Energy Saving Tips
No matter what kind of heating, ventilation, and air-conditioning system you have in your house, you can save money and increase your comfort by properly maintaining and upgrading your equipment. But remember, an energy-efficient furnace alone will not have as great an impact on your energy bills as using the whole-house approach. By combining proper equipment maintenance and upgrades with appropriate insulation, air sealing, and thermostat settings, you can cut your energy use for heating and cooling, and reduce environmental emissions, from 20% to 50%.
Sunshine! Windows on the south side of the house get the most sunlight. Eastern windows get sunlight in the morning. West facing windows receive sunlight in the afternoon. Open shades and drapes during the daytime to let the sun's warmth enter your home, and close when the sun goes down.
Don't heat areas of your house you don't use regularly, such as guest rooms. Close heating vents, fireplace damper and closet doors when not in use.
Remove air conditioning window units, or cover them well.
Keep radiators free of dust for top efficiency.
According to the U.S. Department of Energy, homeowners can save as much as 10% a year on their heating and cooling bills by simply turning the thermostat back by 10 to 15 degrees. Don't turn your thermostat up above the desired temperature. It won't heat up any more quickly and will make your furnace work harder. Also, while it makes sense to turn the heat back when you're sleeping or not at home, turning it down too low can actually cost you more because the contents of the house have to be re-heated in addition to the air. 68 to 70 degrees while you're home and awake and 60 to 65% while you're asleep or not at home are reasonable temperatures. Consider a programmable thermostat to raise and lower the temperature at pre set times.
Wrap your pipes, to guard against heat loss and prevent them from freezing. If your water heater is in an unheated space like an unfinished basement, wrap it in an insulation blanket available at hardware stores to prevent heat loss.
It's tempting to stand under a hot shower on a cold morning for as long as possible, but cutting your shower time in half can save up to 33% on your hot water heating costs.
Avoid using space heaters. They're expensive to operate, and can be dangerous, too.
Check your threshold for any gaps between it and the door. Use a bottom seal that can be attached to the bottom of the door -- it should brush up against the floor to seal up the threshold. It virtually stops drafts.
Get a heating system tune-up - it'll ensure you get maximum performance from every drop of heating oil burned. Dirty filters reduce the efficiency of your furnace or heat pump. Poorly tuned units are inefficient and use more fuel.
Make sure you have good insulation on exterior walls, ceilings with cold spaces above, and floors with cold spaces below.
Change the windows. Consider new low E glass, which will decrease radiant heat loss without lowering visibility.
Upgrade your oil burner - a modern burner can cut costs by 15%.
(Some of the information in this section is courtesy of www.oilheatamerica.com)