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Right-Size Your Home’s Heating, A/C System


When it comes to heating and cooling your home, you can get too much of a good thing.


In fact, if you live in an older home


and haven’t replaced your heating or air conditioning systems, there’s a good chance that they’re both way too big.


Used to be that homes were so


 heated or cooled air would leak right out of the house through windows and through tiny holes and cracks around windows, doors and the roof.


New homes are built so “tight” that


that’s not such a big problem anymore. And even if you live in an older house, chances are, you or a prior owner has replaced the single-pane windows with -


els; added insulation to the attic; and caulked around the windows and doors to prevent heat loss and gain.


So the a/c or heating system that was installed to compensate for that loss could be up to four times bigger than what you need now.


That’s a problem because a system


that’s too big will cycle on too often, which can leave too much humidity in the air and make your house too hot, too cold or too humid.


When you’re ready to replace your oversized, out-of-date systems, choose  your service technician correctly “size” the system for your lifestyle and the  or size.


Make the Switch to CFLs


It’s been a long time coming, and as of Jan. 1, the old, familiar, A-shaped  Unless you were one of the many, many Americans who stockpiled their favorite 100-watt light bulbs, you won’t be able to replace yours as they burn out around your house.  bulb – can give that old standby a run for its money and then some. First, a CFL can save you more than $100 on your electric bill before it burns  In fact, incandescents produce more heat than light, so they use tons of energy and burn out quickly. CFLs last up to 10 times longer and use 80 percent less energy.


Some complain replacing a 100-watt incandescent with a comparable CFL - rus, take a look at the incandescents you use at home – in your table lamps and   And side-by-side comparisons show that CFL replacements for 60-watt bulbs are as bright or brighter. So embrace the CFL. You can still buy 75-, 60- and 40-watt incandescent bulbs, but they’ll gradually join their 100-watt cousins as part of the phase-out, 


What is a Lumen?


A lumen is a way to measure how brightly a light bulb burns. Like buying milk by the gallon, we’ll soon be buying light by the lumen. In fact, new packages of light bulbs already sport a Lighting Facts Label that tells you the bulb’s lumens instead of its watts. That’s going to take some getting used to.


Here are few guidelines from the Department of Energy:


--The light from a new bulb with 1,600 lumens – whether it’s a CFL, halogen or LED – is about equivalent to a 100-watt incandescent. --Replace a 75-watt


incandescent with a 1,100-lumen bulb.


--Choose a bulb with 800


lumens to take the place of a 60-watt incandescent.


--Look for 450 lumens to shine as brightly as a 40-watt traditional bulb.


The Lighting Facts Label also reveals how much it will cost you to burn the bulb for a year, how long the bulb will last – based on using it three hours a day – whether its light appears warm (yellowish) or cool (whiter) and how much energy it uses (in watts).


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