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Eco-friendly home guide

By: Catie Leary on Aug. 27, 2010, 11:37 a.m.
Heating and cooling

Photo: >>>WonderMike<<</Flickr

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Heating and cooling

Heating and cooling uses more energy than any other system in your home, and typically, it accounts for 46% of your utility bill. Luckily, there are ways to cut your energy use and environmental impact from up to 50%. Here are a few tips to get rolling:

  • Set your thermostat as low as is comfortable in the winter and as high as is comfortable in the summer.
  • Turn off exhaust fans (such as those in the kitchen or bathroom) within 20 minutes of cooking or bathing.
  • If exhaust fans needs to be replaced, look for high-efficiency, low-noise models.
  • In the cooler months, keep curtains open during the day to let warm sunlight in and closed at night to reduce the chill from cold windows.
  • In the warmer months, keep curtains closed during the day to prevent solar gain.
For long-term savings, select energy-efficient products when you buy new heating and cooling equipment. Your contractor should be able to give you energy fact sheets for different types, models and designs to help you compare energy usage.