DIY Energy Audit: Heating and Cooling Systems

That perfect room temperature can be hard to agree on, and, depending on your location, even harder to pay for. In most places in the country, heating is the largest residential energy cost.

1. Replace furnace filters every month or two.

2. Have a professional clean your heating and cooling systems every year.

3. Check ductwork for dirt streaks near the seams. Dirt streaks are ugly (and can signal air leaks).

4. Insulate ducts and pipes that go through unheated spaces.

5. Do you really need to keep things ice-cold when you're not home this summer? Consider lowering the thermostat in the winter and raising it during the summer when you're not home. A programmable thermostat can help.

6. Lower your hot water temperature and double check your water pipes are insulated.

We also have quite a little discussion going on the blog about how to keep cool without an air conditioner. There may be some tips there that could also help out.

Adapted from the Department of Energy's Do-It-Yourself Home Energy Assessment.

PHOTO: Flickr user Cycrolu.

About the author

Adriene Hill is the senior multimedia reporter for LearningCurve.

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