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  Energy Saving Tips

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Tune-Up your Furnace:
Call your dealer and schedule a routine maintenance and inspection of your furnace each autumn to make sure it is in good working order. Make sure that they change your filter so that the boiler will work less hard, use less energy and last longer.

If your boiler system is old, you might consider updating it. New furnaces are far more efficient than ever before which means that more of the fuel used by the furnace gets upstairs as heat.

Use a setback thermostat:
A setback thermostat allows you to automatically turn down the heat when you're away at work or when you're sleeping at night, and then boost the temperature to a comfortable level when you need it. Properly using your setback thermostat could cut your heating costs from 20 to 75 percent. If you do not have a setback thermostat, consider installing one.

Reverse Ceiling Fans:
If you have ceiling fans, reverse the switch on them so they blow upward, toward the ceiling. Ceiling fans are a great idea in the summer, when air blowing downward can improve circulation and make a room feel cooler. By reversing the fan's direction, the blades move air upward in winter. This is especially valuable in high ceiling rooms, where heat that naturally rises is forced back down into the room.

Check around doors and windows for leaks and drafts. Add weather-stripping, and caulk any holes you see that allow heat to escape. Make sure doors seal properly. Weather-stripping and caulking is probably the least expensive, simplest, most effective way to cut down on energy waste in the winter. Improperly sealed homes can waste 10 to 15 percent of the homeowner's heating dollars.

Clean and Inspect Your Fireplace:
Don't forget to close the damper on your fireplace. Of course the damper needs to be open if a fire is burning; but if the damper is open when you're not using the fireplace, your chimney functions as a large open window that draws warm air out of the room and creates a draft. Close that damper - it's an effective energy-saving tip that costs you nothing!

Check Your Ducts:
Examine your house's heating ducts for leaks. Your ducts are like hoses that bring hot air (instead of water) into your house. Mostly out of sight, ducts can leak for years without you knowing it. They can become torn or crushed and flattened. Old duct tape - the worse thing to use to seal ductwork, by the way - will dry up and fall away over time, allowing junctions and splices to open, spilling heated air into your attic or under the house. You may want to consider having your ducts inspected and cleaned by a pro.

Insulate your Attic:
In an older home, this can be the most cost-efficient way to cut home heating costs. Before energy efficiency standards, homes were often built with little or no insulation. As a result, large amounts of heat can be lost through walls, floors and - since heat rises - especially ceilings.
information courtesy of www.oilheat.com

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