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Healthy Home: Heating Season is Just Around the Corner - September 15, 2011
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infared houseWith summer coming to an end, colder fall and winter temperatures are just around the corner. And that means it will soon be time to set the thermostat and begin heating your home.

But don’t wait until the first cold day to wake your furnace up from four to six months of hibernation. Having your furnace serviced and tuned up by a qualified professional before cold days arrive will save you time and money by beating the rush. Also, check your furnace filter and replace it if necessary.

Properly maintaining your furnace will leave you prepared with a longer lasting, safer, and more efficient furnace that will reduce emissions and your utility bill. According to DEQ research, heating and cooling a home is the largest single contributor to climate change over the lifespan of a typical home.

Maintaining your furnace is just one step you can take before cold weather hits. Having a home energy assessment can identify additional steps you can take to weatherize your house and keep cold air out and warm air in. These steps include sealing air leaks and duct work and insulating walls and attics. Consider these steps before thinking about window replacement.

Cash and tax incentives, and long-term, low-interest loans may also be available for weatherization and energy-efficiency upgrades. Contact Energy Trust of Oregon and Clean Energy Works Oregon for information and assistance. 

Squirrels are busy preparing for the winter months ahead, shouldn’t you be? And when those cold days are finally here, consider setting your thermostat to 68°F while you’re awake and setting it lower when you’re asleep or away from home.

Or better yet, consider installing a programmable thermostat to do it for you. Just another way you can reduce your energy use and lower your home’s emissions.

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