Heating and Cooling

Heating and cooling ultimately determines the comfort of a home. Learn how to troubleshoot heating and cooling and how to fix and maintain HVAC systems.

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How we heat and cool the buildings we live and work in is important to cutting greenhouse gas emissions. The good news is the tech already exists: electric heat pumps that are three to four times more efficient than furnaces.

By Robert Brecha

There's just something about sitting in front of a fire that soothes the soul. And electric fireplaces make whiling the hours away in front of those flickering flames as simple as flipping a switch.

By Wendy Bowman

As you leave home on a winter morning, you may wonder whether to turn off your heat, turn it down or let it maintain a cozy temperature. Which will save the most energy and money? The answer might surprise you.

By Chris Opfer


Your garage is probably the most inefficient room of your house, but it doesn't have to be that way! Learn more about the top 7 ways to improve the energy efficiency of your garage.

By Eric J. Leech, Planet Green

Your radiators aren't working properly, and you'd like to learn how to drain a radiator. In this article you will learn about how to drain a radiator.

By HowStuffWorks.com Contributors

If your gas water heater keeps going out or your gas oven won't heat, you may want to learn how to test the thermocouple on the gas valve. Read this article to learn how to test a thermocouple on a gas valve.

By HowStuffWorks.com Contributors

You want to install a wood burning stove, but you're not sure how to do it. Learn about how to install a wood burning stove in this article.

By HowStuffWorks.com Contributors


Heat pumps work by transferring heat from the air or ground into your house. Learn whether you can use heat pumps cold climates in this article.

By HowStuffWorks.com Contributors

You can build a wood-burning stove out of a 55-gallon (208.2-liter) steel barrel plus some odds and ends. Learn how to build a wood-burning stove in this article.

By HowStuffWorks.com Contributors

You've purchased some gas logs and are now wondering how to install them. Learn about how to install gas logs in this article.

By HowStuffWorks.com Contributors

You just converted your wood fireplace to a gas one, and you don't know how to arrange the logs to get the best results. Learn how to arrange your gas logs from this article.

By HowStuffWorks.com Contributors


Keep your AC fan in good shape by making sure it’s dirt-free. Learn about replacing the fan motor in a window AC unit in this article.

By HowStuffWorks.com Contributors

Structural loss of heating and air conditioning can be a major expense for any home or business. Learn about an insulation material called Icynene, and see how it compares to traditional insulation methods.

By Susan Sherwood, Ph.D.

If your air conditioner is causing your energy bills to rise, you might want to consider an alternative — a swamp cooler. That's if you live in a dry environment like the southwestern U.S. So, how do swamp coolers help you beat the heat?

By Chris Landers & Francisco Guzman

With all of the parts involved, fireplaces can lose more heat than they provide. However, there are tools, tricks and green options so you can enjoy the look and warmth of a traditional fireplace.

By John Kelly


It's an often heard maxim: Clean air filters save energy and money. They're designed to catch pollutants as the air passes through them. But if it's clean when you pull it out, is it really doing its job?

By Heather Kolich

Heat pumps use a small amount of energy to move heat from one place to another. They serve a dual purpose; they can use that heat transfer to cool a home as well. But is one right for your home?

By Laura Cowan & Talon Homer

Off-peak cooling is a new innovation that uses electricity to produce blocks of ice at night when demand is low. But how does the air stay cool enough to provide relief at the hottest time of day?

By Sara Elliott

If you haven't heard of exterior insulation before, chances are you've seen it without knowing it. But what makes it different from interior insulation (besides where it's located)? And what does it have to do with post-World War II Germany?

By Echo Surina


It may seem like one of the more boring aspects of home maintenance, but putting a good roof on your home can save you loads of money down the road. What's the best way to save on energy costs?

By Stephanie Watson

You rely on your chimney to channel smoke up and out of your house. Therefore, when the outside or inside walls of your chimney crack, you could encounter some serious problems.

By Chris Marlowe

Wood stoves have evolved quite a bit from their potbellied ancestors. Today's wood stoves are clean and efficient, and have several environmental arguments on their side.

By Eleanor Duse

As with most utilities around the house, the cost of heating a home is getting more expensive. But an old staple can be used to heat your home -- for less money than more modern heating options.

By Elizabeth Abbess


If you use electricity to heat and cool your home, some of your money probably goes right out the windows when you pay your bill. Insulated curtains help you costs down by keeping heat in -- or out.

By Elizabeth Abbess

The idea of a chimney sweep might conjure up romantic notions of the film, "Mary Poppins." But chimney maintenance is serious business. Keeping your chimney clean is important in preventing chimney fires -- and potential house fires.

By Sarah Siddons