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Cornerstone Home Inspections

Quality Inspections for Your Peace of Mind

James Dickson
7 Morrill Ave
Waterville, ME 04901
United States

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    - Conserve Energy
    - -> Heating Units
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    - -> Heating/Cooling Glossary
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    - -> Cooling Systems
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Conserve Energy

Save Money

This guide is primarily aimed at homeowners who are thinking of upgrading or replacing their home’s existing heating or cooling systems. It also contains useful information for people who are having a home built for them, and for those who want to reduce their energy consumption in general.

While builders generally offer a standard heating or heating/cooling package, upgrades to more efficient equipment might be available. Familiarity with the different systems, fuel options, their comparative prices and operating costs will help you to review upgrade options with your builder. Remember to also ask your builder about other energy efficiency upgrades, which can range from extra insulation to a complete R-2000-certified home. Before being R-2000-certified, each home is evaluated and tested to ensure a high level of energy efficiency has been designed and built into it. There are both financial and environmental benefits to conserving energy and using it wisely. To help you conserve even more, this will also direct you to resources that can help you reduce energy consumed for purposes beyond heating and cooling your home.

A Wise Choice

The options presented will help you to select heating and cooling systems that meet the needs of both your lifestyle and your check book. Besides the obvious savings for you that occur by lowering your consumption, by reducing demand for energy through conservation or, in the case of electricity, even from shifting consumption to times of lower demand, together we can lower the market price for the energy that is consumed. The advantages of investing in energy efficiency aren’t only felt within your family budget– they are realized in the cleaner environment that goes hand in hand with more efficient systems and the wise use of energy.

Make Your Home More Energy Efficient

Putting an energy-efficient heating system into a drafty, poorly insulated house will reduce your energy bills. But you’ll notice a more dramatic saving, and even make yourself more comfortable, if you also make your entire house more energy efficient. How? Here are some ideas…

  • Weatherstrip and caulk to seal air leaks. You may have to replace uncontrolled sources of air with designed sources to ensure proper ventilation.
  • Increase insulation levels where appropriate (such as in the attic or walls) to reduce heat loss in winter and heat gain in summer.
  • Open drapes on south-facing windows on sunny winter days so that the sun’s energy can help heat your home, and close them in summer to help keep your home cool.
  • Choose energy-efficient products when replacing windows and doors.

By making your house more energy-efficient, your heating and cooling systems will work less, and you may reduce the capacity needed when you replace your systems, which means more savings for you.

Why Energy Efficiency Matters

It’s good for your budget, your comfort and our environment. Each year you spend hundreds of dollars to heat and cool your home and to heat your hot water. By installing energy-efficient equipment, which gives you the same comfort for less energy, you can lower these costs. Furthermore, the lower you can make your energy costs now, the better off you will be should energy prices go up – and conservation reduces upward pressure on energy prices.

Whenever fuels are burned – in your home, in a generating station to produce electricity, in vehicles or elsewhere – carbon dioxide, nitrogen oxide and sulphur dioxide are released. These emissions contribute to environmental concerns including smog, acid rain and climate change. Reducing energy use lowers the amounts of these emissions and their impact on the environment. You can help by practicing energy efficiency and conservation not only in heating and cooling your home, but everywhere at home, in the workplace and in your transportation choices. Many factors can affect your annual energy bill such as size and location of your home, yearly variations in weather, efficiency of your furnace and other appliances,

thermostat settings, number of occupants, and the local cost of energy.

Are you serious about how to go about cutting your heating and cooling costs?

Follow these steps:

  • Where appropriate, improve the insulation and air sealing in your home.
  • Use this guide to help you decide what kinds of changes to your heating and cooling systems will be right for you.
  • Consult with a registered heating/cooling contractor and your fuel supplier before making a final decision.


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