, you probably just ignore your air conditioner – at least, until it breaks. Then, you just want it fixed – like, yesterday.

But taking the time to understand certain air conditioning terms before you fix your air conditioner can make all the difference in your long-term electricity bills. Knowing (and using) these four terms could also save you thousands of dollars next time you replace your unit.

Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio

SEER is a measure of a system’s efficiency. The more efficient the system, the cheaper it is to operate. (And more energy-efficient systems are also better for the environment, so it’s a win-win.) The U.S. Department of Energy states that 13 is the minimum SEER rating for systems produced today (some older ones have ratings of six or less). According to Ed Purvis, vice president of the heating, ventilation and air conditioning company Emerson Climate Technologies, a unit with a SEER rating of 16 or more could save you about $415 a year (compared with an older, low-efficiency model).

As you might guess, higher-SEER models are also more expensive. The ideal balance for your home will depend on where you live and how often you use air conditioning. “For example, having a 25 SEER system for a home in Minneapolis, where you would turn on your unit just a few days of the year, doesn’t make much sense,” Purvis writes in an email, “but a high-SEER system makes perfect sense if you live in Dallas." 

Modulation

Modulated, or variable-speed, air conditioners are less expensive to run. Basically, they vary the amount of energy used to power the air conditioner. So instead of feeling like your house is freezing when the air conditioning is on, and feeling too warm when it kicks off, you’ll get an even temperature.

Modulated systems also help control humidity, which is one of the main factors in how hot you feel. When humidity is better controlled, you may get away with setting the A/C at a higher temperature. Because of this, a modulated system could save more than $870 per year, according to Purvis.

Humidity

Again, indoor humidity can make you feel warmer, even if you’re constantly running the air conditioner. So choosing a unit with humidity control – even if it isn’t modulated – will make your home more comfortable and save you up to $300 per year, Purvis notes.

Heat Pump

A traditional air conditioner uses a refrigerant cooling system. The coolant in the coils cools down the air, which is then forced into your home. As you might imagine, this takes a ton of energy.

A heat pump, on the other hand, actually pulls heat out of the air inside your home and dumps it outside. (It can also be used for heating by gathering warmth from outside and funneling it into your house.) This is a much more efficient way to transfer heat and can save you up to $750 a year, according to Purvis.

Heat pumps are efficient enough for both cooling and heating in milder climates. If you live in an area with colder winters, you may need a duel-fuel system, which uses the heat pump in spring, summer and fall, but runs a gas furnace backup in the winter.

If you do choose a heat pump, do your research, as there are different types. A geothermal heat pump, for instance, uses the relatively stable temperature underground to provide heating and cooling, but these systems are quite pricey and are more difficult to retrofit.

“In general, retrofitting an air-conditioning system or heat pump shouldn’t be complicated in a building with a forced-air gas furnace,” Purvis writes. Still, you’ll want to talk with a local heating, ventilation and air conditioning professional to determine the cost of retrofitting your home with a heat pump.

“For some,” Purvis points out, “a high-efficiency, conventional air system could be a more practical, cost-effective solution.”

Repair, don’t replace

What if your existing air conditioner is relatively new? Can you make it more efficient? Yes!

“Up to a third of systems installed today are running well below their rate of performance because of duct leakage, improper charging and other maintenance issues,” Purvis explains. “Ensuring your system is running right can sometimes be more beneficial than investing in an air conditioner with a higher SEER.”

So as summer approaches, call your local HVAC company for an air-conditioning tuneup or replacement. Ask about having your whole system – duct work included – checked to ensure it’s running as efficiently as possible.

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Long-Range Weather Forecast 2013 2014 Winter U.S. Canada

Long-Range Weather Forecast 2013 2014 Winter U.S. Canada | Efficient Reliable Services Heating and Cooling News | Scoop.it

Cold and Snowy Forecast for Philadelphia...

This winter, Canada will be a country divided . . . by weather.

A decline in solar activity combined with ocean-atmosphere patterns in the Pacific and Atlantic will result in above-normal temperatures in the eastern half of Canada, while the west will be below normal.

Snowfall will be above normal from southernmost British Columbia eastward through western Ontario and from Montreal eastward to the Atlantic.

