High-Efficiency Equipment Drives Down Energy CostsHeating and cooling systems generally use more energy than any other home appliances. The most direct path to substantial energy savings at home is to upgrade those systems, particularly if they are more than 15 years old.
Your full-service Oilheat or propane dealer will help you decide when the time is right for a system upgrade. Call and ask for a system consultation, and they will test your equipment and explain how much energy you could save with an upgrade. Savings of 30% are typical, and you can save even more if your current system is obsolete.
High efficiency is the best defense against volatile energy prices, because the less energy you use, the less exposed you are to inflation. It is sensible to maximize your efficiency when upgrading your Oilheat or propane system, because the energy savings over time can greatly exceed the extra investment cost.
Oilheat and Propane Companies Deliver Energy-Saving SolutionsOilheat and propane dealers can often help you reduce energy consumption with system accessories that are relatively inexpensive. A programmable thermostat automates your energy savings. You can program it to set back the temperature to an energy-saving level while the home is empty or you are asleep and then restore the temperature to your preferred level for the rest of the day. The U.S. Department of Energy predicts energy savings of 10% from consistently setting back your thermostat for eight hours a day.
Another cost-saving accessory is a microprocessor-based burner control. Many Oilheat boilers and furnaces can be retrofitted to achieve energy savings of 10% to 20%. These devices improve your system's on/off system cycling to reduce consumption and deliver more even heat.
A Well-Tuned System Uses Less EnergyAnnual tuning is essential to keep your heating and cooling equipment running reliably and efficiently. Make arrangements with your dealer to have your equipment tuned every year. You'll save 5% or more on energy costs, and you system will run more reliably.
Many dealers offer annual service plans that include the cost of the tune-up. You can save energy and reduce repair and maintenance costs by enrolling in a plan and continuing with it every year.
Seasonal Conservation Tips
Cold Weather Conservation Tips
- Correct air leaks around windows, doors and electrical outlets.
- Repair weather stripping and caulking.
- Replace any cracked glass in your windows.
- Make sure your ceiling has at least six inches of insulation.
- Wrap your pipes to guard against heat loss and freezing.
- Have your fireplace chimney cleaned and inspected regularly.
- Check the threshold for any gaps between it and the door. Use a bottom seal that can be attached to the door to stop drafts.
- Get a heating system tune-up before the heating season begins.
- Keep ductwork in good repair with duct insulation.
- Remove air conditioning units from windows.
- Close your kitchen vent, fireplace damper and closet doors when not in use.
Warm Weather Conservation Tips
- Keep the coils of your central or window air conditioner free of dust and dirt.
- Make sure the output of your air conditioner is right for the size of your room or house to ensure optimum efficiency and comfort.
- Change or clean your air conditioning filter monthly during the cooling season to improve efficiency and extend the life of your air conditioner.
- Install an air conditioning unit that is Energy Star® approved.
- Cook on the outdoor grill to keep cooking heat outside the home.
- Install reflective window coatings to reflect heat away from your home.
- During the day, block the heat from the sun by closing windows, doors and curtains.
- During the hot summer afternoons, avoid using appliances.
- Open windows on cool summer days and nights. A good rule of thumb is not to open windows when the outside temperature is warmer than the inside of your house.
All Year Long Conservation Tips
- Install a programmable thermostat. When used properly, it can shave reduce annual energy bills by 10%.
- Use compact fluorescent lights. They last up to 10-13 times longer than standard bulbs and use 75 percent less energy.
- Choose a high-efficiency water heater. An indirect oil-fired or propane-fired water heater produces an almost endless supply of hot water with a very fast recovery time.
- Keep your oven door closed! Every time you open the oven door, the oven temperature can drop 25 degrees. Use the oven light or a timer to avoid wasting energy.
- Wash clothes in the coolest water possible - 80 percent of the cost to run your washer is used for heating the water.
- Install dimmers and motion sensors wherever possible.
- Take showers instead of baths. A five-minute shower will use about 7.5 gallons of hot water; filling a bathtub can use up to 20 gallons.
- Clean refrigerator coils once a year to extend the life of your fridge.
- Choose a high-efficiency dishwasher - they use 25 percent less energy than conventional models.
- Since your dryer retains heat, dry loads back-to-back.
Sources of Energy Conservation AdviceHere are link to websites where you can find helpful information on heating, cooling and energy conservation.
- Energy Star™ Heating and Cooling
- Department of Energy: Energy Savers
- American Council for an Energy Efficient Economy: Heating
- American Council for an Energy Efficient Economy: Cooling