- Set your thermostat as low as you can and still remain comfortable - 68 degrees or below is recommended.
- Set the temperature lower at night, while you're sleeping, and during the day if you're gone. Use a programmable thermostat to automatically lower and raise the temperature according to your settings.
- Clean or replace filters on furnaces once a month.
- Clean warm-air registers, baseboard heaters and radiators as needed; make sure they're not blocked by furniture, carpeting or drapes.
- Use kitchen, bath and other ventilating fans wisely; in just one hour, these fans can pull out a houseful of warmed or cooled air. Turn fans off as soon as they have done the job.
- Keep draperies and shades open on south-facing windows during the heating season to allow sunlight to enter your home; close them at night to reduce the chill you may feel from cold windows.
- Close an unoccupied room that is unused and isolated from the rest of the house - such as in a corner - and turn down the thermostat or turn off the heating for that room or zone if possible. Do not, however, turn the heating off if it adversely affects the rest of your system.
- Unless your heater has a pilotless ignition system, turn your furnace pilot light off during the non-heating system.
Heat Pump Tips
- Do not set back the heat pump's thermostat manually if it causes the electric resistance heating to come on. This type of heating, which is often used as a backup to the heat pump, is more expensive.
- Clean or change filters once a month or as needed and maintain the system according to manufacturer's instructions.
- Whole house fans help cool your home by pulling cool air through the house and exhausting warm air through the attic. They are effective when operated at night and when the outside air temperature is cooler than the inside. Much less expensive to run than air conditioning, they can quickly cool down your home and can be turned off.
- Set your thermostat as high as comfortably possible in the summer. The less difference between the indoor and outdoor temperatures, the lower your overall cooling bill will be. Setting your thermostat at 78 degrees or higher can save you between 10 percent and 20 percent on your cooling costs.
- Set the temperature higher in the summer if you're gone from the house. - preferably, 85 degrees or higher. Use a programmable thermostat to automatically raise and lower the temperature according to your needs.
- Don't set your thermostat at a colder temperature setting than normal when you turn on your air conditioner. It will not cool your home any faster and could result in excessive cooling and therefor unnecessary expense.
- Set the fan speed on high except in very humid weather. When it's humid set the fan speed on low. You'll get better cooling.
- Consider ceiling fans to spread the cooled air more effectively through your home without greatly increasing your power use.
- Don't place lamps or TV sets near your air conditioning thermostat. The heat they give off will make the thermostat read incorrectly.
- Plant trees or shrubs to shade air-conditioning units - but not to block the airflow. A unit operating in the shade uses as much as 10 percent less electricity than the same one operating in the sun.