We can implement many strategies to help keep our air and water clean and reduce our dependence on nonrenewable resources. We can all do one of those things: use efficient heating and cooling techniques in our homes. Efficiency reduces monthly utility expenses, but it also conserves energy. If everyone does their part, we can make a significant difference in our communities.
Heating and Cooling Efficiency Tips:
- Replace baseboard heating with ductless heat pumps. These units are easy to install since they do not require intrusive ductwork. They can adjust the climate of the rooms you use the most and operate much more efficiently than older baseboard systems. Check the Heating Season Performance Factor (HSPF) rating and invest in units with a rating of 10.0 or higher.
- Upgrade your furnace. Today’s furnaces are much more efficient than those of five to ten years ago. It may be worth your time and money to consider replacing it. Look for the Annual Fuel Utilization Efficiency (AFUE) score. This will tell you the percentage of fuel or energy converted to heat for your home. You want this number to be as close to 100 as possible.
- Seal your ducts. The most efficient heating and cooling systems won’t operate as well as they can if your ducts are leaking air. Have an HVAC professional inspect your ducts and repair any leaks, cracks, or damage to ensure air isn’t escaping into your walls or crawlspaces.
- Use a programmable thermostat. Modern thermostats have multiple options for heating and cooling settings. It’s easy to set your thermostat to keep your home cooler during nighttime and warm up at a set time each morning. “Smart” thermostats can be accessed by a mobile device via an internet connection, allowing you to adjust the temperature even when you’re on the go.
- Replace your traditional fireplace with a direct vent gas fireplace. Traditional fireplaces look beautiful but lose a lot of warm air from the home up through the chimney. In fact, they often remove more heat from the house than they produce. On the other hand, direct vent fireplaces draw air from outside into the unit and then move the warm air into the home. If you can’t replace your traditional fireplace, you may want to seal all the vents and openings well to prevent warm air from escaping through the chimney.
- Check the insulation. Insulation standards have changed over time. It may be time to check the insulation, particularly in the attic or other crawl spaces. The minimum R-value for attics is R-38, for floors is R-30, and for walls is R-21.
- Use fans. Ceiling fans, oscillating fans, and whole-house fans all help keep the air in your home moving and will push warm and cool air around more evenly.
Want more information like these tips for efficient heating and cooling for your home? Check out our website for more information.
The Rogue Valley Clean Cities Coalition’s mission is to enhance the livability of the Rogue Valley. We promote and educate on alternate fuels, seek to decrease dependency on petroleum, and promote clean air and water in the Rogue Valley via alternate fuels. Contact us today for more information!