 

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Heating Prices on the Rise: How to Save Cash this Season

Heating Prices on the Rise: How to Save Cash this Season | Efficient Reliable Services Heating and Cooling News | Scoop.it

It could be a tough winter for some Americans: Not only are experts forecasting an especially cold winter, it’s going to cost more to heat their homes.   

Natural gas bills are projected to climb 13% to $679 for the season, according to the Energy Department’s annual outlook for heating costs. The amount is 4% below the average for the past five winters, but it’s still a big bill for cash-strapped families to afford.

Homes that use electric heat, which is about 38% of the country, will see a 2% increase in their bills as the tab for heating oil customers is expected to drop 2% to $2,046 for the season. This is the second highest bill on record behind 2012’s average of $2,092.

The Energy Department forecasts heating demand will drop by 0.3% across the country, with the Northeast seeing the biggest increase in demand at 3.4%. Demand in the west, is expecting to drop by 3.1%.

Tom Kloza, chief oil analyst at GasBuddy.com, says despite the U.S. being a major oil producer, pricing still remains competitive. He points out that heating costs in states like Texas and Louisiana are still at least one-quarter less than bills on every other continent.

“You can’t look at the prices in the trade in big bulk markets of the Gulf Coast and then compare it to nationwide prices. The U.S. is incredibly privileged to have cheap natural gas prices, particularly when you are close to the source.”

President Obama addressed energy production in the U.S. on Tuesday in his address to the nation, saying, “America's poised to become the number one energy producer in the world this year. This year, for the first time in a very long time, we're producing more oil than we're importing.”

Emerging markets focus more on diesel or heating oil for their usage, Kloza says.

READ MORE: http://www.foxbusiness.com/personal-finance/2013/10/09/heating-prices-on-rise-how-to-save-cash-this-season/

 

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9 Sneaky Ways to Cut Your Home Heating Bills

9 Sneaky Ways to Cut Your Home Heating Bills | Efficient Reliable Services Heating and Cooling News | Scoop.it
Replace Worn WeatherstrippingWorn and torn weatherstripping around doors and windows creates drafts and lets in cold air. Seven to 12 percent of a home's heat loss occurs around windows and doors, according to Black Hills Energy, and these leaks often prompt homeowners to turn up their furnace to keep comfy. Even if they don't turn it up, they're losing warm air, causing the furnace to work harder. "Weatherstripping around doors, and caulking around doors and windows, can cut down on drafts," says Jeff Rogers, president of the Energy Audit Institute, an energy audit training and certification company in Springfield, N.J.

Some weatherstripping needs to be replaced every few years because of wear. Replacing it is typically as simple as pulling off the old and tacking on the new.
Read more: 9 Sneaky Ways to Cut Your Home Heating Bills - Popular Mechanics
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Winter Time Energy Saving Tips

Winter Time Energy Saving Tips | Efficient Reliable Services Heating and Cooling News | Scoop.it
Winter Time Energy Saving Tips

Tips to Save Natural Gas
Keep Safe This Winter
Things That Are Fast and Free
Things to Do That Are Inexpensive
Thing to Do That Are Investments


Five Action Steps to Cut Natural Gas and Propane Use

You can take some steps to reduce the amount of energy that you're using and lower your utility bills:

Turn down your thermostat to 68 degrees. For every degree you lower your heat in the 60-degree to 70-degree range, you'll save up to 5 percent on heating costs. Wear warm clothing like a sweater and set your thermostat to 68 degrees or lower during the day and evening, health permitting. Set the thermostat back to 55 degrees or off at night or when leaving home for an extended time, saving 5-20 percent of your heating costs (heat pumps should only be set back 2 degrees to prevent unneeded use of backup strip heating).
Replace or clean furnace filters as recommended. Dirty filters restrict airflow and increase energy use. Now is also the time for a furnace "tune-up." Keeping your furnace clean, lubricated and properly adjusted will reduce energy use, saving up to 5 percent of heating costs.
Reduce hot water temperature. Set your water heater to the "normal" setting or 120-degrees Fahrenheit, unless the owner's manual for your dishwasher requires a higher setting. Savings are 7-11 percent of water heating costs.
Seal up the leaks. Caulk leaks around windows and doors. Look for places where you have pipes, vents or electrical conduits that go through the wall, ceiling or floor. Check the bathroom, underneath the kitchen sink, pipes inside a closet, etc. If you find a gap at the point where the pipe or vents goes through the wall, seal it up. Caulk works best on small gaps. Your hardware store should have products to close the larger gaps.
Consider replacing your old gas appliances with an ENERGY STAR® water heater or furnace.

