- Set your thermostat to 68°F or lower in the winter and 78° or higher in the summer. Each degree higher or lower can significantly increase your heating costs in winter and cooling costs in summer.
- Make sure your thermostat is located on an interior wall. Keep sources of heat, like lamps, stereos and televisions, away from the thermostat. They will interfere with the thermostat's ability to measure the room temperature accurately.
- Check heating and air conditioning filters monthly. Dirty filters not only increase energy usage, they can also damage your HVAC system. Use only filters approved for your specific system.
- Have your HVAC system serviced annually by a professional. Regular maintenance can extend the life of the system while maintaining optimum efficiency.
- Periodically check your air ducts for leaks or tears (even on newer systems). Repair fallen or crushed duct work and use mastic (a plaster-like substance found at your local hardware store) to seal leaks.
- Leave interior doors open and don’t close vents to allow adequate air flow through your HVAC system.
- Move furniture away from your heating and cooling registers. When proper air circulation is inhibited, it can result in a higher energy bill. Make sure the area around your gas furnace is properly ventilated so that the gas burns efficiently and safely.
- Cover window air conditioner units tightly on the inside with plastic or special air conditioner covers. Also weather-strip around the air conditioner to seal between it and the window frame.
- Close the fireplace damper to keep air conditioned (or warmed) air in the living space.
- It’s a common misperception that it takes more energy to cool off (or heat up) a house than it takes to keep it cool all the time. Turning up the thermostat in summer (or down in winter) will always save energy. It’s best to only cool (or heat) a house as much as necessary, based on occupants and time of day.
- In the summer, make sure your fan is blowing air downward to help you feel cooler. On hotter days, dialing up the thermostat by only two degrees and using your ceiling fan can lower air conditioning costs by up to 14% over the course of the cooling season.
- In the winter, reverse the direction of your ceiling fan to force warm air near the ceiling down into the living space.
- Use low wattage CFLs in ceiling fan light fixtures for cooler light bulbs and more energy savings. When you leave the room, turn the ceiling fan off.