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Do-it-yourself Tips

An air conditioning or heating system does much more than simply cool or heat the air. They actually condition the air by removing dirt, dust, mold spores and pollens as the air is drawn through a filter.

Your air conditioning system also lowers the humidity and makes the air much more comfortable at any temperature. However, the benefits of air conditioning and heating systems can account for up to 50% of your household budget.

Here are some energy savings tips that can save you a boat load of money and energy making you environmentally GREEN by properly maintaining and carefully operating your air conditioning and heating system.

  1. Lower the temperature in the winter or raise it in the summer during the day when you're home. You'll save up to 5 percent of energy for every degree you either lower the temperature in winter or raise it in the summer. Wear a sweatshirt or sweater in the winter while in the house to help keep warm and wear lighter well ventilated clothes in the summer.
  2. Lower your thermostat to 55 degrees while you're away from your home. However, if you have a heat pump, only lower it by 2 degrees because the auxiliary heat may kick on when you turn the thermostat back up. Or install a programmable thermostat to adjust temperature settings according to a preset schedule. This way you can warm up your rooms just before you wake up or warm up or cool off before you get home.
  3. Repair leaky faucets. Even a small drip can be the equivalent of wasting a bath tub full of hot water each month.
  4. Find and plug those leaks. Seal leaks between a door and its frame with weather stripping and fill leaks between window frame and wall with caulking.
  5. Seal light switches and electrical sockets with low-cost foam gaskets.
  6. Make sure your fireplace is properly vented to prevent your fireplace from drawing heated air from inside your house.
  7. Remove window air conditioning units to prevent them from drafting in cold air.
  8. Insulate hot water pipes to prevent wasting heat to unconditioned spaces.
  9. Install low-flow showerheads.
  10. Adjust the temperature on your water heater. By reducing it only a few degrees, you will lower your utility costs while still enjoying the hot water you want.
  11. Replace incandescent light bulbs with compact fluorescents (CFLs) to save energy and have them last six to 10 times longer.
  12. Install lighting controls like dimmers, timers or motion sensors.
  13. Put in a ceiling fan with an option to reverse the air flow. Most models will allow you to set the direction the motor turns so you can blow the warm air back down into the living space.