Your HVAC system is just another name for your heating, ventilation, and air conditioning unit. Since it works to keep the conditioned space of your home at a comfortable temperature in both winter and summer it accounts for as much as half of the energy you use in a year. That's why it's so important to keep it running at its peak performance level, because just a little bit of inefficiency in your central system can have a big impact on your overall energy bill.

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1. Tune Up Your Equipment Annually

Once a year, it's a good idea to call a professional heating and cooling contractor to inspect your HVAC system. These experts have the knowledge and tools to keep your unit healthy and running smoothly. Of course, if your system is over 10 years old, don't be surprised if they recommend upgrading to a more efficient ENERGY STAR® model. The newer units are specifically designed to keep you more comfortable - and to save you money.

2. Hire the Right Professional

If you don't already have a contractor in mind, TXU Energy would be happy to recommend one. Just go to the Home Energy Professionals page to view a list of professionals that we've carefully selected because they provide a consistent level of quality in their products and services. Be sure to also ask them about any rebates that might be available.

3. Go Over Your Checklist

Talk to your heating and cooling company before and after the inspection. Let them know that you're an informed consumer and that there are certain things you want checked. In fact, the Department of Energy has created a list of what a maintenance tune-up should include. Print it out and go over it with the technician before work begins.

4. Install a Programmable Thermostat

If you don't already have a programmable thermostat, you should consider asking your contractor to install one. The fact is, you can save up to 10% on your heating and cooling costs by simply turning your thermostat back 10 to 15% for 8 hours a day. What's more, there are several programmable thermostats that make this a simple and automated task, including the TXU iThermostat that you can control from your computer or any web-connected device.