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Stretching Your Energy Dollar 
Energy Saving Tips From The Beckett Corporation

Place furniture away from the air conditioner and/or vents so nothing blocks the unit from performing efficiently. 

Perform a thorough inspection of your home to determine if there are any cracks or leaks or unnecessary openings that need to be tended to. Examine windows, doors, ceilings, porch area, roof, air conditioning unit(s), fireplace, cable holes.

Seal up every crack, leak or opening you can find using caulk or weather-stripping as needed. Remember- these openings can cause a loss of cool air, forcing your air-conditioning unit to work harder, resulting in a higher electric bill.

Don't keep doors or windows open when running the air conditioner

Make sure the fireplace damper is fully shut before running your air conditioner.

Limit running in and out of your home while the air conditioner is on.

Make a thorough examination of all screens to ensure they do not have punctures or holes.

Keep drapes and curtains open to maximize sunlight rather than electric light

Change filters and clean air conditioning units frequently to ensure peak efficiency

As few as three well-placed trees can lower the heat in your home and help save you anywhere from $100-$250 in energy bills this season.

Install white blinds, drapes, curtains since white reflects heat away from your home

Close curtains on the south side and west side of your home during the day

Don't place lamps or TV sets or any appliance that generates heat near your air conditioning thermostat

Clean dirt from heating system at end of season to avoid trapping moisture which can shorten a heater's life.

When turning on the air conditioner, don't set thermostat at a colder setting than normal. It won't cool off the rooms faster and could result in excessive cooling and unnecessary expense.

Using an interior fan along with your air conditioner can help the cool air circulate more efficiently.

Learn More About Energy Efficient Heating
and Cooling from the U.S. Dept. of Energy

Heating Your Home Efficiently

Information from the U.S. Dept. of Energy

Gas and Oil Heating Systems

No matter what kind of heating, ventilation, and air-conditioning system you have in your house, you can save money and increase comfort by properly maintaining and upgrading your equipment. But remember, an energy-efficient furnace alone will not have as great an impact on your energy bills as using the whole-house approach. By combining proper equipment maintenance and upgrades with appropriate insulation, weatherization, and thermostat settings, you can cut your energy bills and your pollution output in half.

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.

One of the most important systems in your home, though it's hidden beneath your feet and over your head, may be wasting a lot of your energy dollars. Your home's duct system, a branching network of tubes in the walls, floors, and ceilings, carries the air from your home's furnace and central air conditioner to each room. Ducts are made of sheet metal, fiber glass, or other materials.

Unfortunately, many duct systems are poorly insulated or not insulated properly. Ducts that leak heated air into unheated spaces can add hundreds of dollars a year to your heating and cooling bills. Insulating ducts that are in unconditioned spaces is usually very cost effective. If you are buying a new duct system, consider one that comes with insulation already installed.

Sealing your ducts to prevent leaks is even more important if the ducts are located in an unconditioned area such as an attic or vented crawl space. If the supply ducts are leaking, heated or cooled air can be forced out unsealed joints and lost. In addition, unconditioned air can also be drawn into return ducts through unsealed joints. In the summer, hot attic air can be drawn in, increasing the load on the air conditioner. In the winter, your furnace will have to work longer to keep your house comfortable. Either way, your energy losses cost you money.

Although minor duct repairs are easy to accomplish, ducts in unconditioned spaces should be sealed and insulated by qualified professionals using the appropriate sealing materials. 

Programmable Thermostats

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. You can do this automatically without sacrificing comfort by installing an automatic setback or programmable thermostat.

Using a programmable thermostat, you can adjust the times you turn on the heating or air-conditioning according to a pre-set schedule. As a result, you don't operate the equipment as much when you are asleep or when the house or part of the house is not occupied. (These thermostats are not meant to be used with heat pumps.) Programmable thermostats can store and repeat multiple daily settings (six or more temperature settings a day) that you can manually override without affecting the rest of the daily or weekly program.

Furnace Safety and Maintenance Info---->

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for Advice from the U.S. Dept. of Energy

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