HelpFul Tips

HELPFUL HINTS

These hints, brought to you by Hines Heating & Air Conditioning, can help homeowners save money and energy all year long. Following these tips will help you maintain maximum comfort and prevent your equipment from overworking itself no matter what month or season it is.

Please contact Hines Heating & Air Conditioning if you would like more information on reducing the operating costs of your home appliances and HVAC system.

General Tips for All Seasons

  • Consider a programmable thermostat to save you money and maintain a consistent climate in your home.
  • Keep your HVAC system well-maintained.
  • Turn off lights when you leave a room for more than a minute or leave the house entirely. Use compact fluorescent lights for longer lasting bulbs.
  • Close all doors and windows to keep your system operating economically.
  • Use the sunlight to your advantage. In the winter, keep curtains and shades open. In the summer, reduce the amount of direct sunlight by keeping shades closed.
  • Use ENERGY STAR® equipment to guarantee operational efficiency.
  • Use the dishwasher when it is fully loaded only.
  • Clean the lint out of the dryer after every load so the machine does not have to waste energy.
  • Use cold water instead of hot when doing loads of laundry; the change in temperature will positively impact the amount of energy used.
  • Keep your refrigerator, freezer and oven doors shut so as not to let cool or hot air escape.
  • Opt for a shower over a bath if you want to save gallons and gallons of hot water.
  • Install fans throughout your house to cut your energy bill dramatically.
  • Keep your heating and a/c filters clean. Ask us at Hines Heating & Air Conditioning what the proper filter is for your home!
  • Fix any leaks. A drop of water every second can result in 165 gallons per month!
  • Install showerhead and faucet features that conserve water.
  • Do not block vents inside the house with rugs or furniture.
  • Set the thermostat as close to the outside temperature as comfortably possible. 78 degrees for the summer and 68 degrees for the winter are ideal.

Summer Tips

  • Have your equipment inspected by Hines Heating & Air Conditioning before the first heat wave comes.
  • AC units can only cool down an area so quickly. Make sure you do not wait until your home is unbearably hot before turning it on.
  • Install an attic fan – it can cool your attic by nearly 30°!
  • In order not to increase the demand on your AC unit, use the microwave or outside grill as often as possible during the day and avoid running the dishwasher, washing machine and other appliances during the day.
  • Install fans and run them to keep you comfortable in the summer months. During the summer, your blades should face forward to blow air downward.
  • Keep your blinds and curtains closed to keep excess heat out.
  • White blinds and window treatments will reflect the sunlight away from your house.
  • Plant trees and shrubbery around your outside unit to keep it shaded. Your system will use 10% less electricity than a unit in the direct sunlight.
  • Keep debris away from outdoor unit and keep the AC coils clean.
  • Planting trees around your house and windows will limit the direct sunlight and improve operational costs.
  • Do not put lamps and electronic devices that produce heat too close to a thermostat, because it may cause the thermostat to think the house is warmer than it actually is.
  • Have your air conditioning system checked by a professional to make sure it is running efficiently.
  • Do not overly adjust your thermostat. Raising it a couple of degrees while you are away will help you reduce energy consumption by around 4%.
  • Set your thermostat to “fan on” status when cooling your house to keep air circulating.

Winter Tips

  • According to the U.S. Department of Energy, you’ll save one percent of your total heating bill for each degree your thermostat is set back in the winter.
  • Don’t wait to turn your heating system on. Make sure it works and the filters are changed before the temperature drops. Contact Hines Heating & Air Conditioning if it is not working properly.
  • Turn back the temperature on your thermostat when you leave home.
  • Open blinds on sunny days to bring in additional heat, especially the blinds on the south side of the house.
  • Check your entryways for drafts, look for cracks in and around your windows where you may be losing heat, and correct them.
  • Shut the doors of rooms and closets that are not in use.
  • Set your fans in reverse so that the warm air is circulated around the room.
  • Ask professionals to inspect the condition of the insulation. It should have at least 6 inches of good insulation and enough air pockets to contain cold air.
  • A humidifier can help add needed moisture to your home during the wintertime as well as improve health issues.
  • Close your fireplace’s damper and kitchen vent when they are not being used. An open damper or vent can waste a lot of warm air.
  • Have your fireplace chimney cleaned and inspected regularly.
  • Install glass doors on the fireplace for additional insulation.
  • Have your furnace looked at by Hines Heating & Air Conditioning to make sure it is operating optimally.
  • Space heaters are dangerous and expensive to leave running. Avoid using space heaters if possible.

HELPFUL LINKS

EPA’s A Brief Guide to Mold, Moisture and Your Home
This guide, published by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), will provide valuable information such as the causes of mold, the health hazards it poses, and how to rid your home of it permanently.
http://www.epa.gov/mold/pdfs/moldguide.pdf

EPA’s An Introduction to Indoor Air Quality
Here the EPA will report on the various sources and affects of indoor air pollutants and how to use your indoor ventilation systems to prevent these pollutants in your home.
http://www.epa.gov/iaq/ia-intro.html

EPA’s Guide to Clean Energy
At this site the EPA outlines how utilizing clean energy in your home affects not only your environmental impact, but also your wallet. In addition they provide several state and local programs that save energy and improve air quality as well as a few clean energy programs that promote clean technologies.
http://www.epa.gov/cleanenergy/

Energy Star 
This link to the Energy Star website will provide all information on Energy Star rated products that will save energy in your home or office as well as make a positive environmental impact. This page also includes links to cost-effective benefits such as tax credits for energy efficiency and the Energy Star appliance rebate program.
http://www.energystar.gov/

EPA’s Consumer Guide to Radon Reduction
Here you will find helpful information about Radon, testing for Radon, what to look for in a Radon-Reduction system, how it enters your home, and how to prevent the cancer-causing gas from entering your home.
http://www.epa.gov/radon/pubs/consguid.html

U.S. Department of Energy- News Room
Here you will find recent news updates from the U.S. Department of Energy such as the benefits of using Smart Grid electrical meters, and the increased initiative from Washington D.C. to boost the research and development of Carbon Capture and Storage.
http://www.energy.gov/

FTC’s Saving Starts @ Home
Here the Federal Trade Commission provides an interactive illustration of ways you can conserve energy in your home while reducing your energy bill.
http://www.ftc.gov/energysavings

ACEEE
This is the home page for the American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy. Here you will find current events, publications, and news reports in the environmental field as they relate to the economy, as well as consumer resources such as energy efficiency incentives.
http://www.aceee.org/

The Tax Incentives Assistance Program (TIAP)
Here the TIAP provides information on the various federal income tax incentives for the use of energy efficient products and technologies. This also includes the latest tax incentives updates as well as any IRS forms necessary to take advantage of the incentives.
http://energytaxincentives.org/

EPA’s Guide to Protecting Your Household from Carbon Monoxide Poisoning
Carbon Monoxide can be deadly, but it is preventable. Follow the EPA’s prevention tips and learn how to detect if Carbon Monoxide is in your home.
http://www.epa.gov/iaq/co.html