Running a ceiling fan in the summer can make you feel 4 degrees cooler, even without air conditioning. Remember to run your ceiling fan counter-clockwise in the summer and clockwise in the winter.
Check your ducts for air leaks. First look for sections that should be joined but have separated and then look for obvious holes. Consult with a professional about repairing duct leaks. Safe duct repairs require a licensed heating, ventilating, and air-conditioning contractor.
Most fires involving either masonry or prefabricated metal chimneys occur because of improper installation, use or maintenance. Here are a few of the most common causes: chimney installation too close to wood framing; thermal insulation too close to the chimney; and, passing the stovepipe or chimney through a ceiling or wall, causing ignition of wood framing. Also, always operate your appliance within the manufacturer's recommended temperature limits. Too low a temperature increases creosote buildup, and too high a temperature may eventually cause damage to the chimney and result in a fire.
Be sure the thermostat is set in the cooling mode. Just setting the dial below room temperature will not activate the air conditioning if it is set in the heat mode.
Do you have a smelly fireplace? "Chimney Breath" is most often caused by moisture, rain, or high humidity. Have your chimney cleaned early in the spring to make the humid summer days less odiforous.
There's more to soundproofing than just insulation. "Blocking" noise with a non-hardening caulk to close off airborne sound paths. "Breaking" the sound path using resilient wood studs with metal clips. Last, isolating and eliminating “vibration” with special acoustical matting that seperates the wall structure from floor vibrations. You can get all these items in soundproofing kits for both interior and exterior residential walls. Besides blocking most noise transmission, one obvious benefit is better energy efficiency, with greater “r” values.
Shop during the off-season. Many heating and cooling manufacturers offer significant rebates during seasonal sales promotions, and dealers may charge less for installation.
Whole-house fans help cool your home by pulling cool air through the house and exhausting warm air through the attic. They are effective when operated at night and when the outside air is cooler than the inside.
Storm windows can reduce your heat loss through the windows by 25% to 50%. Storm windows should have weatherstripping at all moveable joints; be made of strong, durable materials; and have interlocking or overlapping joints. Low-e storm windows save even more energy.
During winter, a ceiling fan can move heat trapped near the ceiling back into the living area. This is especially valuable in rooms with high or vaulted ceilings. Remember to run your ceiling fan counter-clockwise in the summer and clockwise in the winter.