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20 Ways to Beat the Heat without Breaking the Bank1. Set the thermostat up a degree or two when home and a lot more when you’re away. Each degree you offset your thermostat reduces your air conditioning expense by 3% to 4%. If you don’t have one, consider adding a programmable thermostat to take care of the job for you. It never forgets.
2. Shut off lights when no one’s in a room. Only 5% to 10% of the electricity used in an incandescent light bulb is for light. The rest is waste heat. Consider motion detector light switches, which will automatically shut off when no one’s been in the room for 10 to 15 minutes.
3. Use your ceiling fans to generate air movement, allowing you to set your thermostat a degree or two higher, while still feeling cool and comfortable.
4. If you have a standing pilot furnace, turning off the pilot will save 3% to 9% on your cooling costs.
5. As much as possible, cook with your microwave oven and outdoor grill. Avoid adding heat to your house.
6. When you do cook inside, use the kitchen range hood to exhaust the heat to the outside.
7. Run your bathroom fans during baths and showers to exhaust heat and moisture.
8. Attic temperatures can easily reach 130°F in the summer. Install power vents or attic fans to lower attic temperatures.
9. Add extra insulation (find the right amount at www.simplyinsulate.com)
10. Replace or check the filters of your
air conditioner monthly. In the
11. Close blinds and draperies on southern and western exposures to prevent solar heat gain.
12. It is not too late to get your air conditioner tuned up. Utility research shows that annual tune-ups pay for themselves in just a couple of summer months through utility savings. Plus, a tune-up can restore lost system capacity (i.e., better cooling).
13. Wear loose fitting, light clothes to increase your comfort levels at a higher thermostat setting.
14. Use an incense stick to check for drafts and air leaks around windows, doors, recessed lighting fixtures, and attic hatches. Replace weather stripping when leaks are found.
15. Add outlet gaskets to outlets located on exterior walls.
16. Wash dishes and laundry in the early morning or at night when your air conditioner has excess cooling capacity.
17. Wrap the hot water pipe leading from your water heater to your hot water piping.
18. Turn off electronics (i.e., computers, printers, monitors, stereos, television sets, etc…)when not in use. They are heat generators.
19. Have your ducts inspected. Duct leakage could account for 25% to 30% of your air conditioning costs and also result in lost cooling capacity. Consider a “Certified Test and Balance” to get the maximum efficiency from your system.
20. Cut your cooling bills in half and increase your comfort with a new high efficiency air conditioner or heat pump.
3 Ways Furnaces and Boilers Can Place Your Home at Risk
If you have an older furnace or boiler, carbon monoxide poisoning risks are heightened by…
1. Loose vent pipes
6 Danger Signs You Can Observe
If you observe any of the following warning signs, get a professional to perform an inspection immediately…
1. Rust or water streaks on your furnace
vent or chimney
3 Problems You Cannot See
It is recommended that you hire a professional to conduct a safety check on your heating system each autumn to check for…
1. Internal damage to your equipment
5 Symptoms of Carbon Monoxide Poisoning
Carbon monoxide is tasteless, odorless, and colorless. Life threatening levels of carbon monoxide poisoning may be present if you experience the following…
1. Severe headaches
4 Steps to take if you suspect carbon monoxide poisoning
1. Open doors and windows
2 Sources of Additional Information
For more information on carbon monoxide poisoning, contact…
1. EPA’s Indoor Air Quality Information
Clearinghouse at 800.438.4318