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Stay Warm, Save Money, Reduce Pollution!


There are a lot of ways to stay warm, save energy, lower costs and reduce pollution this winter, according to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. Replacing old cooling and heating equipment with more efficient, ENERGY STAR qualified systems can save the average homeowners up to 20% on annual energy bills. The average family spends more than $1,500 dollars a year on energy bills, half of which goes for heating and cooling. Other ways to save include: maintaining your existing equipment; using a programmable thermostat; finding and sealing air leaks, and tightening up your ducts.

An ENERGY STAR programmable thermostat allows you to automatically adjust the temperature of your home to save money and increase comfort levels when you are home, sleeping or away. A programmable thermostat with four settings can save you about $100 a year in energy costs.

If you are not ready to replace your cooling and heating systems, remember that you can still save money and energy by properly maintaining your existing equipment. Have a professional licensed heating contractor clean and check your system. A checkup should include:

- Tighten all electrical connections and measure voltage and current on motors. Faulty electrical connections can cause unsafe operation of your system and reduce the life of major components.

-Lubricate all moving parts. Parts that lack lubrication cause friction in motors and increases the amount of electricity you use.

-Check and inspect the condensate drain in your central air conditioner, furnace and/or heat pump (when in cooling mode). A plugged drain can cause water damage in the house and affect indoor humidity levels.

-Check controls of the system to ensure proper and safe operation. Check the starting cycle of the equipment to assure the system starts, operates, and shuts off properly.

You don’t have to be a professional to help. Change your heater filters every month. Dirty filters make your system work harder and use more energy. If you have hot water heat, “bleed” radiators of trapped air. Less air means warmer rooms and saves energy. Air leaks in your home and a poorly insulated attic can lead to chilly rooms and higher energy costs. By properly sealing leaks and adding insulation your home can be more comfortable and cost you less.

Saving energy helps protect the environment. If just one in 10 homes switched to ENERGY STAR heating and cooling products, the change would keep over 17 billion pounds of pollution out of the air.

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