Energy Tips

You can take the following measures to increase the efficiency of your heating and air conditioning system. You can also check out many of our other energy saving tips like our Beating the Heat, Energy Efficiency and your Kitchen , or Air Infiltration tips . We continue to update this section to help our current and future members, so check back often and help us help you cut the cost of heating and cooling your home. If you have any questions or comments, please call us at one of our convenient local offices or at 1-800-342-8694!

  • Close drapes or blinds on windows during the summer months
  • Run kitchen and bathroom exhaust fans only as long as necessary
  • Do not place heat-producing appliances near the thermostat
  • Keep fireplace dampers closed when not in use
  • Close doors to storage rooms without vents to eliminate heating or cooling extra space
  • Check the filter at least monthly during the heating and cooling seasons
  • Keep furniture and other objects away from the supply and return vents.
  • The three most important things to remember for lowering your utility costs and creating a more comfortable house are air filtration, air filtration and – you guessed it – air filtration. If you add up all the cracks, crevices and gaps where air can get into your home, it would be like having a door open all year long. . . Close the door!
  • When in doubt, caulk it! Use high quality silicone caulk around doors, windows and other places where building materials are connected.
  • Eliminate moisture problems. If you have a crawl space under your home, roll-out thick sheets of plastic across the dirt. In the attic, make sure there is adequate ventilation to let moisture escape. When moisture builds up in your basement or attic, it can destroy the effectiveness of your insulation.
  • Air duct leakage can be a major problem in your home. Check for loose or damaged air ducts. All air duct joints should be sealed with a mastic paste and insulated. Duct tape should really be called temporary tape because it usually does not permanently seal air ducts.
  • In the summer, your attic can reach 140 degrees, so get the air ducts out of there! This may not be practical in an older home, but if you are building a new home, insist that the duct work be placed in a conditioned space – a basement or crawl space.
  • Be sure your home has adequate levels of insulation. Commonly missed areas are attic knee walls, pull down attic stairs, over drop cabinets, over modular shower stalls, over plumbing chase areas and floors over a crawlspace.
  • If you have an electric water heater, wrap it with a water heater jacket. If the water heater rests on a concrete slab, place a 2 inch insulation board underneath – there is no reason to heat your slab!
  • If you are building a new home or remodeling, choose insulated windows with low-e glass. Windows are wonderful to look through, but they can really increase your energy bills. Also, the glassed area of your exterior wall should not exceed 15 percent of the exterior wall.
  • Geothermal Systems are significantly more energy efficient than traditional furnaces or air conditioners. Plus, a Geothermal system can provide you with free hot water throughout the cooling season and for some of the heating months. These systems have low maintenance and no noisy outdoor unit.
  • Most people, even new homeowners, have the least efficient heating and air conditioning equipment allowed under federal law. What a shame! In fact, most gas furnaces are usually only 80 percent efficient! If you must have gas equipment, look for a 95 percent AFUE rated furnace. CEMC recommends heat pumps since they are much more efficient than furnaces. At a minimum, buy heat pumps and air conditioners with a 13 SEER rating or above.