Heat Pumps - What you should know
You use more energy in your home for heating and cooling than anything else. Here are some basic tips that can help you stay comfortable and lower energy costs:
- Ducts can be a particularly energy expensive problem. Check them out.
- Keep heating and air conditioning filters clean. It's difficult to force air through dirty filters. It takes more energy and can raise your energy bills.
- Keep your thermostat set on 78° in summer and 68° in winter. For every degree you raise or lower the setting, you can see a difference of up to 3% in energy costs.
- If you have a furnace, you can save money by lowering your thermostat 5° before you go to bed at night. When no one is home, set it back to 55° degrees. The more often you can set back the temperature for 8 hours or longer, the more energy and money you'll save.
- If you have a heat pump, do not set your thermostat back during heating season. Just find a comfortable setting and leave it there. Lowering the setting on a heat pump system will cause the backup heat to come on when it's raised in the morning. Backup heat uses a lot more energy than the normal heat mode, meaning you'll waste more energy than you may have saved during the night.
- Protect your thermostat from drafts so your heating system turns on only when you need extra warmth.
- Replace your old thermostat with a newer clock model. These new devices can be set to automatically lower temperature at bedtime and raise them again in the morning. If you have a heat pump, select an automatic setback thermostat specifically designed to work with heat pump systems.
- Schedule annual maintenance check-ups for your heating and cooling systems. By keeping your system in optimal working condition, you'll not only reduce energy costs, but extend your system's service life.
- Trim or remove grass, weeds, leaves, etc. from around the outdoor unit of your heating or cooling system. When airflow is blocked, it puts a strain on the system and lowers efficiency.
- Shade room air conditioners from direct sun to reduce their workload. Clean the filters once a month and replace them as necessary to promote energy efficiency. Lower the setting when you go out to reduce operating costs.