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April 18, 2014  |  Login
Make Your Heating and Cooling Work Better
By Eric Corey Freed

If you added up all the cracks in a typical house, it would be equivalent in size to leaving an entire window wide open all winter long. The good news: You can fill these cracks with caulk, sealants, and weather-stripping. This job is one of the easiest and quickest things you can do to improve the energy use in your home.

One-third of the heat in your home is leaking out of your ducts. Seal the joints in your ductwork with low-toxic mastic compound. Avoid using duct tape — ironically, duct tape is not good for ducts.

Also, be sure to clean the air-conditioner filter regularly.

Tip: If you shade the air-conditioner, it won’t have to work as hard.

Use ceiling fans instead of air-conditioners when possible. Look for a ceiling fan with two settings: winter and summer (to pull air up or push it down).

Clean or replace furnace filters each month of use. This simple measure will easily save you 5% to 10% on heating and remove allergens from your home.

The thermostat is another large hole in your wall that allows air to leak out. Put a foam gasket behind your thermostat so it reads the actual room temperature instead of the colder temperature inside the wall.

A programmable thermostat is inexpensive and ensures that the heater or air-conditioner runs only during specific times. For example, instead of running the heater all night, a programmable thermostat can turn on the heat a couple of hours before you get up, which can save you 30% off your heating bills.



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