checklist-green1. Install a programmable thermostat. This simple replacement can help reduce your energy costs each month. Consistent temperature control is key to lowering fuel usage and saving money. BELOMAN offers a variety of thermostats designed to keep your home comfortable while helping you save. Call to find out more about all of the options available!

2. When it comes to using your dishwasher, always run full loads. Full loads use the same amount of hot water and energy as smaller loads. It is also important to use short cycles. Shorter cycles use less hot water and less energy.

3. Check your air filter every month, especially during months of heavy usage. If the filter looks dirty after a month it needs to be changed. A dirty filter will slow down air flow and make your system work harder to keep you warm or cool — wasting energy. A clean filter will also prevent dust and dirt from building up in the system, which can lead to expensive repairs and/or early system failure. At a minimum, you should change your air filter every 3 months to help keep your system running as efficiently as possible.

4. Right now is a great time to close any window coverings on the sunny side of your home to block the heat before it has the chance to enter and warm the air. This lessens the work on the Air Conditioning unit. In fact, The Department of Energy says it could reduce home heat intake by up to 33% when using the proper drapes.

5. Avoid excessive use of exhaust fans. Running these fans may not seem like an issue, but an exhaust fan can blow away an entire house full of conditioned air if left running. This will increase both your energy consumption and cost. Once these fans have completed their job turn them off to help keep energy costs in check.

6. Inspect your bathroom and kitchen faucets for any leaks. A small trickle may not seem like a big problem, but a simple faucet drip can actually end up costing you hundreds of dollars annually. Leaky faucets are not only an inconvenience; they are a waste of your hard earned money.

7. Is your system ready for the cold weather months ahead? Just like a tune-up on your car improves gas mileage, a tune-up on your heating and cooling system helps improve efficiency and comfort. This higher efficiency helps lower your energy bills each and every month!

8. Most water heaters come with a pre-set temperature of 140 degrees, but by lowering this setting to 120 degrees you can greatly reduce your energy usage while keeping the water warm enough for comfortable use. Every 10 degrees the temperature setting is lowered can save you 3 to 5 percent on your energy bill! Lowering the temperature also benefits your system by creating less mineral build-up and corrosion, helping your equipment last longer and run more efficiently.

9. Are your heating and cooling ducts sealed? If not you may be letting your money slip away. Ducts that move air to-and-from a forced air furnace, central air conditioner, or heat pump are often big energy wasters. Sealing and insulating ducts can improve the efficiency of your heating and cooling system by as much as 20 percent — and sometimes much more!

The first place to focus is on sealing ducts that run through the attic, crawlspace, unheated basement, or garage. Use duct sealant or metal-backed tape to seal the seams and connections of ducts. After sealing the ducts, wrap them in insulation to keep them from getting hot in the summer and cold in the winter. Sealing duct work is a great way to help cut back on wasted energy.

10. Have you ever checked your sump pump? With all of the wet weather we have in the spring, it is always a good time to check your system to make sure everything is working properly. There are a few simple things you can check to ensure proper operation:

1. Fill the sump pump pit with water to make sure the pump is working properly
2. Go outside to check that the pump is actually discharging water
3. Check that operation of the float is not restricted
4. Listen for any strange noises coming from the motor
5. Replace the battery on the back-up sump pump every second or third year

Another great option to avoid sump pump failure in the spring is an emergency backup sump pump. We offer one that is completely water powered! No electricity or batteries are needed because the pump runs on city water pressure. This means no more flooded basement, regardless of the outside elements! Just ask for Mark Munie. He has all the details!

11. Make sure you don’t have any heat generating appliances near your thermostat. These include lamps, TVs, stereo and computer equipment. The heat generated by these products can make the thermostat think the temperature in your home is warmer than it actually is. This causes your air conditioner to continue running even though your home may already be at the desired temperature. Take a look at the items around your thermostat, if they are generating heat you should rearrange the room to prevent this temperature confusion.

