As much as half of the energy used in your home goes to heating and cooling. So making smart decisions about your home's heating, ventilating, and air conditioning (HVAC) system can have a big effect on your utility bills and your comfort. Take these steps to increase the efficiency of your heating and cooling system.
Change your air filter regularly
Check your filter every month, especially during heavy use months (winter and summer). If the filter looks dirty after a month, change it. At a minimum, change the filter every 3 months. A dirty filter will slow down air flow and make the system work harder to keep you warm or cool — wasting energy. A clean filter will also prevent dust and dirt from building up in the system — leading to expensive maintenance and/or early system failure.
Tune up your HVAC equipment yearly
Just as a tune-up for your car can improve your gas mileage, a yearly tune-up of your heating and cooling system can improve efficiency and comfort.
Install a programmable thermostat
A programmable thermostat is ideal for people who are away from home during set periods of time throughout the week. Through proper use of pre-programmed settings, a programmable thermostat can save you about $150 every year in energy costs.
Seal your heating and cooling ducts
Ducts that move air to-and-from a forced air furnace, central air conditioner, or heat pump are often big energy wasters. Sealing and insulating ducts can improve the efficiency of your heating and cooling system by as much as 20 percent — and sometimes much more.
Focus first on sealing ducts that run through the attic, crawlspace, unheated basement, or garage. Use duct sealant (mastic) or metal-backed (foil) tape to seal the seams and connections of ducts. After sealing the ducts in those spaces, wrap the ducts in insulation to keep them from getting hot in the summer or cold in the winter. Next, seal ducts that you can access in the heated or cooled part of the house.
Consider installing ENERGY STAR qualified heating and cooling equipment
If your HVAC equipment is more than 10 years old or not keeping your house comfortable, you should have it looked at by a professional HVAC contractor. If it is not performing efficiently or needs upgrading, consider replacing it with a unit that has earned the ENERGY STAR.
Kitchen - Refrigerator
A typical home uses 600-1200 kiloWatt-hours per year for refrigeration and freezing. To become more energy efficient with refrigeration in your home, follow these tips:
Keep your refrigerator at 37°- 40° F and your freezer at 5°F.
A typical home uses 200-700 kiloWatt-hours per year with its range/oven. To become more energy efficient with your range/oven, follow these tips:
Only use pots and pans with flat bottoms on the stove.
About 90% of the energy used for washing clothes is for heating the water. There are two ways to reduce the amount of energy used for washing clothes—use less water and use cooler water. Unless you're dealing with oily stains, the warm or cold water setting on your machine will generally do a good job of cleaning your clothes. Switching your temperature setting from hot to warm can cut a load's energy use in half.
* Wash your clothes in cold water using cold-water detergents whenever possible.
* Wash and dry full loads. If you are washing a small load, use the appropriate water-level setting.
* Dry towels and heavier cottons in a separate load from lighter-weight clothes.
* Don't over-dry your clothes. If your machine has a moisture sensor, use it.
* Clean the lint filter in the dryer after every load to improve air circulation.
* Use the cool-down cycle to allow the clothes to finish drying with the residual heat in the dryer.
* Periodically inspect your dryer vent to ensure it is not blocked. This will save energy and may prevent a fire. Manufacturers recommend using rigid venting material, not plastic vents that may collapse and cause blockages.
* Consider air-drying clothes on clothes lines or drying racks. Air-drying is recommended by clothing manufacturers for some fabrics.
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Carl B.Stokes Public Utilities building
1201 Lakeside Ave [Map]
Cleveland, OH 44114
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