Heating and cooling alone accounts for nearly half of the average American homes total utility bills. Here are some energy saving tips and ideas to reduce your heating and cooling costs.

If you have central heating and cooling systems, check all of your vents for possible obstructions such as furniture or rugs.

During the cooling season replace your air filter at least every other month. A dirty air filter is guaranteed to increase an electricity bill during the cooling season.

A ventilated outdoor cover can be applied to your air conditioning unit. An a/c unit operating in the shade can consume 10% to 15% less electricity.

If comfortable, manually setback your thermostat during the heating season and setup during the cooling season.

Automatically setback and setup temperature settings using a daily and weekly schedule with programmable residential thermostats. This allows homeowners to takes full advantage of the times that no one is home and programmable thermostats are easy to install.