12. If your HVAC equipment is more than 10 years old and no longer keeping your house comfortable, it’s time to have your system evaluated by a professional HVAC contractor. If they find that it’s not performing efficiently or needs upgrading, now is the perfect time! Installing a new high efficiency Carrier system can dramatically lower the cost of your energy bill each month while keeping your home consistently comfortable. And if you purchase and install your new equipment during Carrier’s Cool Choices promotion you will be eligible to receive up to $1,250 in savings! Call for details!

13. What may appear to be a simple leak could be costing you more money than you realize. To ensure that your money isn’t running down the drain you should occassionally check your toilet for leaks. A simple way to check this is to place a few drops of food coloring in the tank (NOT the bowl). Check back in 30 minutes and if the water in the bowl is colored then the tank is leaking and the stopper and valve seal may need to be replaced. If you aren’t sure how to go about replacing these parts give us a call! Click on the discounts link and print out a coupon for $20 off of your next plumbing repair and service call.

14. Make sure that all yard drains, gutters and downspouts are open, clear of debris and that the water is traveling away from your home. Removing any blockages will help reduce the amount of work your sump pump is doing. If your sump pump goes out expensive damages may occur. So take a few minutes to check your home’s yard for any blockages or debris that may trigger a sump pump problem.

15. Use room fans to circulate the air in your home during the hot weather months. Using a fan in combination with your air conditioning can lower the temperature as much as an additional five degrees! This allows you to raise your thermostat a few degrees while maintaining a comfortable temperature throughout your home. Make sure your fan is on the summer setting so that the air is being directed downward. Ceiling fans often work best, but a good portable fan can also be very effective. Fans are a great low energy way to keep your home feeling cool all summer long.

16. Replace incandescent light bulbs in your home with compact fluorescent bulbs. This change may not seem like a big deal, but CFLs are actually designed to last up to 10 times longer than the average incandescent bulb! They also use around 1/4 of the energy and emit 90% less heat than your typical household light bulb. This reduction in energy and heat emmissions will help cut back the cost of your energy bills during the hot summer months. If you don’t want to change out all of your household light bulbs we recommend starting with those that are used most frequently.

17. Check your sump pump. With all the rain we have in the spring it is a good idea to make sure that your sump pump is in proper operating condition. This check can help prevent expensive damage in the future. A simple way to check operation is to pour a few buckets of water in to the sump pit. The pump should quickly turn on, discharge the water then turn off without any problems. If you find that your sump pump isn’t working give the BELOMAN Man a call. We would be happy to come out and diagnose the problem for you to help avoid any future problems!

18. Wash bed linens in HOT water each week. This will help eliminate dust mites, pet dander, pollen and other irritants. Hot water has been found to be much more effective at removing these particles that can cause allergy aggravation.

19. If you are looking to heat your home more evenly and efficiently this winter make sure your registers aren’t blocked. Closing registers may seem like a simple way to direct heat where you want it most, but this isn’t necessarily the case. The air from your heating equipment needs to flow freely, and having too many air vents blocked causes stress on your HVAC system. The harder the system has to work, the more your energy bills increase. This additional stress can damage your system, leading to costly repairs that could have been prevented. So check your homes air vents to make sure they are open and the heat is flowing properly .

20. Take a moment to make sure that your heat pump is clear of snow or excessive ice. In order for the unit to work properly snow and ice need to be removed. You can accomplish this by turning the heat pump to emergency heat or shutting the system off completely and then removing the build-up. Make sure you DO NOT use any sharp objects around the coils because this could cause severe damage to the equipment and potential injury. Once the unit is clear the thermostat can be returned to its normal settings. If you find the system still isn’t working properly it is time to call for service.

21. A humidifier is a great way to reduce the temperature in your home while maintaining a warm, comfortable feeling. Proper humidity can make the temperature feel several degrees warmer while helping to reduce cold symptoms, relieve and prevent dry and scratchy skin and protect your wood floors and furniture.