Heating

Everyday Tips

  • Check your thermostat setting. We recommend 68 degrees when you are home and 55 degrees when you go to sleep or leave the house. But remember that thermostats are not always accurate. Comfort and health should be your guides. For each degree you turn down the thermostat in the winter, you’ll save approximately three to five percent on your heating costs. It is important to note that heat pumps operate better in a smaller temperature range, so if you have a heat pump, you should try to keep a steady temperature setting.
  • On sunny days, open the curtains and blinds to let the sun warm your home. At night, close the curtains to trap heat inside.
  • Keep furniture and curtains away from heat registers and baseboard heaters.

Maintenance

  • Have your heating equipment serviced annually by a professional.
  • Check your furnace filter regularly and clean or replace as needed.
  • Vacuum furnace air returns, registers and baseboard heaters. Dust reduces the effectiveness of your system by blocking airflow.
  • Inspect your duct system for air leaks. Duct system joints can come loose, causing you to lose warm air into your attic or crawl space. Call a professional to help inspect and repair your system. Note: If you choose to fix duct leaks yourself, use duct mastic, not duct tape.
  • Inspect your home for air leaks. Consider caulking windows, adding weather stripping to doors and sealing other leaks in an effort to keep the heat inside your home.

Selecting/Installing

  • Install a heat pump, the most efficient form of electric heat in moderate climates. Air-source heat pumps are rated by their heating season performance factor (HSPF) and water-source heat pumps are rated by their coefficient of performance (COP). Look for an HSPF of 8.2 or greater, or a COP of 3.5 or more.
  • Look for an ENERGY STAR®-certified heat pump, typically 20 percent more efficient than other systems on the market. An ENERGY STAR system may be more expensive to buy but will save you money over the life of the product.
  • Install a programmable thermostat and set the temperature to match your schedule. Based on your preferences, the thermostat will automatically turn your heat down while you sleep or are away from home. If you have a heat pump or are installing a new one, be sure to purchase a thermostat specifically designed for heat pumps and adjust the setback temperatures to limit the use of the backup furnace.
  • Insulate ductwork if it runs through an unheated portion of your house (i.e. crawlspace, attic).