Also contact your natural gas utility or visit their website for additional ideas, rebates and incentives.

Pacific Gas and Electric Company
San Diego Gas & Electric
Southern California Gas


A Reminder to Keep Safe This Winter

Do not resort to using a BBQ or camp stove for indoor heat. Such equipment is designed to be used only outdoors and present significant safety hazards when used in any enclosed or partially enclosed setting. Besides the obvious fire hazard, they can produce high levels of carbon monoxide (CO). Remember that you cannot smell or see CO.

If you start to feel sick, dizzy, or weak, get to fresh air RIGHT AWAY. DO NOT DELAY. Carbon monoxide can rapidly lead to full incapacitation and death. If you experience serious symptoms, get medical attention immediately.

For more, visit the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission's Web site

Fast and Free

Cutting back unnecessary energy use is an easy way to keep your hard earned money in your pocket. Here are some suggestions you can do at home, at absolutely no cost to you.

Let the sunshine in. Open drapes and let the sun heat your home for free (get them closed again at sundown so they help insulate).

Rearrange your rooms. Move your furniture around so you are sitting near interior walls - exterior walls and older windows are likely to be drafty. Don't sit in the draft.

Keep it shut. Traditional fireplaces are an energy loser - it's best not to use them because they pull heated air out of the house and up the chimney. When not in use, make absolutely sure the damper is closed. Before closing the damper, make sure that you don't have any smoldering embers. If you decide not to use a fireplace, then block off the chimney with a piece of rigid insulation from the hardware store that fits snugly into the space (dampers don't shut fully without some leaking).

Eliminate wasted energy. Turn off lights in unoccupied rooms. Unplug that spare refrigerator in the garage if you don't truly need it - this seemingly convenient way to keep extra drinks cold adds 10-25 percent to your electric bill. Turn off kitchen and bath-ventilating fans after they've done their job - these fans can blow out a house-full of heated air if inadvertently left on. Keep your fireplace damper closed unless a fire is burning to prevent up to 8 percent of your furnace-heated air from going up the chimney.

Shorten showers. Simply reducing that lingering time by a few minutes can save hundreds of gallons of hot water per month for a family of four. Showers account for 2/3 of your water heating costs. Cutting your showers in half will reduce your water heating costs by 33 percent.

Use appliances efficiently. Do only full loads when using your dishwasher and clothes washer. Use the cold water setting on your clothes washer when you can. Using cold water reduces your washer's energy use by 75 percent. Be sure to clean your clothes dryer's lint trap after each use. Use the moisture-sensing automatic drying setting on your dryer if you have one.

Put your computer and monitor to sleep. Most computers come with the power management features turned off. On computers using Windows, open your power management software and set it so your computer goes to sleep if you're away from your machine for 5 to 15 minutes. Those who use Macintosh computers look for the setting in your Control Panels called "Energy Saver" and set it accordingly. When you're done using your computer, turn it off (see next tip). Do not leave it in sleep mode overnight as it is still drawing a small amount of power.

Plug "leaking energy" in electronics. Many new TVs, VCRs, chargers, computer peripherals and other electronics use electricity even when they are switched "off." Although these "standby losses" are only a few watts each, they add up to more than 50 watts in a typical home that is consumed all the time. If possible, unplug electronic devices and chargers that have a block-shaped transformer on the plug when they are not in use. For computer scanners, printers and other devices that are plugged into a power strip, simply switch off the power strip after shutting down your computer. The best way to minimize these losses of electricity is to purchase ENERGY STAR® products.
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WICS NewsChannel 20 :: News - Top Stories - CWLP Offers AC Energy Saving Tips to Residents

WICS NewsChannel 20  :: News - Top Stories - CWLP Offers AC Energy Saving Tips to Residents | Efficient Reliable Services Heating and Cooling News | Scoop.it
It's that time of year, the time we rely on air conditioning to keep cool during months of extreme heat.

