As much as half of the energy used in your home goes to heating and cooling, according to Energy Star. Making smart decisions about your home’s heating, ventilating, and air conditioning (HVAC) system can have a big effect on your utility bills — and your comfort. Take these steps to increase the efficiency of your heating and cooling system.

Energy Star recommends the following tips to heat and cool your home efficiently:

1. Change your air filter regularly

Check your filter every month, especially during heavy use months (winter and summer). If the filter looks dirty after a month, change it. At a minimum, change the filter every 3 months. A dirty filter will slow down air flow and make the 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 — leading to expensive maintenance and/or early system failure.

2. Tune up your HVAC equipment yearly

Just as a tune-up for your car can improve your gas mileage, a yearly tune-up of your heating and cooling system can improve efficiency and comfort.

3. Install a programmable thermostat.

Through proper use of pre-programmed settings, a programmable thermostat can save you about $180 every year in energy costs.

For all of the other recommendations to heat and cool your home efficiently, see Energy Star.

Meanwhile, if you have questions about your heating and cooling system, contact us today.