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Green Homes & Businesses

Heating & Cooling Efficiency

According to the EPA, as much as half of the energy used in your home goes towards heating and cooling. Increased energy to run HVAC (Heating, Ventilation and Air Conditioning) systems not only raises costs, it also contributes to pollution.

GOOD TO DO

Household

  • Adjust the thermostat settings for peak efficiency. Install a programmable thermostat and set it to complement your family’s daily schedule. Set it a few degrees higher in the summer and lower in the winter when no one is home.
  • Use ceiling fans. Run fans in counterclockwise direction during the summer to push cool air down to the floor. Switch the direction to clockwise in the winter to pull cool air upwards and push warm air back down to the floor.
  • Maximize sun and shade. In the summer, pull the curtains and shades closed to keep the sun’s rays from overheating the interior of your home. In the winter, open curtains and shades when the sun is hitting your home to take advantage of the natural solar heat.
  • Save oven use for the winter. During the summer, use a microwave or outdoor grill instead of the oven to cook whenever possible. Oven use can make your whole house warmer and is great during the winter months.
  • Check air filters regularly. Check your air filters every month and change it if the filter looks dirty. At a minimum, change the filters at least every three months.
  • Minimize duct system leaks and drafts. Seal duct work using mastic sealant or metal tape, and insulate all the ducts that you can access (such as those in attics, crawlspaces, unfinished basements and garages). Add caulk and weatherstripping to windows and doors to keep cooled or warmed air from escaping your home.
  • Consider installing ENERGY STAR qualified HVAC systems. If your HVAC system is more than 10 years olds or having trouble keeping up, consider replacing it with an ENERGY STAR certified unit. Depending on where you live, a new energy efficient HVAC system can cut your annual energy bill by more than $115.

Source: U.S. Energy Star Program

ARE YOU A BAY STAR HOME?

We live in a beautiful region surrounded by water. It impacts everything from the food we eat to the fun we have as well as our economic livelihood. Our daily actions have a lasting impact and it's up to us to protect and restore our waterways. It takes a community of individuals making small changes to make a difference. Bay Star Homes is one way you can get involved in the effort to protect our region's most defining natural resource, water.

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