- As the leaves fall this season, home energy costs are bound to rise. In prepping for those first frosty mornings, Long Islanders can save money and increase comfort by simply maintaining their electric equipment.
Below are some tips for families to prepare for the cold season and beat the heating blues:
• Perform basic HVAC system maintenance. Turn the system's power off and sweep around the outdoor unit to remove dirt, leaves and debris that can clog the condensing unit, wasting energy.
• Replace air filters in the heating system monthly. A dirty filter restricts airflow causing the unit to run longer and use more energy. Buy a season's worth of air filters to keep on hand.
• Clean and reprogram thermostats for cooler weather. Cleaning the thermostat every few months, by removing the cover and gently dusting inside with a soft cloth, will keep it working accurately.
• Use a programmable thermostat. Setting the temperature for when you're home and working can reduce your energy bill by 10 percent or more.
• Keep registers and air returns free from obstructions like furniture. The heating system will work more effectively. Vacuuming vents also promotes airflow and helps eliminate static and dust.
• Clean refrigerator condenser coils. Vacuum or use a long, narrow brush to clear dust, to promote energy efficiency.
• Use compact fluorescent light (CFL) bulbs. Replace incandescent bulbs with energy-efficient CFLs that are designed to last longer.
• Close fireplace dampers when not in use. Open flues can let heat out and cold drafts in.
• Reverse the spinning direction of the ceiling fans. Running the fan clockwise on the lowest speed helps force warm air down from the ceiling.
Call Flanders Heating & Air Conditioning at 631-727-2760 to schedule a professional inspection of your ducts and heating system. If your HVAC system is more than 15 years old, consider purchasing a new energy-efficient one.