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.