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Eco-friendly home guide

By: Catie Leary on Aug. 27, 2010, 11:37 a.m.
Natural gas and oil heating

Photo: JupiterImages

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Natural gas and oil heating

If you plan to buy a new heating system, ask your local utility or state energy office for information about the latest technologies available to consumers. They can advise you about more efficient systems on the market today.

For example, many newer models incorporate designs for burners and heat exchangers that result in higher efficiencies during operation and reduce heat loss when the equipment is off. Consider a sealed combustion furnace; they are both safer and more efficient.

You can save as much as 10% a year on your heating and cooling bills by simply turning your thermostat back 10% to 15% for 8 hours. Using a programmable thermostat, you can adjust the times you turn on the heating or air-conditioning according to a preset schedule. As a result, the equipment doesn’t operate as much when you are asleep or when the house, or a part of it, is not occupied.