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Home > Improve your home > How to heat your home efficiently

icon  How to heat your home efficiently

Your home uses half of its energy in heating and cooling. To make you and your family more comfortable (and energy efficient!), take these steps.

Change your air filter regularly

  • A dirty filter will slow down air flow and make the system work harder to keep you warm or cool which wastes energy.
  • Check your filter every month and change the filter at least every 3 months.

Tune up your HVAC equipment yearly

  • Just as a tune-up for your car can improve your gas mileage, a yearly tune-up of your heating and cooling system can improve efficiency and comfort. The tune-up generally costs around $200. Get your HVAC tuned-up at least once/year.
  • See ENERGY STAR ’s Maintain your Equipment: A Checklist for more information.

Seal your heating and cooling ducts

  • Sealing and insulating ducts that move air to and from a forced air furnace, central air conditioner, or heat pump can improve the efficiency of your heating and cooling system by as much as 20 percent — and sometimes much more.
  • Focus first on sealing ducts that run through the attic, crawlspace, unheated basement, or garage. Use duct sealant (mastic) or metal-backed (foil) tape to seal the seams and connections of ducts.
  • See ENERGY STAR ’s Duct Sealing brochure (1.13MB) for more information.

Install ENERGY STAR qualified heating and cooling equipment

  • If your furnace or boiler is more than 15-years old, you will likely need to replace it. If your central air conditioner or heat pump is more than 12 years old , consider replacing it.
  • When replacing HVAC equipment, make sure it is sized properly. If the unit is too large for your home, you will be less comfortable and might actually have higher utility bills.
    Ask your contractor to use Manual J ®, the industry standard residential energy load calculation method, to right size your unit.
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