Energy Saving Tips
According to the Department of Energy, 56% of your energy costs is for heating and cooling.

Consider the following for real pay back:

1. Install 'set back' or programmable thermostats to keep the home cooler when you are sleeping or away.
You work for eight hours, you sleep for eight hours, why heat your home to 70° while you are not there.
Typical programmable thermostats are $100.00 each to install.

2. Get your boiler or furnace cleaned every 700 gallons of fuel burned.
The cleaning process includes replacing the nozzle for oil or reaming the burner orifice for gas. The nozzle becomes partially plugged after usage and clumps or irregular patterns of oil are emitted from the nozzle causing hard starts or flame outs. The oil filter should be replaced as well to ensure smooth fuel flow. Carbon and soot deposits should be brushed and removed with a vacuum. An eighth inch of soot equals six inches of fiberglass insulation in insulating property's.
You get what you pay for typical cleanings should run from $100.00 to $150.00.

3. Consider updating your heating system.
It takes a little more energy to heat water but it takes longer for the water to loose its energy over air. Newer burners have dampers that close after the heating cycle stopping the chimney effect through the appliance after the run cycle. Newer burners have intermittent ignition that stops the ignition transformer after a few seconds saving electricity.

4. Most boilers are grossly over sized.
For the last 100 years heating contractors have been installing boilers up to a third larger than they need to be.

Insist on a licensed contractor evaluating your home and heating system, performing a home heat loss calculation. This consists of the contractor measuring each room in your home. Factoring a value for the windows and door located in each room. Then, with a specific formula assesses a value to your home. This formula is based on the intended occupied temperature of the home and the anticipated lowest outdoor temperature. Typically, a home's desired temperature is 70° and the formula bases the boiler size on the home being able to stay at 70° for the coldest day's of the year. Twenty below zero is the number often used for an outside temperature.

The important part to remember when thinking about energy savings is how long through out the heating season is the outside temperature the coldest. Last year in Maine we reached zero degrees for 13 hours. That means, that a home with a heat calculation of -20° for an outside temperature was 20 percent oversized for the heart of the heating season.

When planning for a new heating system make the commitment that at -20° you are willing to wear a sweater and allow the home to heat to a maximum of 66 degrees inside.

5. Consider an outdoor reset or modulating boilers.
Outdoor reset uses a computer to asses the temperature outdoors, the desired temperature indoors, and the current temperature of the boiler. Starting and stopping the boiler to not waste energy firing the boiler to a temperature higher than needed to heat your home. A typical boiler only fires at one rate, which is set by the installer.

A modulating boiler has numerous firing rates. A modulating boiler works very well with an outdoor reset. These types of boilers fire only as high as the demand needed and constantly varies through out the heating season. Although these are typically gas boilers oil boilers are starting to enter the market.