Take more showers than baths. Bathing uses the most hot water in the average household. You use 15-25 gallons of hot water for a bath, but less than 10 gallons during a 5-minute shower.
Tankless coil water heaters work well during colder months because the heating system is used regularly.
Although the purchase prices of solar water heaters are usually higher than those of conventional types,operating costs are much lower.
Keep warm-air registers, baseboard heaters and radiators clean and clear of furniture and drapery for maximum efficiency.
If your home heating and cooling system is more than 10 years old, consider replacing it. Energy Star labeled central HVAC systems can reduce your air conditioning costs by up to 20% annually.
Insulating your hot water heater tank with an insualting jacket will pay for itself in one year or less.
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.
When inspecting a new or potential new home, make sure that any of the gas equipment needing ventilation—heaters, dryers, hot water heaters—is ventilated properly to the outside.
Have your heating system cleaned and tuned by a qualified contractor. A pre-season tune-up and filter change is a good investment. It reduces the chances of breakdowns in the middle of winter, improves safety, and pays for itself through more energy efficient operation.
It is as important to understand the space you're heating as it is to know the unit you are heating with. Examine your home and rooms. Remember that south-facing rooms may overheat during the day and call for extra heat in the evening. Bedrooms may be closed off or out of use during the day, but create high demand at night. While zoning will answer many of these issues, two-stage or multi-stage furnaces are the ideal solution since they can deliver high, medium or low levels of heat depending on demand, without creating excess. When designing heat zones or controlling heat through registers, excess heat must always be taken into consideration. If it is not dumped into an excess heat zone, such as a spare room, workshop, basement or garage, the heat can back up into the furnace, causing damage.