To save on heating and cooling costs, close your curtains and shades at night; open them during the day.
Insulating your hot water heater tank with an insualting jacket will pay for itself in one year or less.
A plugged or blocked chimney could cause the products of combustion to back up and filter through your home…and that is very dangerous to your health. So inspect your chimney each fall. It’s simple and only takes a few minutes of your time.
Maintain your system periodically to yield immediate energy savings, improved comfort, and a longer trouble-free service for any system. This includes duct repair and replacement. Be sure to hire a professional technician to service your heating equipment. Qualified technicians can often identify safety and efficiency issues that aren't immediately apparent. A professional can also teach you about the operation of your heating system and the role you can play in performing minor service tasks.
Have your chimney sweep ensure that your chimney has an appropriate liner. Chimney liners are required in new construction to separate hot heating system emissions from the structure of your home.
Putting a chimney cover or chimney cap on top of your flue can save you a lot of money in the long run. The covers keep out damaging moisture, which wears away masonry and steel chimneys - not to mention that they keep those birds and other critters out.
Never use a generator in enclosed or partially-enclosed spaces. Generators can produce high levels of CO very quickly. When you use a portable generator, remember that you cannot smell or see CO. Even if you can’t smell exhaust fumes, you may still be exposed to CO. If you start to feel sick, dizzy, or weak while using a generator, get to fresh air right away. Do not delay. The CO from generators can rapidly lead to full incapacitation and death. If you experience serious symptoms, get medical attention immediately. Inform medical staff that CO poisoning is suspected. If you experienced symptoms while indoors, have someone call the fire department to determine when it is safe to reenter the building.
Install additional attic insulation at right angles to the previous layer. You don't have to use the same type of insulation - it's fine to use batts or blankets over loose-fill, or vice versa. Upgrading from three inches to 12 inches can cut heating costs by 20 percent, and cooling costs by 10 percent.
When your're choosing a fuel source for your home heating system, start with available fuels in your region, because not all fuels are available everywhere and some are cleaner and more efficient than others. Based on your chosen fuel—natural gas, fuel oil, light propane gas, and kerosene are the most common—you can figure out how much heat a gallon will give you and how efficient that fuel is likely to be. Called the standard heat value, the amount of heat a fuel can produce per gallon or cubic foot is measured and reported in Btu (British thermal units). The higher the Btu produced, the more efficiently the fuel burns and the greater its heat value. Fuel oil, for example, has a heat value of 135,000 Btu/gal., while liquid propane gas produces 91,000 Btu/gal. Next you need to plug that information into the furnace selected. How many Btu/hour the furnace or boiler releases determines its output and will help to decide how much furnace you need to heat your space to the desired temperature. This is how the pros size and evaluate your heating needs. Following these formulas, you can plot out your energy usage, optimal furnace size, and desired output, too.
Set the fan speed on high except in very humid weather. When it's humid, set the fan speed on low. You'll get better cooling, and slower air movement through the cooling equipment allows it to remove more moisture from the air, resulting in greater comfort.