Did you know in May, Nicor began an Energy Efficiency Program, which allows consumers of Nicor Gas to save energy and money? The programs are available for residential and business customers. Through the Residential Customer program, Nicor proivdes customers with energy education and resources, and rebates on qualifying natural gas products such as water heaters and furnaces. For more information visit: Nicor Gas Rebates (http://www.nicorgasrebates.com/index.php) or http://www.nicor.com/en_us/news_and_media/latest_releases/release_05_01_2010.htm
Public Green Blog
•Add programmable thermostats so the furnace doesn’t work as hard while you’re away but kicks back in before you get home. In most homes, you can reduce your heating bill about two percent for each degree that you lower the thermostat for at least eight hours each day.
•Insulate your boiler with a jacket.
•Clean or replace air filters regularly.
•Clean registers and make sure they’re not blocked by furniture.
•Bleed radiators properly.
•Tune up your burner every one to three years, depending on what kind of system you have. That will keep your system running well, cut heating costs, and reduce the pollutants that seep into your home.
•Seal furnace ducts to keep them from leaking hot air or circulating dust.
•Line your chimney. High-efficiency units produce an acidic exhaust gas that should be vented only through a properly lined chimney (or through a separate duct). Reline your chimney whenever you replace an old furnace or boiler with a more efficient one, as the new unit may create more corrosive exhaust.
•Keep it up. High-efficiency units produce an acidic exhaust gas that should be vented only through a properly lined chimney (or through a separate duct).
Remember, any improvements you do around the house—from installing efficient windows to adding insulation—can help your furnace to work more efficiently. Even a tree maturing outside a window can have a positive effect. Assess the situation from time to time, and you may realize that you could use an even smaller furnace.
If you are using your airconditioner during these hot summer days, you might want to consider the following tips for energy savings:
- Whole-house fans help cool your home by pulling cool air through the house and exhausting warm air through the attic.
- Set your thermostat as high as comfortably possible in the summer. The smaller the difference between the indoor and outdoor temperatures, the lower your overall cooling bill will be.
- Avoid setting your thermostat at a colder setting than normal when you turn on your air conditioner. It will not cool your home any faster and could result in excessive cooling and, therefore, unnecessary expense.
- Consider using an interior fan in conjunction with your window air conditioner to spread the cooled air more effectively through your home without greatly increasing your power use.
- Avoid placing lamps or TV sets near your air-conditioning thermostat. The thermostat senses heat from these appliances, which can cause the air conditioner to run longer than necessary.
- Plant trees or shrubs to shade air conditioning units but not to block the airflow. Place your room air conditioner on the north side of the house. A unit operating in the shade uses as much as 10% less electricity than the same one operating in the sun.
For more information please visit:U.S. Dept. of Energy, Energy Saving Tips: Air Conditioners.