27 Long Hill Avenue - Unit A                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                             Office: (203) 538-5665

Shelton, CT 06484-3214                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Fax: (203) 538-5960



Better Building Performance, LLC.

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Heating & Cooling

  • Install wall outlet and switch plate gaskets on exterior walls to cut down on the flow of cold air.
  • Check for drafts around windows and doors. Caulk and weather-strip wherever necessary.
  • If possible, install storm windows. If not, tightly tape heavy duty clear plastic sheets to the inside of the window frames to reduce drafts.
  • The most important step toward home energy conservation is the installation of thermal insulation. Check current insulation levels, and properly insulate a new or existing home according to the U.S. Department of Energy’s specifications for your geographic area. Be sure to insulate ceilings, walls, and floors over unfinished crawl spaces.
  • Double-paned windows cut heat transfer by 40 to 50 percent. In extremely cold regions, triple glazing should be considered.
  • Single-paned windows should have storm windows. Wood or metal frame storm windows provide a second layer of glass and a barrier of still air that reduces heat transfer.
  • Install storm doors at all entrances of the house. Storm doors help save energy by reducing the amount of air infiltration that occurs when the primary door is opened and also reduces the amount of heat transfer through the primary door when it is closed.
  • Weather-strip and caulk around all entrance doors and windows to limit air leaks that could account for 15 to 30 percent of heating and cooling energy needs.
  • Keep your heating equipment well tuned with periodic maintenance by a service professional. If you do buy a new heating unit, select the most energy-efficient system within your budget. The initial cost may be high, but in the long run, your operating costs will be lower.
  • Dust or vacuum radiator surfaces and vents frequently to cut down on heat loss. If they need painting, use a flat paint which radiates heat better than glossy paint.
  • During the hot summer months, close insulated drapes or shades to help keep out unwanted heat.
  • Keep the overhead garage doors of attached garages closed to keep cold winds from getting through the connecting door between the house and garage.
  • Fireplaces should have tightly fitting dampers that can be closed when not in use. A chimney can draw out as much as 25 percent of the heated/cooled air in your house if the damper is left open.
  • In the heating season, water vapors from bathing and cooking are beneficial because they help humidify the home. Dry air takes longer to heat. So use kitchen and bath exhaust fans sparingly in the winter to keep as much heat as possible inside your house.
  • Set the thermostat as low as comfort permits. For instance, each degree above 68º F can add 3 percent to the amount of energy needed for heating. If using a heat pump, make sure that the thermostat is designed to operate the heat pump efficiently when raising the temperature after it has been lowered. Use your judgment. Babies and the elderly may need higher room temperatures.
  • Close heating vents and radiator valves in unused areas. Make sure that drapes and furniture do not block registers for supply or return air.
  • Seek an HVAC professional to determine the right size cooling equipment needed. Oversized units should be avoided – not only because they draw more energy than is necessary, but also because they cannot dehumidify properly.
  • Direct sunlight on a window air-conditioning unit increases its workload. When a choice is possible, locate units on the north or the shady side of the house.
  • Open windows during the moderate weather of spring and fall to admit outside air for cooling instead of operating air-conditioning.
  • In the cooling season, run kitchen and bath exhaust fans only long enough to rid the house of unwanted water vapor and odors.
  • On sunny winter days, open your insulated drapes or shades to get the full benefit of sun shining through the windows.
  • During the winter months, close your curtains or drapes at night to cut down on heat loss.
  • Keep doors and windows closed as much as possible. This includes closet doors and rooms not in use.
  • Install awnings over exterior windows exposed to direct sunlight.
  • Install clock thermostats to automatically control heating and cooling when you are home and away
  • If you’re purchasing a new room air conditioner, buy an ENERGY STAR qualified model with a high energy efficiency rating (EER). The higher the rating, the more efficient the unit and the less costly it is to operate.
  • It’s a waste of money and energy to run your room air conditioner all day long just to cool an empty house. Instead, install an appliance timer that will activate the unit five minutes before you arrive.
  • Replace any room air conditioner that is more than ten years old and you’ll save when you replace it with an ENERGY STAR qualified model.
  • Clean or replace furnace filters often.
  • Have your furnace burner checked and cleaned annually.
  • Exhaust fans vented to the outside in the kitchen and bathrooms help remove excess humidity and keep rooms comfortable.
  • Installing a thermostatically controlled attic exhaust fan can lower inside temperatures in the summertime by as much as 50 percent.
  • Use ceiling or portable fans in place of room air conditioners whenever possible.
  • If you use an electric furnace to heat your home, consider replacing it with a high efficiency ductless heat pump system, which can cut electricity use for heating by as much as 30 percent.
  • If you have a simple open masonry fireplace, replace your fire screen with glass doors and a convective grate to reduce the loss of warm air.
  • Use passive solar heating on sunny days. Open drapes on south-facing windows when it is sunny. At night, close drapes to retain heat. Close drapes to provide insulation where windows receive no direct sunlight. Up to 15 percent of your heat can escape through unprotected windows.
  • Use ceiling fans to cool your house. The most efficient ceiling fans cost as little as 30 cents a month if used eight hours a day. A window air conditioner can cost 50 times as much as a fan. Ceiling fans will keep the air moving and allow you to keep the thermostat setting higher because moving air feels cooler.
  • Plant trees for shade. Deciduous trees—those that produce leaves in the spring and then lose them in the fall—shade your house from the sun during warmer days and let the sun warm your house on cooler days. Shading your home could save up to 8% on cooling costs.
  • Provide shading for your air conditioning condenser. Your central air conditioner’s condenser works more efficiently in a cooler environment. Provide shade around your air conditioner to reduce your cooling costs by nearly 3 percent.
  • Open windows on cool nights. On cool spring days and nights, turn off your air conditioner and open your windows. Don’t open windows when the outside temperature is warmer than the inside of your house.
  • Perform regular maintenance tune-ups on heating and cooling equipment. Regularly clean condenser coils, change belts and filters and fix duct leaks. Also check for proper economizer operation and adequate refrigerant levels. Maintenance activities can save up to 30 percent of fan and up to 10 percent of space conditioning energy use.
  • A programmable thermostat can optimize HVAC operation "24/7" based on your needs. For example, instead of heating or cooling all night, so you can enter a comfortable building in the morning, this "smart thermostat" can turn on the HVAC one hour before you arrive, based on your daily/hourly needs. The cost of the thermostat can be $25 to $150, and it could cut your HVAC costs up to 30%. Add a locking cover to prevent tampering with thermostat settings.
  • Install a high efficiency packaged heating, ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC) system. These can use up to 40 percent less energy than systems that just meet minimum standards. Specify ENERGY STAR qualified high-efficiency air conditioning equipment when your system needs to be replaced, and save 25% to 35% on your investment annually.
  • Seek a professional on air sealing before you insulate. Before you insulate, you should make sure your home is properly air sealed. Although it is possible to seal a house too tightly, it is unlikely to happen in older homes because they generally leak more than newer homes. However, a certain amount of fresh air is needed for good indoor air quality and there are specifications that set the minimum amount of fresh air needed for a house.