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8 Tips for Running Your Heating & Cooling Systems Efficiently

HVAC TipsDid you know that, according to the American Lung Association, the average American breathes 3,400 gallons of air each day? That means that your heating and cooling system has a big job to do, each and every day.

We spend a great deal of time in our homes and Filtrete, a company I have used for years, wants to help–which is why I’ve partnered with them in this series of Healthy Home articles. (See 6 Steps to Cleaner Indoor Air & Naturally Deodorize Your Home)

Check out the tips below to help keep your systems performing properly and running efficiently — helping to make a healthier home for your family, and consuming less energy in the process.

1) Air Filter

Change your air filters regularly (At least every three months, or when your filter looks dirty). Your heating and cooling system moves some serious air flow. Help it run easier by keeping the filter changed so that your system isn’t working harder than it needs to by trying to force air through a clogged filter! We love the Micro Allergen Reduction Filter from Filtrete.

Thermostat2) Watch Your Thermostat

According to, you can lower your heating bill substantially by setting your thermostat to 68°F during wakeful hours, and setting it back a few degrees while you’re asleep – or while you’re away at work. In the summer months, you can follow similar rules by setting the A/C to 78°F during the hours that you are home, and higher when you are away for any measurable time.

A programmable thermostat can make all of this a breeze!

3) Open {or Close} Your Vents

If you have a basement, you may be able to close off vents in the summer months while nature works in your favor – just be sure to open them back up in the winter months. Additionally, keep an eye on vents in kids rooms. Not only can they get covered by toys or blankets, but kids love playing with the levers on vent covers. If this is a problem, you might consider looking for vents without a close option for childrens’ bedrooms and play areas.

4) Put Your Ceiling Fan to Work

Set your fan (with the switch often found on motor housing) counter-clockwise for summer months to help blow cooler air down your way, and clockwise in winter months at a low speed to help circulate air upwards and then throughout the room without blowing on you with a “cooling” effect.

5) Clean Air Return Vents

Air return vents tend to build up with dust and other debris. Be sure to clean these periodically to keep this gunk from bogging down your system and clogging up your filters.

6) Take Advantage of Nature

Take advantage of cool mornings in the summer and warm afternoons in cooler months to welcome fresh air into your home by opening windows and doors where possible.

7) Have Your Systems Serviced

Your HVAC system works hard. Help keep it running at optimal performance by having it service periodically by a professional. Get recommendations from local friends and family, or review websites, to help you locate a technician or service that is reputable and honest.

8) Go HE

If you’re running an older system, you could be throwing money right out the door. Consider having the unit replaced with a higher efficiency model, and see your investment return in no time!

This post has been sponsored by Filtrete. The content of this post is all my own thoughts, opinions and tips. I use Filtrete filters in my own home and was given the opportunity to work with them on a series of healthy home articles and am excited to be doing so! For more information about Filtrete filters, please visit their website and join them on Facebook & Twitter for tips, special savings and discounts.

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