"Most homes here in Springfield will have a central air conditioner. Homes that do not will typically have a window mounted air conditioner, but it's very common because we are in a high humidity area," said CWLP Energy Expert Gary Hurley.

Keeping cool without breaking the bank is a struggle many residents face.

"We get a lot of calls on high bill complaints and basically we try to help our customers be more efficient when they are cooling," said Hurley.

The continuous battle is keeping the hot air out and the cool air in.

"Those problematic areas you had in the winter time, if you felt the draft around the windows and doors, those are still an issue in the summer, so get some weather stripping, get those areas sealed up so you are not getting the heat and humidity into your home," said Hurley.

AC efficiency also relies on your air filter. If it's covered in dust and debris, the air in your home isn't filtering properly, making your unit work even harder, costing you even more.

"Change that filter and get a nice new one in there, get as plenty of air flow through there as you can," said Hurley. "That's going to help keep the house a little cooler without running the AC for longer periods."

Same goes for businesses. Air Masters owner Robert Mathews works on installing, fixing, and replacing air conditioning units for both businesses and homes.

Now being the busiest time of year, the biggest problems people face with their AC, he says, is lack of proper maintenance.

"People seem to neglect that," said Mathews. "As long as it's working they don't touch it, but the biggest part is keep the outside condensers clean. You gotta get somebody who knows what they are doing and to keep them clean. If you neglect that you are going to be getting into your pocketbook pretty fast."

The biggest question and debate is, what temperature should you keep your thermostat? This primarily depends on what you are comfortable with and how much you are willing to pay.

CWLP energy experts recommend the most cost-efficient temperature should be around 78 degrees. If you are heading out for work, they say to always keep your thermostat at a five degree difference, and if you are heading out of town, the best way to save is to just turn it off.
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Air Conditioning Check-Up

Air Conditioning Check-Up | Efficient Reliable Services Heating and Cooling News | Scoop.it

Spring is the perfect time to give your home cooling equipment a check-up. Fixing any problems now will help you avoid air-conditioning problems when hot weather arrives for good.  And, well-maintained air conditioning systems cool more efficiently, saving energy and money.

Viewer Tip: You can perform a cooling system check-up yourself or ask a professional for help. According to EPA’s Energy Star program, a typical check-up should include:

Tightening electrical connections. Faulty connections can be unsafe and reduce the life of your system.

Lubricating moving parts. This reduces friction in motors and increases energy efficiency.

Checking the condensate drain. A plugged drain can affect indoor humidity levels and cause water damage in your home.

Checking system controls for safe operation. Make sure your system starts, stops and operates as it should.

Cleaning air conditioning coils. This increases energy efficiency and prolongs the life of the equipment.

Checking refrigerant level and adjusting if necessary. Too much or too little refrigerant can affect system efficiency.

Cleaning and adjusting blower components for good airflow. Problems with airflow can reduce an air conditioning system’s efficiency by up to 15 percent!

Source: Energy Star. “Maintenance Checklist.”

Photo courtesy the U.S. Department of Energy


Read more: http://www.motherearthnews.com/nature-and-environment/earth-gauge-ac-check-up-zbcz1405.aspx#ixzz317GoNKvI

 

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4 Ways to Winterize Your Garage

4 Ways to Winterize Your Garage | Efficient Reliable Services Heating and Cooling News | Scoop.it

A warm, well-insulated garage will provide you usable workspace all year round, even when the outside temperatures drop to frightening lows. But even if you're not planning to spend much time in the shop this winter, there's still good reason to winterize your garage: you could save yourself money and hassle later.

A garage that gets too cold can damage not only to your car but also to the equipment you're storing there. "Water will freeze, no matter where it is. So if you have a power washer that still has water in the pump or lines, it can freeze and crack," says Joe Sainz, application specialist for Robert Bosch Tool Corp. The same is true of fuel gels, which can "gel up" (freeze) inside combustion engines, and even paint, which will separate and ruin if allowed to freeze, Sainz says.

The solution? Winterize your garage as early as possible.

Fix or Replace Weatherstripping


Weatherstripping creates a seal between the garage door and garage door opening. "Over time, this weatherstripping can become brittle and cracked, allowing air to make its way between the door and the frame and create cold drafts," says Konrad Witek, director of engineering at eComfort.com.

