Heating and Air Efficiency Check-List
1. Do a home energy assessment
It will tell you how efficient your heating and cooling systems are and where your home is wasting energy — say, through air leaks or under-insulated attics and ducts. Your utility company may offer free or low-cost energy assessments, or it may recommend a local company or organization to do them. Check with your state or local government energy or weatherization office for recommendations, or visit energysavers.gov for more resources.
2. Seal air leaks and insulate
Seal air leaks around windows, doors, and places where pipes and wires come through walls. Check existing caulking and weather stripping for gaps or cracks.
3. Look into special energy efficiency offers
Ask your local utility or system salesperson about cash rebates, low-interest loans, tax breaks, or other incentives for buying energy-efficient products, and how you can qualify. You can learn about tax credits and incentives at energy.gov/savings.
4. Check ducts for holes and gaps
Sections may have separated and air may be leaking
You can seal some leaks yourself with mastic sealant or metal tape (don’t use duct tape). Hiring a professional to repair leaky ducts can be a good investment.Bring your insulation up to DOE-recommended levels where your energy assessws it’s needed.
If your home has very old or inefficient windows, think about replacing them.
Lowering your thermostat in winter and bumping it up in summer before you go to bed or head out for the day, or getting a programmable thermostat to do it automatically.
Checking filters for forced-air furnaces, heat pumps, or air conditioners as recommended to see if they need to be cleaned or replaced, and checking that fireplace dampers are closed when you don’t have a fire going.
Considering a budget-billing program, if your utility or oil company offers it. While you won’t actually pay less, a budget-billing plan spreads your costs over the whole year, protecting your budget from seasonal spikes. If you’re on a fixed income or have trouble paying your utility bills, contact your utility company. There may be energy assistance plans.
If you use heating oil, consider shopping around to make sure you’re getting a good price. Research a company and its service before you sign a contract. If you live where you can choose your natural gas provider, shop for a good price on gas.