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Heating and cooling your home accounts for nearly half of your monthly energy bill.
Stay comfortable with affordable electric bills year-round by keeping warm air inside during winter months and hot air outside during summer months. If you can answer “Yes” to any of the following, use the information below to start saving energy and money today.
Are some of your rooms too hot or cold? Inadequate air sealing or insufficient insulation could be the cause.
Does your home have humidity problems, excessive dust, or rooms that never seem to get “comfortable?” Leaky or poorly insulated ductwork might be the cause.
Is your heating and cooling equipment more than 10 years old? Consider replacing it with newer, more efficient equipment.
Get maximum efficiency from your system
Every degree you raise your thermostat above 68°F during winter months adds 3-5 percent to your heating costs. During summer, every degree you lower your thermostat below 78°F adds 3-5 percent to cooling costs.
When dirt and dust are trapped in the system’s air filter, your HVAC works harder than it needs to. This can lead to reduced air flow in the home, up to 15 percent higher operating costs and expensive maintenance and/or early system failure. Routinely change the filters, at least every three months, to help your unit run more efficiently. This will keep your house cooler in the summer and warmer in the winter, while saving you money.

Prevent future problems with proper routine maintenance from a qualified technician. Schedule system checks twice a year – at the beginning and end of daylight savings time each spring and fall.
Consider replacing your older system with a more energy-efficient option. Because transferring heat is easier than making it, high-efficiency systems significantly reduce electricity use. For example, a dual-fuel heat pump system functions like a high-efficiency central air conditioner during warmer weather. But as temperatures drop, the pump shuts off and the furnace takes over. Check with your local cooperative to see if you are eligible for a dual-fuel heat pump rebate.
Save energy by using a programmable thermostat or smart thermostat. You can regulate your home’s temperature when you’re asleep or away and automatically return to more comfortable conditions before you wake or return home.
Seal and insulate your home
Your home can experience up to 25 percent air loss through small cracks and holes in the outer walls, ceiling, windows and floor. But a well-sealed home with the right amount of insulation can make a real difference on your utility bills. ENERGY STAR shows you how.
Ducts distribute conditioned air throughout your home. Holes, leaks or poor construction can result in an inefficient system that has difficulty keeping the house comfortable.
  • Seal leaky ducts with mastic sealant or metal (foil) tape and insulate all the ducts that you can access, such as those in the attic, crawlspace, basement and garage. Never use ‘duct tape.’ It doesn’t work well in these environments.
  • Also, make sure the connections at vents and registers are well-sealed, where they meet the floors, walls and ceiling.
Air leaks around the trim of windows or doors are not always obvious. Here are quick and easy ways to locate leaks:
  • Perform a paper test. Close the window on a piece of paper. If it easily moves back and forth, this means your window could be tighter. Add thicker weather stripping.
  • Light an incense stick and hold it next to the seams or sash of the window. Watch the smoke. If you see the smoke pushed one way or another, you probably have a leak.
You can find big opportunities to save energy in your home by properly insulating your attic.
  • Insulation performance is measured by R-value – its ability to resist heat flow. Higher R-values mean more insulating power. Different R-values are recommended for walls, attics, basements and crawlspaces, depending on where you live.
  • The recommended insulation level for most attics is R-38.
The basement or crawlspace is another opportunity for savings. Sealing and insulating these spaces can prevent cold floors and reduce drafts from below to keep your home comfortable.
HOME EFFICIENCY ANALYSIS TOOL
YOU can assess the efficiency of your home and find new ways to save with the online Home Efficiency Analysis Tool!
You can also identify leaks and measure the effectiveness of your insulation by consulting with a professional energy auditor. Or, get residential energy audit help from your local electric cooperative.