If you feel air seeping into the garage, Witek says, remove the existing weatherstripping and scrape off any remaining sealant. "A pry bar and flat scraper or putty knife will make the process much easier," he says. The cleaner and smoother you can make the surface, the easier it will be to install the new weatherstripping, and the better it will seal.

Once the old weather stripping is removed, you can begin measuring to apply the new one. To align the weatherstripping, Witek says you'll need to close the garage door and then align the weather stripping so that the rubber flap flattens slightly against the door. "This will ensure a good seal and easy operation of the garage door," he says.


Read more: 4 Ways to Protect Your Garage From Winter - Popular Mechanics
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14 ways to lower your heating bill - MSN Real Estate

14 ways to lower your heating bill - MSN Real Estate | Efficient Reliable Services Heating and Cooling News | Scoop.it

There's good news and bad news if you're a homeowner who's bracing yourself for the annual rise in winter heating costs: The bill won't hurt more this year, but it won't hurt much less.

The Energy Information Administration forecasts that the average household heating fuel expenditures this winter will decrease to $928 per household, down from $947 last year. This is the first price drop since the winter of 2001-2002.

If you hope to save more than the projected $19, there are many steps you can take.

"There's a lot of things that the entrepreneurial homeowner can do, if he's a little bit handy," says John Ryan, team leader for commercial buildings for the Building Technologies Program in the Department of Energy's Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy, who has spent years thinking about efficiency in homes.

Here are more than a dozen simple steps you can take to slash your home's heating bill. Six steps cost nothing. Eight more cost under $100. Combine them, and you can often expect to save 20% — and possibly much, much more — on your home heating bill this winter. And some new federal tax breaks even sweeten the opportunity.

Grab that free, low-hanging fruit
First, the freebies. These strategies may sound simplistic, but they work well:

Turn down the thermostat. "The rule of thumb is that you can save about 3% on your heating bill for every degree that you set back your thermostat" full time, says Bill Prindle, deputy director for the nonprofit American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy (ACEEE). Turn down the thermostat 10 degrees when you go to work, and again when you go to bed -- a total of 16 hours a day -- and you can save about 14% on your heating bill, says Prindle.
 Use fans wisely. In just one hour, a hard-working bathroom or kitchen fan can expel a houseful of warm air, according to the Department of Energy. Turn them off as soon as they've done their job.
 Keep the fireplace damper closed. Heat rises, and an open damper is like a hole in the roof. Also, limit use of the fireplace, since fires actually suck heat from a room, says Harvey Sachs, director of ACEEE's buildings program. Close off seldom-used rooms. And shut the vents inside.
 Turn down the water heater. Lowering the temperature of water in the water heater to 115-120 degrees reduces power use often without a noticeable difference to the user, says Prindle.
 Keep heating vents clear. Vents blocked by rugs and furniture prevent heated air from circulating efficiently.
 Use curtains. Opening curtains and shades on south-facing windows during the day allows solar radiation to warm a living space; closing all curtains at night helps retard the escape of that heat.

Web sites on the topic abound, but one of the best is run by the Department of Energy.

 

READ MORE: http://realestate.msn.com/article.aspx?cp-documentid=13107978

 

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9 Sneaky Ways to Cut Your Home Heating Bills

9 Sneaky Ways to Cut Your Home Heating Bills | Efficient Reliable Services Heating and Cooling News | Scoop.it
Replace Worn WeatherstrippingWorn and torn weatherstripping around doors and windows creates drafts and lets in cold air. Seven to 12 percent of a home's heat loss occurs around windows and doors, according to Black Hills Energy, and these leaks often prompt homeowners to turn up their furnace to keep comfy. Even if they don't turn it up, they're losing warm air, causing the furnace to work harder. "Weatherstripping around doors, and caulking around doors and windows, can cut down on drafts," says Jeff Rogers, president of the Energy Audit Institute, an energy audit training and certification company in Springfield, N.J.

Some weatherstripping needs to be replaced every few years because of wear. Replacing it is typically as simple as pulling off the old and tacking on the new.
Read more: 9 Sneaky Ways to Cut Your Home Heating Bills - Popular Mechanics
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