This is a sponsored post, and I will be compensated. However, this does not sway my opinion in any way.
Maintaining your home’s heating and cooling systems is not only practical for your budget but could also be important for your health. For those in the Nashville area, check out Halo Heating and Cooling for your energy needs. Here’s one example of a home safety checklist and another great infographic about installing smoke detectors in strategic parts of your home. Another way to save energy, and money, on your heating and cooling costs comes from the New York State Department of Energy:
- Set thermostats at 65 to 70° during the winter and at 58° when away from home.
Keep the thermostat higher if an infant, ill, or elderly person lives in your home.
- Install programmable thermostats to turn down temperature automatically.
- Have your heating and cooling systems inspected annually by a professional. Inefficient heating and cooling systems can increase fuel consumption.
- Hire a qualified specialist to inspect your chimney, flues and vents to ensure they are clear and working properly.
- Check for and eliminate leaks in duct work. Leaks can usually be repaired easily and inexpensively with duct tape available at most hardware stores.
- Insulate ducts and pipes that run through unheated areas.
- Replace or clean furnace and air conditioner filters when they get dirty or once
- Warm air rises, so use registers to direct warm air flow across the floor.
- Consider using window fans.
- If you buy an air conditioner, check energy efficiency ratios (EER) of models on the market. The higher the EER rating, the more efficient the unit and the less it costs to run.
- Be sure your outside air conditioning condenser is shaded from the sun. If it’s not installed in a shady area, create shade with a tree or fence. Avoid using bushes that may block the flow of air around the cooling unit.
So we know that we can save energy (and money) by implementing a few of these strategies. But why else should we check our heater often? Because, after a certain point, if your heater starts to break down; it could very well be releasing toxins into the air that you’re breathing.
If you’re using space heaters in your home, please also be careful. Follow these guidelines from energy.gov:
- Only purchase newer model heaters that have all of the current safety features. Make sure the heater carries the Underwriter’s Laboratory (UL) label.
- Choose a thermostatically controlled heater, because they avoid the energy waste of overheating a room.
- Select a heater of the proper size for the room you wish to heat. Do not purchase oversized heaters. Most heaters come with a general sizing table.
- Locate the heater on a level surface away from foot traffic. Be especially careful to keep children and pets away from the heater.
- For liquid-fueled heaters, use only the approved fuel. Never use gasoline! Follow the manufacturer’s fueling instructions. Never fill a heater that is still hot. Do not overfill the heater — you must allow for the expansion of the liquid. Only use approved containers clearly marked for that particular fuel, and store them outdoors.
- Have vented space heaters professionally inspected every year. If the heater is not vented properly, not vented at all, or if the vent is blocked, separated, rusted, or corroded, dangerous levels of carbon monoxide (CO) can enter the home causing sickness and death. CO also can be produced if the heater is not properly set up and adjusted for the type of gas used and the altitude at which it is installed.
Or maybe you’re using wood and pellet heating for your home, energy.gov offers these tips.
Want even more information? Check out this infographic from energy.gov – Home Heating 101
Check your heating and cooling systems, no matter what you’re using, often. Not only to help you save money but to also help keep your family healthy.
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Ergh! I am having heat wars with my SO. I turn it down, he turns it up. We live in a 2 bedroom condo rental. It’s not very big. I don’t know why he can’t put on more clothes! The heat is drying me out so bad that I have been getting bad nose bleeds. I have a humidifier, but they take so much effort to have to go buy “distilled” water and clean them out. It runs out of water really fast, especially in the winter.
I would be afraid if I turned my heat all the way down to 58 when I wasn’t home that my pipes would freeze. I keep my heat on 72 all the time.
Great tips- we drop our heat down to 65 during the day (in the winter) when no one is home except me!
Oh wow. Thanks for this post. It’s both informative and horrifying. I’ve got to have my husband do a once over on our heating system.
I used to keep an excessively warm home but I’ve calmed down a bit. These are great tips for keeping a cozy house.
We have ours checked yearly since everything broke down at Christmas two years in a row. It’s easy to neglect your heater.
I agree that 58 seems excessively low for the set back. We keep our house at 67 when we’re home, 63 when we sleep or are away. We found if the difference between the setback and the home temperature was too great it was over-working our system.
Great tips!! We have had our ducts cleaned a couple different times its always so gross how much they get out of the system but much better then in my lungs!
A lot of great information here! We normally turn ours down when nobody is going to be in the house and we’re going to be away for a while. However with the way the temperatures are lately we try to keep it at the same temp at all times so that our pipes don’t freeze. It’s been below zero a lot the past few weeks.
I have never heard of it being recommended to keep the heat that low in the house when we are not home. I would be so afraid to do that.
Living in Southwestern Ontario we are in the snow belt so we get a lot of snow and cold so its important to have a reliable furnace. I have to admit that it will be time soon to replace ours. I’m not looking forward to that.
I have central a/c and heating so normally my a/c pops on at 78 degrees although tonight the heat is on. Cold here in Florida.
I really need to invest in an automatic thermostat. I think it would be a huge help!
I never thought that my heater could make me sick, this is a really good post and I’ve learned a lot!
Such an informative post and you got some great points! I actually hate using the heater because it just makes me feel claustrophobic.
I’m bunged up with a head cold at the moment but I don’t think I can blame my heaters as they never seem to heat up properly. These are great things to know though.
I didn’t realize about the toxins. That makes sense though. We do have our heater checked every year before the cold hits.
We are not big on heaters and AC and try to manage our consumption of both. Th heating in the winter is astronomical so we try to not waste it. In the summer, doors are opened and the AC comes on intermittently
These are such great tips! Not gunna lie though…. Here in WNY I crank the heat lol…. I hate being cold!
I believe that my home has poor insulation since the bedrooms feel like a freezer, thus I usually keep my heat up to anywhere between 75 – 78. I can’t stand being cold at all. Plus, I’m also an anemic. Meanwhile, my husband is always burning up.